Trendsetter to Know: William Johnston

Name: William Johnston

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Age: 30

Title: CEO of Johnston & Co.

Married/Single: Married to my High School sweetheart, Ashley

Kids: 3, Giuliana, Liam and Atticus.

City you live in: Gilbert, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

getting up with my two older kids and taking them to school, working at the Johnston & Co. office to make positive changes to our community daily, lunch out with colleagues, getting home and helping with dinner, bedtime routine and then time with my patient wife.

I was born…

in Arizona.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

I love the fact that you are just a few hours away from the beach or snow. I also love that Arizona is such a friendly place.

I’m listening to…

either soundtracks to great movies/shows or NPR.

My family…

is the best. I am so thankful for the support that I receive from my wife, kids, parents, brother and everyone else.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

This is a tough question! I would have to say if living, then it would be Jim Carrey. If I can dine with someone who has passed away, it would be Robin Williams.

One thing I cannot live without…

my family, hand sanitizer, great food, and a solid martini.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a chef. I thought about going to culinary school but decided before I dive deep into learning cooking techniques, I should probably figure out how to run a business in order to be a successful restaurateur.

I’m inspired by…

history and different cultures. I love learning about events and people from past decades. Different cultures are fascinating to me as well and what different groups of people put an emphasis on in their lives.

The one person who motivates me is…

my wife. She is a huge supporter of all that I do, and I am excited to see our lives continue to grow together.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

the lack of kindness shown towards one another.

The perfect day would be…

hanging with my family and friends with great food and top-notch drinks. I love when things slow down and are just peaceful.

My first job was…

a dishwasher at Joe’s Farm Grill. My dad wouldn’t let me do anything else at the restaurant for a year. He wanted me to understand the importance of every job in a restaurant.

My favorite escape…

San Diego with my family.

My life…

is a balance. I’m not always great at it. To be honest, it is a very hard thing to make sure that my priorities are in the correct order…but so long as I improve every day, then I am heading in the right direction.

I’m currently working on…

Epicenter at Agritopia.

Always…

work hard, stay humble and be honest. Words from my grandfather that lived such a meaningful life.

Never…

treat others poorly. No matter who you are or what you do, it is vital that kindness is shown to all.

Favorite Quote…

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J.R.R Tolkien

Biggest Dream…

I would love to play a round of golf at Augusta National with some of my best friends.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

when people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. So gross.

More about William…

an Arizona native, William Johnston currently serves as the CEO for Johnston & Co., which is a multi-disciplinary development firm that focuses on agriculture, manufacturing, food and communities. Working alongside his retail team, Johnston helps lead the development of Epicenter at Agritopia. Additionally, he works with other commercial properties to contribute to the long-term growth of the company. His career path began after graduating from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business with a degree in Business Administration. The first 10 years of his professional life started in the restaurant industry, where he worked at both Joe’s Farm Grill and Liberty Market. After many successful years as a General Manager for Liberty Market, Johnston entered into the real estate industry as Business Manager for Johnston Properties. Since then, Johnston has served many roles within the company, being involved with multiple projects that have helped transition Johnston Properties into the large commercial real estate company it is today. He is also a proud board member of the Johnston Family Foundation for Urban Agriculture.

As a loving husband and proud father of three, Johnston is an avid golfer who enjoys cooking at home. One of his proudest accomplishments was when he obtained the opportunity to be a steward of the land his grandparents bought in the 1960s. Johnston’s involvement with his family’s business in the farming and restaurant industry began from the early stages of his childhood. Still to this day, Johnston works passionately to carry the family legacy and create a long-term positive impact on the community. Whether it’s in food, retail or real estate, every business decision he makes is to improve the lives of others.



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