Johnson Companies 952.469.4500 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rental Office: 8500 210th Street West, Suite 120 Lakeville MN 55044
Audrey and Brad Johnson formed a real estate partnership over 40 years ago. Audrey's father, Leo Aronson, was mayor of Lakeville at the time and knew a local builder who was developing an 8 plex apartment building. The young Johnsons invested their entire savings of $5,500 to purchase the first of five Village Dweller buildings. This became the beginning of their real estate investment business, known as Johnson Companies, in downtown Lakeville. To ensure the growth of the business, Brad left his job at Honeywell in 1969 to work full time in the fledgling company. Soon, Johnson Companies built Evergreen Apartments, Lake Village Apartments, and the Johnson Office Building. They purchased a retail complex, Granada Center in Apple Valley, and Colonial Apartments. While Audrey was very much involved in the business, she also held corporate positions in human resource management all along. Now over 40 years later, with a very successful real estate investment company, they are proud to be part of Lakeville.
On January 26, 2009, The Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Brad and Audrey Johnson of Johnson Companies as the 2008 Business Persons of the Year! The award is presented to a chamber member whose contributions improved the business climate and made the community a better place to live and work. Past winners of the award meet annually to review the nominations made by the Chamber membership in order to make a selection.
Brad and Audrey were instrumental in developing apartments in Lakeville as well as recruiting tenants that brought value to Lakeville residents such as a staffing firm for job opportunities, one of the first dentists and several doctors for the growing community. The Johnson couple began their real estate investment business in 1966 with $5,500 when they built the first Village Dweller Apartment. Since then, they have developed 154 apartment units all in downtown Lakeville. In 1974 they built the Johnson Office Building which today houses 20 small business tenants, and own the Granada Center in Apple Valley. As a locally owned and managed company, the Johnsons are committed to quality property management and maintenance, and affordable housing for citizens.
During the initial years, Brad ran the business full-time as Audrey had a career in Human Resource Management. But when Brad's career was cut short by an unfortunate accident and brain injury in 1999, Audrey successfully took over the management of their real estate investment company.
Audrey graduated from St. Olaf College and in 1959 was the first woman from Minnesota admitted to the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business for Women. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree at the University of MN in Industrial Relations. In 1963 after Brad's graduation from Minnesota State University in Mankato and Officer's Candidate School, the couple married while Brad was an Air Force Lieutenant in Brooklyn, NY. The couple is blessed with two children, Anne and Brad Jr., and now two new twin grandchildren, Eva and Leo, children of Brad Jr. and Nicole.
Brad's accomplishments include: 1989 President of the Lakeville Area Chamber; volunteer fireman for 25 years serving as Treasurer for most of that time; service on the Dakota Country Planning Board; Chair of fellowship committee at St. Johns Lutheran Church; a Mason; and a Shriner.
Audrey is known for providing opportunities for women, mentoring and assisting in college and career planning as well as business start up. Among her accomplishments: 2005 Outstanding Alumna of Lakeville High; New Market Bank board of directors; leadership in the Twin Cities Personnel Association; U of M Industrial Relations Alumni Board; teacher of Human Resources at Minnesota State University; and selected by Harvard to give an oral history of her accomplishments that is now available at Harvard's Schlesinger Library.