Johnnie Gillespie

Johnnie transitioned to real estate in the mid 1990s following a successful 30-year career in large-scale commercial interior design. She worked with some of the most renowned architectural and construction firms in the Southwest, served as both New Mexico President and National Board Member for the American Society of Interior Designers and worked on many award-winning corporate and financial projects.

Prior to her professional affiliation with Sotheby's International Realty, she was one of the top sales executives in Santa Fe's Las Campanas community, and she continues to focus much of her energy there and in neighboring communities. She is equally at home with a set of blueprints and site plans as she is showing properties to clients, architects and contractors.

Johnnie was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle and spent the better part of her childhood summers in northern New Mexico. Following graduation from Texas Tech she relocated to New Mexico permanently, where opportunity enabled her to launch her career as an independent designer encompassing many facets of the commercial construction business.

Following a late 1980s adventure in South America and an arduous backpacking climb up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, she was led to her true love, the African bush. On a trip to Zimbabwe planned specifically around an ambitious climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, she became enchanted with the continent, its culture and wildlife. She returns to Africa often, and her travels have taken her multiple times to Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. A recent flying safari up Namibia's Skeleton Coast to Angola was a long-awaited adventure and completed a goal to see the continent's opposite east and west oceans, the Indian and the Pacific, and their converging point at the Cape of Good Hope.

She is a supporter of Nairobi's David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa's wilderness and its denizens, particularly endangered species such as elephants and the black rhino. She annually adopts and regularly gifts to family and friends orphaned elephants and rhinos that are rehabilitated and returned to the bush to live in natural community habitats.