5 questions with Greg H. Johnson
Gregory Haynes Johnson is chairman of the board for the Dallas Chapter of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. DIFFA’s 2006-2007 season kicked off Thursday night with a reception at Sambuca announcing Collection 2007: Upside Down. DIFFA’s next event will be the Style Council Announcement Party at Ghost Bar in November.
How did you first get involved with DIFFA?
I am a technology guy. But a friend of mine in the design industry invited me to go with him to a DIFFA meeting in 2000. I felt out of place at first, but then I realized there were a lot of things I could do with technology to grow the audience. So I started working with the committee in 2000 on the 2001 Collection, working on tables sales and underwriting and marketing. Then I joined the board three years ago. I was communications chair. Last spring I was elected as chair.
What are your duties as chairman of the board?
Every chairman typically finds a couple of projects they want to undertake to make some improvements. Over the years, I have been implementing more methodical marketing practices to raise more money for our beneficiaries, and I want to continue to grow our audience and expand beyond our traditional audience in the gay community.
What are you doing to grow the audience for Dallas Collection?
This is our 18th year, and we have always had a strong patron base in the gay community. I want to do more to educate people in the straight world, young and old, about the impact AIDS is having outside the gay community. But I also want to take advantage of my position to educate the straight community about the gay community and improve the interaction between the two through DIFFA events. I want to improve the straight community’s understanding of the gay community and all we do to enrich the world
What other organizations are you involved with?
I have been a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s DFW Federal Club for several years, and I have been in the media circle for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for several years.
What do you do to pay the bills?
I sell large-scale customer management, marketing and sales software for a company called Kana.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 6, 2006.