Board Member's Spotlight: Susan Beane

Board Member’s Spotlight: Brian Johnson

Board member Brian Johnson has been a valuable asset at Compass Rose International, serving as our treasurer, finance committee chairperson, and on the governance & nominating committee, and brings a wealth of knowledge in his role. He believes in using the humanistic approach to life and a belief in the innate goodness of human beings and our ability to solve human problems together.

Now retired from corporate life, Brian brings over 37 years of CEO, COO and CFO experience across multiple industries, with an extensive background in guiding companies through challenging periods of growth and change, including several multi-million dollar mergers and corporate sales. Brian offers wide-ranging experience in corporate governance, having served on the boards of 9 corporations and several non-profit organizations, including RAFT Colorado (Resource Area for Teachers), Forward Steps (which supports youth and young adults coming out of foster care achieve independence and self-reliance) and Boulder County Hospice — each during their formative years. Born in western New York, he graduated from Muskingum University in Ohio with a major in Economics, then came west with his wife Nancy in 1972 for law school
at the University of Colorado, after which he also obtained a CPA certificate and moved into the corporate arena. Brian has been driven by a passionate belief in a “full spectrum” leadership model that promotes shaping the future, building effective relationships, energizing teams, delivering results, and modeling personal excellence, integrity and accountability.

What do people often thank you for?

My “servant leadership”.

What do you see as your place or purpose in life? How did you come to that conclusion?

I do not believe that we are born with a purpose in life, but rather “find purpose” by being open to opportunities that each moment presents. My studies in college and readings have led me to a humanistic approach to life and a belief in the innate (although often buried) goodness of human beings and our ability to solve human problems together. I am driven by the 4 tenets of forgiveness, compassion, integrity, and humor.  

What's your favorite aspect about being on the Board of Directors and volunteering? and what are your current duties?

With two daughters (and now 4 grandsons), I am heart-stricken by the thoughts of child sex trafficking and youth facing mental health challenges. Serving on the Board helps me feel that I am making a small difference in helping youth find a brighter, more meaningful future. I’ve served as Treasurer of the Board since joining in January 2022, have helped organize and edit foundation grant proposals, and have participated in monthly operational calls with our local partners in Nepal to launch and now monitor the INpowerment Center for Girls in Ghyangphedi, which I have found especially rewarding. I am also now on the Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board.  

If Compass Rose International were to be on the cover of your favorite magazine in five years, what would the story be about?

The story would focus on the success of the initial Nepal INpowerment Center for Girls, its expansion in 2025-2026, and the launch of a second INpowerment Center in Nepal. The story would expand on how the underlying Compass Rose principles and curricula have been successfully deployed in our Denver-area retreats, after-school accelerators and partnering programs with other non-profits organizations.  

What do you feel have been the important successes in your life? The frustrations?

I believe that the true measure of success in life is NOT money, fame or power. Rather, it’s laugh lines — the facial lines that come from laughing and smiling a lot about the joys of love and fun with family and friends, of which I’ve been blessed with many such moments. My career successes have just been frosting on the cake (or face!). The frustrations have been those times when I’ve let someone down.  

What would be your advice to younger generations about learning causes, getting involved, and doing something about it?

My youngest daughter attended a Jesuit university, which asked its students to do the 3 “C’s”: Learn a Competency; develop a set of Consciousness values; and employ those Competencies and that Consciousness in a Compassionate effort to help others. Great advice to all generations: Competency-Consciousness-Compassion.  

What do you wish everyone knew about this cause?

Too many youth are at risk of falling prey to the horrors of trafficking and the dangers of mental health issues. Collectively, we can make a difference in addressing those challenges.  

Anything else you want to talk about?

You, too, will personally be rewarded by helping us serve these youth.
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