Desiree Rogers

Keynote Speaker Desiree Rogers

Keynote Speaker Desiree Rogers, CEO, Johnson Publishing Company

Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, LLC, has earned a reputation as one of America’s most successful businesswomen. With a Harvard Business School degree and stellar business experience, Rogers has redefined every leadership position that she has held while playing a major philanthropic role in the communities in which she has lived.

Consistently acknowledged as an innovative leader with a proven track record, her career milestones include turning the Illinois Lottery, a mature organization facing rising competition and anti-gaming forces, into a stable, reliable and popular revenue producer that revolutionized the sale of instant tickets through promotional partnerships. During her tenure, instant ticket sales doubled.

In 2004, Rogers was elected president of People Energy’s two natural gas utilities where she facilitated the 150-year old company’s transition from a traditional, under the radar entity to a responsive, customer-centric organization. During the company’s acquisition by the $7 billion Integrys Energy Group, Rogers led the integration of the two utilities.

In 2008, President Obama named Rogers the first African American Social Secretary. As Social Secretary her mandate was to help “people visualize what the Obama presidency is about, the values Americans voted for—inclusion, transparency, the embracement of all people—and translating the splendor, the sweetness and comfort of the White House to everyone.” She was recruited to reposition the Obamas’ nontraditional vision of the White House to the “People’s House.” Her office produced 350 events in her 14-month tenure and turned the White House into a showcase for American art and culture.

A bold visionary, Rogers has the ability to develop creative solutions for mature organizations facing changing industry dynamics or consumer tastes. Spearheading the development of the social networking strategy for the Allstate Corporation and creating innovative concepts for events at the White House, Rogers continued to redefine operational approaches. Thomas Wilson, Chairman and CEO of the Allstate Corporation recruited Rogers and in a few short months, she had “started to extend her influence and drive change inside the company from her position on the executive committee.”

Rogers is widely credited for her ability to identify and motivate talent to challenge existing assumptions using brand discipline and superior communication skills thus creating new pathways for success.

Rogers has served on several corporate and non-for-profit boards most recently serving on Equity Residential, a publicly traded REIT and as Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry.