Robert L. Johnson
Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interest in a diverse portfolio of companies in the banking/financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, gaming and automotive industries. In July 2007, Mr. Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the “25 Most Influential Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years.”
Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation’s first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African American owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Mr. Johnson sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion and remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006.
Chairman & CEO
Mr. Washington, Chairman and CEO of Caribbean CAGE, LLC earned his BA in Political Law Science at St. Peters College in 1967. In 1967, he decided to become a lawyer and enrolled in Howard University’s School of Law and in 1970, earned his JD with honors finishing third in his class. He then joined the faculty of Harvard Law School as a Teaching Fellow and earned an LLM while teaching at Harvard. He returned to Washington, D.C. in 1973 where he was offered positions of professor at the Howard University Law School and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia.
Mr. Washington was the staff architect of Home Rule for D.C. Following over five years in Congress, in 1975, Mr. Washington was offered the opportunity to enter the private sector as a partner in the Danzansky, Dickey Law Firm, one of the most prestigious firms in Washington, D.C. His performance in this position catapulted Bob into several larger firms in Washington, first as a Partner and then to Managing Partner of a large national firm with over 800 lawyers.
Mr. Washington’s sterling legal career culminated and his meteoric business career began with his decision to start up his own law firm and consulting company, Laxalt, Washington, Perito & Dubic, during which time he continued his representation of and consulting with several foreign governments in Africa and the Caribbean including Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. In 1994, Mr. Washington was offered an exclusive gaming license by the government of Antigua and Barbuda to manage and operate the government owned electronic lottery. This initial opportunity catapulted the growth of this operation into six other Caribbean countries during the next five years. LILHCo, the largest lottery operator in the Caribbean was then sold to GTECH in 2004.
Following the sale of LILHCo, Mr. Washington started Caribbean CAGE, LLC which is a gaming and entertainment company engaged in video lotteries and other forms of gaming in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Mr. Washington is an investor in a number of enterprises including one of the owners of the Charlotte Bobcats, NBA basketball team.