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Archive for May, 2010

George and Joan Johnson, founders Johnson Products CompanyGeorge and Joan Johnson: They brought us Soul Train and Ultra Sheen, the little blue jar of hair oil

Los Angeles — On Saturday, June 12, the African-American business community will pay homage to a man and his wife who turned $500 into millions when they founded Johnson Products Company, Inc., makers of Ultra Sheen and Gentle Treatment.

JPC’s brands became household names for African-Americans, especially when George E. Johnson, Sr. and his wife Joan teamed up with Don Cornelius and took his Soul Train TV show national. Since the company was sold in 2004, Mr. Johnson always lamented the loss, because even though it made good business sense, the community suffered by losing jobs when the manufacturing plan was moved out of the Chicago Black community, as well as the philanthropy, scholarships and support for common causes previously enjoyed.

Until last year, the brands languished at Procter & Gamble, ultimately, until Eric Brown and his wife Southern California raised Renee Cottrell Brown decided that after their years of expertise from Proline Corporation, a multimillion dollar company owned by Renee’s father, Comer Cottrell, they wanted to get back in to the industry. But this time they were going to buy the largest brand–Johnson Products–and return it to the community. That move was jubilantly welcomed when it was announced last March.

The tribute will take place at an event also founded by Mr. Johnson and his wife Joan–The Great Model Search. The finale was the perfect place to have a coming out party and feat the Johnsons for their lifetime achievements.

Celebrity judges include Wendy Raquel Robinson, Rockmond Dunbar, Lee Bailey, Joceyln Amador, Editor-In-Chief of Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide as well as the winning of the voting portion of the contest, Alicia Miles.

Kevin Nash, popular air personality at KJLH FM will be the Master of ceremonies, and the 8 models who won the opportunity to come to Los Angeles will be presented and four winners will be chosen.

Held at the historic El Rey Theater at 8 p.m.,  June 12, this event is very exclusive.  The only way to attend is to be invited or to go to a remote with KJLH radio at Sally Beauty (39th and Crenshaw)  in L.A., from Noon until 2 pm June 5 and with a minimum purchase you will be given a complimentary ticket (a $75 value.)

George E. Johnson, Sr. came from humble beginnings.  He was born in Mississippi on June 16, 1927, in a three-room sharecropper’s shack. In 1954, he began building the world’s best-known black hair care products manufacturer in Chicago, Johnson Products Company, which he built from a $500 initial investment to sell for millions.

Johnson Products found success in the women’s hair care market with the development of Ultra Sheen, a revolutionary hair straightener that could easily be used in the home. Conversely, he developed the most famous products for African American natural hair, Afro Sheen, as well. Over the next few decades, Johnson Products continued to grow, focusing its efforts on not only creating quality products, but also on training cosmetologists on proper usage. In 1964, Johnson founded Independence Bank, and during the 1960s, he became the exclusive sponsor behind the nationally syndicated dance show Soul Train. In 1971, Johnson Products became the first African American-owned company to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. His wife Joan has served as Chairman of the Board of JPC. That same year, Johnson became the first African American to serve on the board of directors of Commonwealth Edison.

JPC was bought by Procter & Gamble in 2004 and its products were marketed as part of the P&G portfolio. In March of 2009, a consortium of minority investment firms bought the company from P&G to reestablish JPC’s position as the country’s largest and oldest African-American-owned companies. That company is led by Eric and Renee Brown, who pay homage to Mr. Johnson at tonight’s Grand Finale of The Great Model Search, a promotion Mr. Johnson created for his brand Gentle Treatment decades ago.

The El Rey Theater is located at 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036.  For media inquiries, contact Isidra Person-Lynn, publicist, at (213) 422-8707 or visit the greatmodelsearch.com.

The full res. images to accompany this article are available at:  http://theprperson.smugmug.com/Clients/Johnson-Products/12003061_kC5TF#882448906_GnkpY

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To download images click here:

Released May 14, 2010

Los Angeles – The Great Model Search 2010 by Johnson Products Company, Inc. has been narrowed down to the Elite 8 models that will be flown to Los Angeles to compete to be the Final Four winners on June 12, 2010 at the Grand Finale.

The winners are:

  • Hamidah Ahmad, 
Illinois
  • Chamir Conley, 
Georgia
  • Jenise Durham, 
Georgia
  • Crystal Edwards, New York
  • Jahminah Harris, 
Michigan
  • Nicole Hill
, Florida
  • Sade’ McIntosh , New York
  • Mia Rutledge , Alabama

These eight beautiful models from all over the country will compete for their chance to be the next face on Johnson Products, makers of Ultra Sheen® and Gentle Treatment®. Celebrity judges include Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game) and Rockmond Dunbar (Soul Food), Lee Bailey (EUR) and The Great Model Search Voter’s Grand Prize winner, Alicia Miles. The highlight of the night will be when new owners Eric and Renee Brown pay homage to George E. Johnson, Sr., the founder of the 54 year-old company. There will be a special performance by Mann,  KJLH’s Kevin Nash will M.C.

The only way to see the finale is by joining KJLH’s Kevin Nash June 5th at Sally Beauty Supply, (39th and Crenshaw) from noon to 2 pm at the Johnson Products’ The Great Model Search 2010 pre-Grand Finale party. Tickets will be give to those who purchase $10 worth of Gentle Treatment or Ultra Sheen products that day.

The exclusive The Great Model Search Finale will be held June 12 at the El Rey Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Alicia Miles from Blue Island, IL is the Grand Prize Winner in the GMS “Vote to Win” Sweepstakes. She will serve as an Honorary Judge at the Finale.

The two winners of the  “Vote to Win” iPhone 3GS are:  Tammie McLemore from Houston, TX and Carl Baronich from Brockport, NY.

The eight winners of the latest iPod nanos are: Juan Johnson from Oxon Hill, MD; Monique Keller from Philadelphia, PA; Autumn Bardwell from Chicago, IL; Deborah Smith-Brown from Columbus, OH; Vince Anderson from Kansas City, KS; Marilyn Wons from Miramar Beach, FL; Theresa Grimes of Largo, FL; and Tequila Perry of Birmingham, AL.

The 54 year-old Johnson Products Company was purchased from Procter & Gamble in April, 2009 by the African American management team led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Brown and his wife, Renee, who serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The dynamic pair bring decades of experience managing the former Pro-Line Corporation, founded by Renee’s father, Comer Cottrell. They are determined to restore Johnson Products to its former greatness within the community. Johnson Products focuses on strategic brand and business development in the ethnic hair care market. The company has been a leading brand for more than a half-century in the African-American community and currently offers more than 30 hair care products under the Gentle Treatment® and Ultra Sheen® brands. For more information, visit the new Johnson Products Company at www.JohnsonProducts.com.

The Elite 8 Finalists can be seen at http://www.http://TheGreatModelSearch.com.

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Grand Finale for Johnson Products’

“The Great Model Search® 2010” Slated for June 12 in Los Angeles

Johnson Products Company, Inc. (JPC) is mounting a Hollywood style grand finale for its much-anticipated “The Great Model Search®” (TGMS) set for June 12, 2010 at the beautiful and historic El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.

The Great Model Search has provided a marketing launch-pad for The New Johnson Products Company. That’s why a centerpiece of the finale will be a special in-person tribute to George E. Johnson, who founded the company in 1954. The special recognition will include a video honoring JPC history, which ignited the $9 billion dollar ethnic hair care industry we know today. Since its launch February 1, 2010, over 1200 contestants have uploaded their photos. Many have launched their own Internet and radio campaigns to get friends and family to vote them into the first round of elections through April 15. The public will vote for the top 48, which will then be vetted by JPC officials to the semi final number of a sweet 16.

Of that 16, eight (8) contestants will be flown to Los Angeles for an all expenses paid trip where they will compete on the stage of the historic cultural landmark, The El Rey Theater.

“We realize these young hopefuls are not professional models, and they may not have practiced runway walking, “ said Renee Brown, Executive VP of Marketing for JC. “But who wouldn’t jump at the chance for international exposure, a contract, $5,000, a makeover and a free trip for two to the finale? They will be modeling evening gowns and other fashions on stage in front of hundreds of adoring fans for a fun-filled night where there are no real losers.”

Each model will be accompanied by a companion of their choice on their journey, which begins at L. A. International Airport. Limos will whisk them along the Pacific Coast for a quick photo shoot, a tour of Hollywood Boulevard, then deposit them at their hotel to freshen up for a quick press conference and reception.

On Friday, they will enjoy an excursion in Los Angeles, and then they will be prepped for hair, makeup with more fittings on Saturday. Show time is 8 p.m., Saturday evening, June 12, 2010, when the red carpet will be rolled out for the contestants, celebrities, dignitaries and Johnson Products executives.

The 8 finalists are all winners, as each will receive a minimum of $1500, a professional make over as well as the all expenses paid trip for two to Los Angeles and more. But 4 finalists will be selected as Grand Prize winners and they will receive the following:

  • Contestant’s picture on the package of a Gentle Treatment® or Ultra Sheen® Relaxer kit
  • $5,000 in cash
  • A modeling contract for a Johnson Products print ad
  • A photo session with a top fashion photographer
  • A complete beauty makeover by a professional hairstylist and makeup artist
  • A year’s supply of Gentle Treatment® and Ultra Sheen® products
  • A fabulous excursion to Los Angeles – all expenses paid

The community at large clicked the “Vote to Win” tab (until April 15) and filled-out a brief survey to be entered to win one of two iPhone® 3 GS smart phones with a service agreement, or one of eight iPod® Nanos (now with video camera and FM radio capabilities) or the Grand Prize–a trip for two to Los Angeles to be a judge at the contest finale. Winners of the Apple™ iPhones® and iPods® have been posted on the site at the Voters tab.  The winner of the Voter’s Grand Prize is Alicia Miles.

The advertising campaign for TGMS expects 25 million media impressions, flooding 13 major urban markets (New York, Los Angeles, DC, Chicago, etc.) with billboards, magazine ads (Ebony, Jet and Essence), 200 national radio affiliates and Internet sites such as Black Planet, Bossip and EUR Web. Also, industry trade publications Hype Hair and Sophisticates Black Hair Styles will participate.

The 54 year-old Johnson Products company was purchased from Procter & Gamble in April, 2009 by the African American management team led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Brown and his wife, Renee, who serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The dynamic pair bring decades of experience managing the former Pro-Line Corporation, founded by Renee’s father, Comer Cottrell. They are determined to restore Johnson Products to its former greatness within the community.

Johnson Products focuses on strategic brand and business development in the ethnic hair care market. The company has been a leading brand for more than a half-century in the African-American community and currently offers more than 30 hair care products under the Gentle Treatment® and Ultra Sheen® brands. For more information, visit the new Johnson Products Company at www.JohnsonProducts.com. For a complete list of TGMS rules, click here.

Note: IMAGES AVAILABLE for download: http://www.thegreatmodelsearch.com/media.asp
(Right panel) or here at the Media center as they become available.
Photos of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Dunbar, Ms. Robinson, and Mr. Bailey  have been requested. Email Isidra Person-Lynn at  isidra@prperson.com if you would like a copy when available or check back next week.

Blurb (Short Version): “The Great Model Search® 2010” Slated for June 12 in Los Angeles
Slated for June 12:  Johnson Products Company, Inc. is throwing a coming out party — the Finale to The Great Model Search 2010 at the historic El Rey Theater in Los Angeles.  That night the legendary company’s founder, George E. Johnson, and his wife will be honored and pass the baton to new owners Renee and Eric Brown, who purchased the company back from Procter & Gamble one year ago.  Since Feb. 1, over 1240 models, hopeful of winning the modeling contract for Johnson Products, have uploaded their images to www.TheGreatModelSearch.com where the public and supporters have voted for the top 48.  Currently posted are the Sweet 16.  On Friday, May 14, the Elite 8 will be announced.  Those winners will be flown with a guest to Los Angeles where they will compete to be one of 4 Grand Prize Winners chosen. Each winner will receive: the modeling contract, $5,000 cash, makeovers and so much more. Celebrity judges include Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Rockmond Dunbar (Soul Food), Lee Bailey (EURweb.com) as well as the grand prize winning voter, Alicia Miles and more. The only way to witness the finale is by purchasing a minimum of $10 of Gentle Treatment or Ultra Sheen products Saturday, June 5th at Sally Beauty Supply near the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza from Noon to 2 p.m. at That’s the KJLH pre-finale party hosted by Kevin Nash.
Visit www.TheGreatModelSearch.com for details.

Note:  Media Credentials to cover this historic event will be available online shortly.  Coming soon are releases about the celebrity judges (with images), the eight finalists and more. Contact Isidra Person-Lynn for interview requests with Renee or Eric Brown or for any other questions you may have.

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