Special Olympics Illinois announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors at the board’s February 2015 meeting. The new members include a news anchor and a Special Olympics athlete.
The new board members are Rob Johnson and Garrett Anderson.
Johnson of Chicago is currently the weekday anchor or the CBS 2 Chicago evening newscasts at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. He joined the CBS 2 news team in August 2006 coming from WLS-TV where he had worked since 1998 as weekend anchor and reporter. He will serve on the board’s Development Committee
During his career, Rob has been at the scene of major news stories including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Hurricane Andrew in Florida, the Centennial Park bombing during the Atlanta Olympics, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in Houston and 2000 Florida vote recount. He has also reported from various countries and traveled with former Gov. Pat Quinn as he visited with wounded servicemen.
Johnson has won numerous Emmy Awards. Gov. Quinn proclaimed Sept. 22, 2011, as “Rob Johnson Day” in Illinois as recognition for his advocacy for people with disabilities. Johnson has also received awards from the Chicago headline Club, Associated Press, Belle Center of Chicago, Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, North Shore Special Education District, Ukrainian National Museum, Neumann Family Services, Spirito! Singers and USP/Seguin.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications from DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana in 1990. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Brain Research Foundation and the National Board for the Sports Legacy Institute, a concussion education and research group. Rob has been an honorary board member of organizations including the “H” foundation, a cancer research organization, and is an associate member of the Chicago Blackhawk Alumni.
Anderson, 26, of Palatine began participating in Special Olympics in 2000 through Northwest Special Recreation Association in Rolling Meadows. He will serve on the Area Management Committee.
In 2011, he became a Global Messenger to advocate and speak to the public about Special Olympics. As a Global Messenger, he has spoken with Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., several Chicago news anchors, former Chicago Cubs Player Ryne Sandburg, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and hundreds of law enforcement officers.
He has participated in powerlifting, bowling and softball. Anderson’s favorite sport is powerlifting. His favorite memories involving Special Olympics are meeting Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver, deadlifting 300 pounds and participating in the 2013 Summer Games in Normal.
Anderson graduated from Harper College in May 2012 with a certificate in Early Childhood Education. Currently he is employed at Bright Horizons Childcare Center in Deer Park as a teacher assistant. He teaches sign language to all of the students ages 0-6 years old and helps the teachers with various activities. On weekends, he works at Regal Cinema as a greeter and has been named Employee of the Month twice. He also serves on the board for UPS for DownS (United Parent Support for Down Syndrome) in Schaumburg.