Sheila Johnson: Future of Innisbrook

Palm Harbor, Florida -- The owner of Innisbrook made her mark as one of the founders of Black Entertainment Television.

Sheila Johnson was the first African American woman to become a billionaire--even before Oprah.

And now, the philanthropist is focusing on her high-end hotels and resorts.

10 News anchor Heather Van Nest had a chance to sit down with the savvy businesswoman for a one-on-one interview. She talks about her vision for Innisbrook and what she says is her number one secret to success.

When you think of Innisbrook, you can't help but think of PGA Tour Golf.

Three years ago, Johnson spent $26 million overhauling Innisbrook property and spa, building something she hopes will soon share the spotlight.

Johnson says, "I could see immediately what needed to be done. I saw what was lacking so I put a lot of time, energy and money into it but what was really missing at the core of this property, was a spa."

Johnson says the spa will become a place known for much more than massages.

She wants to bring in some of the biggest names in preventative healthcare including Dr. Oz, Dr. Dean Ornish and dermatologist Dr. Perricone for educational, holistic weekend retreats.

According to Johnson, "My vision is really to just help. Not only just everybody but my focus is women. I see the stress we go through everyday. Being a mother, being a mother who has to work. We also have to take good care of ourselves. I have too many friends who are younger than me and having strokes. They're not paying attention to what they're putting into their systems."

But Johnson and Innisbrook Executive Chef Andre Halston do pay close attention to the food they serve fresh, organic and local, when possible.

Johnson says,"When people come to Innisbrook, I want them to not only enjoy their food, but there are also enjoying healthy food.

It's all part of the healing process. Yes, it is all part of the healing process because if we don't get a handle on our bodies and what we're putting in them, it's a domino effect."

She's always looking for a chance to change lives. Finding ways to give back is her number one secret to success.

"I really believe in the double bottom line. You can't be a success in life unless you reach out and touch others. I think that's very important."

Innisbrook Executive Chef Andre Halston shares his carrot vinaigrette recipe below.


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