In 2010, Dohn Johnson was contemplating his next career move.
With a long and distinguished background in retail and distribution with a focus on international high-growth or startup enterprises, Johnson had several paths he could follow.
They all promised exciting challenges, but one in particular stood out: chief financial officer at AMMEX Corp. Once he had the opportunity to sit down with founder/chief energizing officer Fred Crosetto, he saw a company with a proven track record of growth—and the potential for plenty more.
“Fred is a visionary, without a doubt,” Johnson says. “He has the drive. He can recognize patterns and trends ahead of most people. I knew from day one that my tenure would be fun. And that’s proven true: I hadn’t had that much hands-on excitement for at least the prior 10 years.”
AMMEX was a hungry, eager company that had always operated in the best sense of the entrepreneurial spirit. It was, however, in need of stronger foundational structure.
“There were basic processes at the beginning,” Johnson says. “It was a very reactive and opportunistic company, making it nimble, and that’s not a bad thing. It has grown well. Now the question is, how sustainable and scalable is it? We’ve made a lot of changes, and we continue to scale.”
Johnson’s résumé reveals a career centered on driving growth. An accounting graduate of Gonzaga University with a master’s of business administration from the University of Washington, he has excelled in key financial and operational positions for a variety of companies. He is a certified public accountant licensed in the state of Washington.
At PACCAR, the worldwide manufacturer of trucks and regional auto parts retailer, he was a financial planning manager, responsible for preparing the monthly forecasts and financial statements including daily reporting of sales results, and he oversaw day-to-day operations of sales audit and accounts payable groups.
Recruiters came calling, and Johnson had an offer from Wizards of the Coast, the game maker known for its wildly popular trading-card games Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon. It seemed an unorthodox company, but it promised a substantial raise and outstanding benefits.
As the corporate controller, he designed many of the company’s systems, procedures, and processes, and later played a key role in the expansion of its retail presence. As an executive at the company, he played a key part in the many acquisitions the company went through. After the release of the Pokémon trading card game, Wizards of the Coast’s fortunes soared; over Johnson’s time there, it grew from a $154 million business to $635 million in 12 months.
In 1999 Wizards of the Coast was sold to Hasbro, after which Johnson did a stint as vice president of finance and administration with Answers.com, a search engine from the pre-Google days. He then served as corporate controller for Savers, the successful thrift retail chain, where he oversaw the accounting department, treasury group, risk management function, tax group, and legal services. He was instrumental in the many corporate restructuring and strategic financing activities the company went through during his tenure. Revenues increased from $120 million to almost $300 million when he left.
As corporate controller and principal financial officer of Flow International Corp., a company that specialized in waterjet cutting technology, he managed the quarterly accounting and reporting processes for the corporate office and 14 domestic and international subsidiaries.
At AMMEX, Johnson is responsible for direct global oversight of treasury, financing, tax, financial reporting, financial planning, strategic planning, human resources, and accounting. Under his guidance, the company’s financial and operational processes have been solidified and greatly improved, while not losing the flexibility that an entrepreneurially driven company needs to flourish.
There are no limits on what AMMEX can achieve, he says. As the company keeps an eye firmly on its 2020 Vision, the outlook is bright.
“I’d expect there to be a lot of rapid growth. I think that the technology side, that paradigm shift, we’re going to be at the lead of it. We’re really going to be able to move fast and furious with that, and it’s going to help propel us.”