Jill Johnson grew up on Whidbey Island and is a former Finance Director who spent the early part of her career traveling the country working for leaders and organizations that were committed to making their state, nation, and hometowns better than they found them.
A fourth-generation Washingtonian whose family has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest region, she grew up with a deep appreciation for the unique beauty and culture found in Island County. Jill was raised in a family that embraced the motto…”I am third”… a belief that in every decision and choice is an opportunity to put God and others before yourself. At the Johnson house, dinner table discussions focused on community needs, local politics, and what she and her two siblings could do to effect positive change. The often intense conversations resulted in a level of strategic thinking, a dedication to leadership, and a prevailing sense of compassion that has served her well throughout life.
After earning a degree in Communications and Economics from Central Washington University, Jill graduated into an economy that was just coming out of a recession. The job market was tight but she found a job managing a State House campaign. The candidate’s victory launched her desire to continue working for leaders who had a vision for a strong and prosperous economy and who understood the importance of government and standing firm in their beliefs that government should never become over-bearing. Her career provided access to senior level leaders, CEO’s, and elected officials gave her an opportunity to learn the value and necessity of decisive, knowledge-based, collaborative decision making and hard work.
Jill took her experiences and put them into practice becoming primarily responsible for the revenue streams of multiple state-wide organizations. After a decade away, Jill returned to Whidbey Island to live what she describes as “a real life” near family, friends and specifically her niece, Lydia. Immediately upon her return she put her leadership skills to use getting involved in the efforts to build a new Wildcat Memorial Stadium and renovate the Oak Harbor High School. A product of the Oak Harbor School System, she is a strong advocate for quality public education and the direct impact it has on local economies.
Hired by the Oak Harbor Chamber in 2006, Jill was able to help the organization navigate the rough waters of an economic downturn without reducing the core services Chamber Members and the North Whidbey community have come to depend on. Her ability to identify revenue streams and control expenses while still pursuing the Chamber’s organization’s goals with an honest and clear message has earned her respect and trust.
She was a member of the Comprehensive Planning Task Force and is a current member of the Oak Harbor Planning Commission and the Shoreline Master Plan Committee. In 2006 she was recognized as “Community Volunteer of the Year” and was honored by the Oak Harbor Education Foundation for her involvement with local education. In 2010 she was received the Admiral Jim Symonds “Friend of the Navy” award.
Recently married, Jill and her husband Alex live in Oak Harbor. You can often see them driving in Alex’s favorite 1974 Yellow Ford pickup, crabbing in their not-so-secret location off of Maylor’s point, hiking the trails at Ebey’s Reserve or wandering around the local farmers market with their niece Lydia in tow.