We are honored to announce that Ms. Sheila Johnson, respected entrepreneur and philanthropist, will serve as the honorary chair for NVTRP’s 15th annual Polo Classic on September 25th at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia.
Having attended the Polo event as a guest for the past two years, Ms. Johnson was inspired to take on this additional role. “I’ve witnessed the impact that equine-assisted services have on children and adults with disabilities, as well as our recovering military veterans,” she said. “I am honored to be a part of this important fundraiser to ensure that these services continue to support our community now and for many years to come.”
Sheila joins returning Polo Classic Co-Hosts Will Thomas and Sherrie Beckstead. Mr. Thomas is a Vice President at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, veteran TV anchor, and NVTRP Board Member and Ms. Beckstead is President of The Lockkeepers Collection Group, and a Principal at Liljenquist & Beckstead, co-founded by the Beckstead family.
All proceeds from the Polo Classic benefit NVTRP, a 40-year old therapeutic horseback riding program in Clifton, VA.
Ms. Johnson has been involved in the equestrian community for many years including serving as President of the Washington International Horse Show. She is also spearheading the fundraising campaign to create a new home for the US Park Police mounted unit's horses and officers through the construction of the United States Park Police Horse Stables and Education Center.
In addition to her efforts to support equestrian interests and among her many business endeavors, Ms. Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which operates a collection of luxury properties including the equestrian inspired Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, earning the distinguished Forbes Five Star rating. She is the only African-American woman to have ownership in three professional sports teams: the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics, and has long been a powerful influence in the entertainment industry, starting with her work as founding partner of BET.