Occupation: Contractor with Foothills Community Development Corp.
Family: Single; parents are Alice and Larry Johnson.
Compared to how Johnny Johnson used to spend his spare time, his current hobby of fly fishing is a serene pastime. Johnson, who is a contractor for Foothills Community Development Corp., now enjoys fly fishing in area streams, but in college, he rode for a rodeo team.
“My biggest pastime is fly fishing,” Johnson said. “I like getting out by myself and getting away. I usually intentionally go to places where there are not many people to get away from the chaos of the day.”
Johnson was born in Maryville. “I lived here until I was 3 and moved to Chicago with my family. My dad moved there with work, and I lived there until I was 11 when we moved back to Maryville.”
Johnson graduated Maryville High School in 1995 and then attended the University of Tennessee at Martin. “It was short-lived. I went there to be on the rodeo team more so than anything else,” he said. “I tore my knee up and had to have reconstructive knee surgery. I was only there for a year.”
Johnson then got into the construction business and eventually became a contractor. “That’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I pretty much started from the bottom and worked my way up to being a contractor,” he said. “It was mostly residential new home construction.”
He went to work with Foothills Community Development Corp. when they began looking to do more of their work in-house instead of subcontracting the building of their homes. Foothill’s latest development is Norwood Village, where Johnson said they are focused on making each home energy efficient. It’s not, he said, a response to a current fad, but because it’s the right thing to do.
“It makes an affordable house that much more affordable,” he said of the energy efficient homes.
Johnson said he enjoys working with FCDC because it is a good program that makes quality-built houses available to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the option of home ownership. “It’s not lower-end housing by any means. It is affordable housing when there isn’t affordable housing out there,” he said.
Here is Johnny Johnson:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“I am like my father in many ways except for my small size which can be attributed to my mother. In business, my Dad has taught me to make firm decisions while my Mom has taught me how not to let people get away with things.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
““I’m not a big movie watcher. The last movie I watched was ‘Ice Age, Return of the Dinosaurs’ with my 2-year-old nephew.”
What are you guilty of?
“I’m guilty of adding stress in my life just for the excitement of dealing with it.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My favorite material possession is my Orvis 4 weight 7.5 feet Superfine Trout Bum fly fishing rod.”
What is your passion?
“Staying on top of new technology and products that make the houses I build better.”
How do you like your steak cooked?
What is your most embarrassing moment?
“One of my most embarrassing moments had to be when I was watching a scary movie with a girlfriend. She went in the back of the house to get something, and I snuck around the outside of the house to bang on the window. It was dark outside, and I was barefooted. When I jumped towards the window, both of my bare feet landed in a fire ant hill. Needless to say, the laugh was on me.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th Century?
“The most influential person of the 20th century would be Henry Ford. His success represents the reward of hard work and good common sense strategy.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?
“I would invite my family and the people I care about most to join me for a peaceful week of fly fishing somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“I would like to have a long lunch with Ben Bernanke to see if he is planning any magic tricks for our economy’s near future.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Unique. Since I was old enough to walk I have done things differently than most people. I am always involved in something outside the normal crowd and trying to learn new ways of doing things.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I wish I could slow down a little bit and enjoy the things in life that I sometimes overlook.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Always treat others the way you would like them to treat you.”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“I think good relationships are where respect comes from.”
Who is your hero?
“My Dad. He’s a just the type of person a lot of people admire and respect him, and he is the kind of person I would like to be.
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“I am more of a dog person than a cat person, but I have both. My cat grew up with my Border Collie, so she acts like a dog most of the time.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“The worst job I ever had was helping the local farmers put up hay. Not only is it hot and nasty work, I am also allergic to hay.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“Although he would not fit in a box, my best present was a pony tied to the car bumper on Christmas morning. I named him Silver even though he was a brown pony.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“If I didn't have to stay too long, I would go back to the gun-slinging days of the Wild West.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys.”