Melissa Johnson is the vice president of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events and Community Relations at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR), where she is also an operating partner. She oversees the company’s catering division and consistently looks for ways it can grow. She also represents CMR in the communities in which the company does business by discovering ways to get involved and give back.
After joining the team in 1997 as assistant manager at Martini, it wasn’t long before she was promoted to general manager, becoming the first female general manager of any CMR restaurant.
In 2001, Johnson left the restaurant operations to start a new venture for CMR, Cameron Mitchell Catering Company. Over the years that followed, Johnson led her team to shape the company into Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, as it is known today – the foremost catering and special events business in central Ohio.
Under the leadership of Johnson, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, has grown to more than $16 million in annual sales and is ranked as the top catering company in central Ohio by Columbus CEO’s Leaderboard.
Overseeing a team of more than 250 associates, Johnson attests her love for the company to the people in the CMR family.
“We have such a great work family that it makes going to work fun and also easy to do your job because you are working shoulder to shoulder with people who care about hospitality and taking care of all people the same way.”
In addition to her roles at CMR and Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, Johnson has been a part-time lecturer at The Ohio State University for the special events class since 2011 and serves as a member of the school’s Hospitality Management Advisory Board. As an involved community member, she also sits on the boards for the OSU Early Head Start Partnership Program and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
Johnson also has received many honors throughout her career, including nine ILEA Ohio WOW Awards for Best Event, an Esprit Award for Team Effort, and a PACE Award for Best Team Effort. In addition, CMR recognized Johnson with the Assistant Manager of the Year Award in 1998 and the Cameron Mitchell Milkshake Award in 2005, a high honor within the company. Additionally, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events has received numerous awards for Best Caterer from local entities and also received the Cameron Mitchell Milkshake Award in 2016.
Johnson is particularly proud to be one of the five founding women of CMR’s WHOLE Commitment initiative, a commitment to fairness, diversity and inclusion for all associates.
When asked the greatest lesson she has learned in her professional career, Johnson responded, “By investing in the people who I work with and leading and helping them be successful, I am successful. It is about the strength of the team.” The quote, “You win with people” is always at the top of her mind.
Johnson resides in Hilliard with her husband, two boys and her boxer. Outside of work, she enjoys biking, running, baking, and attending concerts and sporting events with her family.