Rose JohnsonMy Dallas Story

“When you look at traditional education now, it kind of ends at the ‘learn,’ right? You’re in school and you learn but where do you get that ‘experience‘, and where do you ‘do’?”

Rose Johnson, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Esposure, has sought the answer to that question more than once. Now she’s in a position to help answer it and put young women on the path to a career in STEM.



Growing up in Dallas, Johnson said she remembers always asking her mother how things worked. It was Johnson’s natural curiosity that led her to the University of Missouri, and then into a career in technology where she worked in logistics as an analyst and eventually the energy industry as a management consultant. Johnson’s career took her to a few different states, but she always knew she would return to Dallas someday.

Johnson’s son, Danny Martin, taught her about gaming, and together, they founded Esposure in 2021 in Duncanville. They recognized that it could both give Southern Dallas County another entertainment venue and provide transformational experiences for young people. The esports industry is expected to swell to $1.87 billion by 2025, from just over $1.38 billion in 2022, according to Statista, and Esposure wants to play a part in helping young people learn how they can get a piece of that.

For example, on a tour of the facility, students from Frisco ISD learned about the number of careers that exist within the esports industry. The production of one event represents about 50 career tracks including graphic design, videography, and marketing. Being on a team and holding a controller is just the part people see.

But Johnson said esports is much more than an extra-curricular activity, and Esposure is more than just showing students what’s possible. With its STEM accreditation, students can create full-service tournaments, design a microsite, and make social media posts—all while earning school credit. Johnson said Martin is working with the Texas Education Association to create an esports curriculum, but it will likely take a few years before it is in schools in the Dallas Region. Johnson noted that when Esposure visits schools and ask the students if they game, about 90% say yes, and it’s equal between genders. Unfortunately, at the professional level, 90% of the gamers are men.

That’s why, as CTO, Johnson enjoys being a role model and mentor for young women.

“I think women are actually very good at science and math, but there’s a translation there where they’re not really translating it properly,” Johnson said. “So having a mentor that helps you realize your power in technology is very important.”

Johnson still recalls advice from one of her mentors. While holding a pager, her mentor said, “Don’t ever focus on this, focus on what makes this beep.” Now she’s helping students figure out the modern equivalent of making a pager beep – and they’re gaining real skills they can add to their digital resume.

Outside of work, Johnson likes to walk the Southern Dallas County trails, frequenting Cedar Hill State Park. She also looks forward to the completion of the Southern Gateway Park project, which will connect both sides of Dallas. Connectedness is something she values about the Dallas Region, and one of the reasons she keeps saying “yes.” Geographically, it’s very spread out, but if you have an idea, if you need help creating something, this is the place you want to be. She said people here have “true grit and heart,” making the Dallas Region inclusive, accessible, genuine, and helpful.