Emily Johnson is the founder and owner of Johnson’s Urban Farm, a unique farm, greenhouse and specialty market just launched on Hilton Head Island committed to growing and selling a full range of locally-grown produce. As owner of Johnson’s Urban Farm, Emily is working to make the farm the region’s only local certified organic farm – providing an important new option for area chefs, residents and visitors to cook and eat healthy, helping them to be part of the growing Farm to Table movement.
The creation and launch of Johnson’s Urban Farm is a dream come true for Emily for many reasons. A fourth generation resident of Hilton Head Island, the farm was originally built and owned by Emily’s great-grandfather, Joel Johnson Sr, and known throughout the years by people throughout the region as Johnson’s Greenhouse. As a child, teenager and later as an adult, Emily always loved the greenhouse and recalls countless days spent in the greenhouse alongside family members. Now, nearly 30 years after its founding, Emily is thrilled to be honoring, and expanding on, her family’s original greenhouse by restoring it to become the region’s first locally-greenhouse and farm. A longtime health enthusiast and self-described “foodie”, Emily is excited to not only be continuing, and growing, the strong heritage of the farm within the Johnson family, but is thrilled to be bringing the concept of local farming to the region to provide healthy, fresh grown produce to restaurants, markets and consumers.
In addition to bringing her strong family history and passion for healthy, farm fresh produce to the launch of Johnson’s Urban Farm, Emily also brings critical business expertise gained through nearly 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. Since 2009, Emily has been the Founder and Managing Director of Polaris Capital Advisors, LLC, where she assists families and privately held companies throughout the Southeast in protecting and growing their wealth and their legacy. Her additional years of experience in private banking and asset management includes financial advisory positions with Merrill Lynch Private Client and UBS Wealth Management Groups based in Washington, DC and Hilton Head Island, SC, as well as with Credit Suisse First Boston’s Private Client Group in New York and London. She began her finance career in investment banking with Wachovia’s Leveraged Finance and Debt Syndication divisions, assisting middle market companies across a variety of industries to obtain debt financing to facilitate mergers, acquisitions and debt management. Ms. Johnson leverages this diverse experience to assist her clients in navigating the often complex waters of both personal wealth management and business succession planning.
Emily received her Bachelor’s Degree summa cum laude in Plan II Honors from The University of Texas at Austin, and her MBA with a concentration in international finance from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Ms. Johnson’s MBA included additional finance coursework at the Manchester Business School in Manchester, England and further studies in tax and accounting. She is a graduate of Leadership Hilton Head Island/Bluffton, serves on the boards of LowCountry Legal Aid and Lowcountry Autism Foundation, and is a member of the VanLandingham Rotary and Ariel Savannah Angel Partnership. She is an avid runner, competitive tennis player, and mother to a beautiful daughter.