Board Spotlight -- Paul Johnsen, Southern Regional Vice President

Orlando Chapter, 8 years in the industry


Where did you grow up, and what was it like there? 

I grew up in a small town called Deltona. There was literally nothing in this town except for houses. It was a living community so you literally had to drive 20 minutes or more just to find any restaurants or fun. The most fun we could have was in our own backyards.


Favorite childhood memory? 

Favorite childhood memory would have to be playing baseball. I just loved it so much and it was so much fun because I got to play the game all the time with my friends.



Where do you work and what do you do there? 

I work as a bartender at The Woods in Orlando, along with being the Florida Brand Ambassador for House Spirits (Aviation Gin). I am also the Regional Vice President of the South for the USBG. 


What is the most rewarding part of your career? 

The most rewarding part of my career has to be all the amazing people I get to meet and work with everyday. Everyone has so many different things to offer and I just love traveling and getting to know everyone and getting to work with them in some way, shape, or form. It truly is a remarkable industry to be in and I wouldn't have it any other way.



What is your favorite bartending moment? 

Favorite bartending moment has to be when Orlando hosted Southern Regional Conference in 2015. I got to see so many people come from all over to be educated in three days. It was stressful and tough, putting it all together so quickly, but the end result was totally worth it. It changed the way people thought about our city and that it has more to it than just the Mouse.


What do you do to relax outside of work? 

I love traveling, but going out to eat is one of the most relaxing things I do, along with watching movies. I have probably watched over a thousand movies and I just get so wrapped up in them. I also love making drinks outside of work. It is very relaxing as well and keeps me in tune to what I am passionate about.


Favorite quote: 

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." -Marcus Aurelius


Advice you could offer to others: 

The best advice I could give anyone is to not pass up opportunities to get yourself out there and travel. I have met the most amazing and inspiring people of my life through traveling for this industry. The people are what truly make this industry what it is and I want to get out there and meet every single one of them and get to know them. I get to share experiences with them because I know they have some to share with me as well. That is my best advice I can offer, GET OUT THERE AND LIVE!


Who do you look up to? 

My Grandfather is who I look up to. He showed compassion for everyone he encountered in life and tried to find a way to make life better for anyone he met in some way, shape, or form. He knew everything hospitality is all about and passed that on to me.


Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself that we might not know. 

I use to want to play tennis as a pro. I was very good at it and it was one of the sports that I played that was different from what all my other friends played so I thought I had a shot at becoming a pro. That plan didn't pan out the way I hoped, but bartending is so much more fun anyway!




What does the future hold for you? 

I am not really sure yet and I kind of like it that way. I love the company I work for now and hope to grow with them in future opportunities. I have a few projects on the horizon so I can’t wait to see what those develop into.



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