Lester Johnson Jr. '95

Richmond, Virginia
Appointed: July 2020 by Gov. Ralph Northam
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Lester Johnson Jr. '95 is the owner and managing partner of the popular Richmond restaurant Mama J’s, one of the most notable soul food restaurants in the country. He and a fellow VMI alumnus launched the restaurant in historic Jackson Ward in 2009. Prior to opening the restaurant, Johnson was with Verizon Communications and Reynolds Metals Company.

In addition to a degree in mechanical engineering from VMI, Johnson holds a master’s degree in business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He played basketball at VMI and was a captain of the team from 1994 to 1996. He was also a member of the Promaji Club.