You might call him Houston Town & Country Hospital's "chief inspiration officer."
Arthur Johnson was recently named chief financial officer and assistant vice president of the new 99-bed hospital, set to open next month. But the 35-year-old executive, who holds an MBA from San Antonio's Our Lady of the Lake University, was hired for more than just his knack for accounting and finance.
Johnson is also an ordained minister, a motivational speaker, the author of a book of positive affirmations and, according to his colleagues, a veritable fount of inspiration to all those around him.
Houston Town & Country CEO Teresa Danna says Johnson's ability to uplift others is one of the key reasons she recruited him in July to help head up the $70 million hospital, a joint venture between Nashville-based GP Medical Ventures and 109 local doctors. "Art has become our unofficial spiritual leader," she says.
Danna first met Johnson in 2003 at St. Luke's Community Medical Center-The Woodlands (Texas), where they worked side by side for two years as CEO and finance manager, respectively. There, in an effort to motivate his co-workers during difficult times, Johnson began to send out daily "words of inspiration" via e-mail, pairing scriptural quotes with modern-day messages about personal empowerment and purpose.
"I wrote whatever God laid upon my heart," says Johnson, who became a minister at age 15 and was ordained in 1996. "I look forward to waking up every day and helping people maximize their true potential."
His colleagues encouraged him to continue writing and began to forward his e-mails to friends outside the company. Soon, Johnson was receiving notes from people as far away as Florida, thanking him for the messages and saying they used them in their daily lives.
Fueled by that response, Johnson compiled and reworked his e-mails into a book. Ignite the Fire Within! was published last year by Xulon Press, an online Christian publishing company, and now sells for about $11.
Johnson also uses his proverbial gift of gab as a motivational speaker, addressing corporations and civic organizations on such topics as leadership, and personal and professional development. He is an associate pastor of the Daily Bread Church in Houston, where he has delivered sermons regularly since 2003.
As for his skills as a CFO, Johnson says: "God just also happened to give me the ability to crunch numbers."