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Updated: August 22, 2022 / 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022

40 Under Forty 2022: Timothy Johnson

Photo | Erika Sidor Timothy Johnson
Photo | Erika Sidor 40 Under Forty 2022 winners, from left, Ashley Sears Randle, Marissa Gallant, David Oliva, and Timothy Johnson pose at New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (special thanks to Liz Nye and Grace Elton).
Timothy Johnson, 38
  • Title Vice president, ASPiRE!
  • Company Seven Hills Foundation, in Worcester
  • Residence Lunenburg
  • Birthplace Fitchburg
  • Colleges Boston University, Fitchburg State University, Johnson & Wales University
Click here to read about the other 40 Under Forty, Class of 2022
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Like most of the country, Central Mass. has struggled with a worsening human service worker shortage over the past two years. The shortage can largely be attributed to low wages, as direct support professionals make, on average, $13 an hour. Johnson is a key player in addressing this shortage in the region; he increased wages for direct support professionals at ASPiRE! 25% over the past year.

Johnson oversees all day programming operations at ASPiRE!, which provides health, rehabilitation, and workforce services for more than 600 adults with disabilities as a division of the Seven Hills Foundation. This work includes a team of more than 100 employees and a $10-million budget across five Central Mass. locations. Among his many notable accomplishments, Johnson helped create employment opportunities for people served by ASPiRE! through a project relocating Stearns Tavern in Worcester’s Coes Park and a partnership with Leominster office furniture manufacturer AIS. Johnson is a member of local chambers of commerce and is a lifelong resident of Central Massachusetts, but his impact is not confined to the region. As a member of Seven Hills Global Outreach, he has traveled to Sierra Leone in support of humanitarian efforts there. 

What Central Mass. historical figure do you most admire? John Adams. Adams was fiercely proud and defensive of where he came from, and though he could be a bit fiery at times when presenting his point of view, he learned to adopt a tactful approach to win friends and influence people.

What is the key to your success? Maintaining positivity. Remembering the glass is half-full when it might look to be half-empty is important. To borrow and stretch that cliché, the glass is indeed entirely full, half with water, the other half with air. I do believe that maintaining positivity through negative situations is an important part of leadership.

Where do you hope to visit in the next 25 years? London, England

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