EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON
Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities.
Still a commanding presence in popular culture, Johnson made history in 2012 when he became co-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. He also co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid. He continues to expand his influence through his many businesses that include: EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company.
The Lansing native is constantly evolving and remaining relevant in a dynamic digital age by broadening his scope into infrastructure and technology. Through a newly formed fund, Johnson is investing millions of dollars on infrastructure improvement in the United States. He is also one of the leading investors in a number of minority-owned technology companies that include Uncharted Power, an award-winning power and data infrastructure technology company; ShotTracker, a company that makes wearable technology for basketball players that helps track player and ball movement; Jopwell, a diversity and hiring recruiting platform; Walker & Co Brands, a company that develops health and beauty products for people of color; and MiTú, the Latino-fueled media brand and digital network that connects thousands of Latin content creators with viewers around the world.
Early on in my career, when my company was in the aftermath of a $5B acquisition, I almost quit. Fueled by frustration and stress, I found myself on the precipice of walking out of the office and never coming back. Had I done so, I would have become another statistic. Yet another African-American female departed from a STEM-driven industry. Top talent voluntarily resigning during a time of significant organizational shift. Another change victim.
But I didn’t.
Instead, I woke up one day and decided to view those feelings as a signal that I was sitting in a moment of opportunity. An opportunity to transform that chemistry, that feeling into something better. To choose every day to do something, say something, behave in some way that would move the needle of my work experience towards a better feeling. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was cultivating a teachable strategy to inspire anyone to become enthusiastic about change, to find their unique power of resilience during turbulent times.
Today, I help organizations disrupt ‘change as usual’. Through a practical and repeatable framework,
I show them how they can transform their culture from surviving change to growing through change.
President, Penske Corporation
Bud Denker is President of Penske Corporation, a global transportation services company. Penske Corporation manages businesses with consolidated revenues of more than $40 billion, operating in over 3,200 locations and employing more than 70,000 people worldwide. Denker also serves as Executive Vice President, Human Resources for Penske Automotive Group, overseeing the organization’s associates across its 350 globally-located automotive dealerships and heavy-duty truck locations. In addition, Denker serves in other roles within Penske Corporation including Executive Vice President of Team Penske, with teams currently competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the NASCAR Cup Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the World Endurance Championship.
Denker also serves as Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, which generates over $50 million in total spending annually in the metro Detroit region, while showcasing the city to a worldwide audience. Denker also helped lead the effort to bring the event back to its original home on the Streets of Downtown Detroit, beginning in 2023.
Throughout Denker’s business career, he has been deeply involved in leading the efforts to support his community at the local, city and state levels.
Denker remains engaged in many Detroit-based organizations including the Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee, and he serves on the executive boards of The Parade Company, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Detroit Partnership and the CEO Group.