I grew up in southern Illinois and then Chicago where, as a grade school student, I attended the University of Chicago Lab School. After several moves, I graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka IL. In 1971, after earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Wells College in Aurora, NY, I moved to Aspen and spent three years waitressing, hiking, singing in bars, learning to ski, and just being outdoors. My love of the environment and the outdoors inspired me to pursue an advanced degree in landscape architecture, graduating in 1979 with a Masters from Utah State University.
I worked on both coasts before moving to Colorado in 1984 and co-founding Civitas, one of the state’s most respected landscape architecture and planning firms. After 20 years at Civitas, I made a change and was hired as Campus Landscape Architect at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
But Aspen was calling me, and in 2006, I moved here and founded the landscape architecture firm, wjmdesign.
I began my public service as a member on Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission and was then elected to the Aspen City Council in 2013, where I have served for the past six years.
I have two sons, Matt Johnson, who currently lives with his wife in London, and Will Johnson, who sadly passed away in 2015.
As a longtime resident of Aspen, I understand the importance of managing growth. As a landscape architect, I know how critical it is that we address environmental issues. As a business owner for 35 years, in a business that connected people to their community and the community to the environment, I know how to get things done. I serve on City Council because I know that is how I can make a difference.