Service to GHAPS / Society – Class of 1953
martin_johnsonClass valedictorian and president, Mart Johnson attended Stanford University, graduating with honors and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1958. He served in the United States Navy, achieving the rank of Lieutenant. He attended Harvard Business School, earning an MBA in 1963. During his time at Harvard, Johnson was inspired to create a corporation from long-held and successful family partnerships headquartered in Grand Haven.
After working as an economist for the American International Oil Company in New York City for two years, Johnson returned to Grand Haven to join Grand Haven Stamped Products (GHSP). He implemented his idea of consolidating family-owned partnerships into a modern sustainable corporation. Over a 40-year career, he held many leadership roles and eventually retired as JSJ’s Chairman of the Board in 2005.
While fully committed to the demands of leadership at JSJ, Johnson served on several boards, including as a trustee of North Ottawa Community Hospital and its second chairman; on the first board of the Grand Haven Community Center; as a trustee and president of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation; as a fund drive chair for the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District; and as chairman and trustee of Alma College for thirty years. Johnson also served as chairman and director of the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, co-chair of the Economic Alliance, and on the boards of the Grand Rapids Symphony and Princeton Theological Seminary, in addition to serving as an elder and trustee of First Presbyterian Church.