Elaine Johnson Pic
Elaine A. Johnson
UNF Degree: MBA – ’82
Employment: Director of Human Resources and Sr. Business Partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida.

MBA leads Johnson to successful human resources career

Speaking the language of business is important for any executive who hopes to climb the ladder of success in corporate America. Elaine Anne Johnson said she acquired that language at UNF. Her mastery of the language is reflected in the success of her career.


Since 2003, Johnson has been the director of human resources and senior business partner for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, a role to which she brought more than 20 years of experience as a human resources executive. Prior to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, she was a senior vice president and managing director with Right Management Consultants, the world's largest management consulting firm. In that position, she worked with such clients as CSX, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney, NASA and Bank of America.


Much of her success she attributes to her education. She started college at the University of South Florida, obtaining her bachelor's degree in management, and finished at UNF, where she obtained a master's in business administration in 1982.


"When I returned to Jacksonville, I realized I needed my master's degree. Beyond a shadow of a doubt it helped me to differentiate myself."

Specifically, Johnson recalls the caliber of her professors Drs. Lou Woods and Joe Perry. "These individuals gave me a great foundation in business, but also made learning fun and relevant."


Her ties to UNF have continued. She is on the Business Advisory Council of the Coggin College of Business and was named Outstanding College Alumna in 2006, as well as Outstanding Graduate Alumna in 1999. She is also a part-time instructor and guest lecturer at UNF.


Her community involvement doesn't stop at UNF. She is a past president of the foundation board for Florida Community College at Jacksonville and serves on its Business Programs Advisory Committee. Johnson also is a facilitator for the First Coast Nurse Leader Consortium and the board of Ronald McDonald House, and was active with the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and the Urban League. "I love building relationships in this community where I can make contributions."


Professionally, Johnson also developed her business credentials by earning her national accreditation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a goal encouraged by another UNF professor, Dr. Tommy Tomlinson.


Although she is proud of her professional accomplishments and civic involvement, personally she is proudest of her son, Michael, who is enrolled at UNF studying marketing. "This was the only University to which he applied. It was a no-brainer. When you have one of the top business schools in the country, the fact that it is in your own back yard doesn't mitigate its excellence."


As a mother and a UNF instructor, Johnson has advice for today's students. "The world is not here for you. You are here to solve the problems of the world. You are set up to be more successful because of the caliber of the education you received at UNF, but you will never stop learning." Elaine Johnson has obviously followed her own advice.