President & Chief Operating Officer
PARAMOUNT APPAREL INTERNATIONAL
Todd Johnson has worked at Paramount Apparel Internationals since he joined full time in 1989. He has literally grown up at the Company, starting out as a purchasing clerk working his way up to his current title of President & Chief Operating Officer. Johnson has held various roles at the Company such as purchasing clerk, buyer, production manager, sourcing director, purchasing/logistics director and for the last 15 years as VP of Operations until he was promoted to his current role as President & COO in March of 2017.
Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University and an MBA, with an emphasis in management, from Webster University. Married to Vicki Johnson – for 28 years – and has a 25-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son. Johnson believes in people and takes great pleasure in watching people learn, grow, and succeed.
THE JOHNSON STORY —
Paramount’s acquisition of Imperial Headwear in 2012 brought the Company and myself to the forefront of the golf industry. I was not leading Paramount at the time of purchase, but I was heading up operations during the acquisition and subsequent transition. The strength of the Imperial brand in golf has been amazing to see, and we hope to take it to new heights under our management. During my tenure as President of Paramount, I look forward to growing our portfolio with more golf brands in the future. We now have a tremendous platform to incubate golf specific brands.
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MATT WARD: When you get up in the morning what’s the driving force?
TODD JOHNSON: We must have the best team in the golf industry to take care of our customers.
MW: So much is written and spoken about customer service — define the term as you see it?
TJ: We strive to give our customers what they want before they even ask.
MW: What techniques do you use to secure input from customers?
TJ: We think we have the number one sales force in all of golf. We believe they keep us in front of our customers and provide us with feedback from all kinds of accounts, large and small, so we can best service them.
MW: Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
TJ: I am not sure who I learned it from, but one day I heard someone say something like: “Leaders ask questions and Managers give answers.” This is something I live by now. Anytime I can ask questions instead of giving answers — that makes me and my team better.
MW: Your biggest pet peeve is?
TJ: People who are pessimists. I am an optimist! I want to surround myself with optimists who want to make a difference.
MW: What key lessons were learned for those in the golf industry following The Great Recession in ’09?
TJ: Golf is here to stay! The golf industry took a hit, but has recovered and adjusted. The game isn’t going anywhere. Sure golf might be consumed in a different way in the future, but everyone is going to have to adjust with it and evolve as the game evolves. I’m excited for what’s next in golf and to help my team respond with creative solutions as everyone progresses in golf.
MW: You can change one thing in golf unilaterally – what would it be and why?
TJ: Seasonality. I think the seasonal aspect of the business causes all kinds of challenges that might not be present if our customers’ businesses were more constant during the course of the year, and then in effect our business would flow more evenly too.
MW: Your life has involved a wide range of elements — how have they shaped you in who you are today?
TJ: My faith and my family have shaped who I am today. I believe in passion. No matter what I do or what Paramount Apparel does, we want to do it with passion focusing on our team members and our customers.
MW: Your biggest satisfaction in business comes in what way?
TJ: When I see a well-planned project executed and we end up with a customer who got exactly what they wanted. And then a Company team member who has a high level of satisfaction in their hard work and commitment.
MW: Identify the short and long terms challenges facing Paramount and how you plan in dealing with them?
TJ: People, People, People. If we have the best people across all of our divisions with a passion for product and customers, we cannot be beat. In the long term, I would also like to grow our company with more brands that Paramount owns and manages. We plan to do this organically and through acquisition.