Dr. Teresa (Tere) Garate is President & CEO of Anixter Center, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area serving people of all ages with disabilities. At Anixter Center, her focus is on growing the breadth of services provided as well as the number of people served, with an intense focus on service quality and accountability. Dr. Garate is a recognized authority and advocate in the fields of disabilities, education, human services and public health and has an extensive background in government, nonprofit and private sectors. Prior to coming to Anixter Center, Dr. Garate held senior-level positions at Neumann Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Public Schools, among other organizations.
Dr. Garate is very active in the community. She serves on the Steering Committee of Kennedy Forum Illinois; she serves on the boards of HDA (Health & Disability Advocates) and the Illinois Community College Board; and she is the co-chair of the state task force for Employment and Economic Opportunities for People with Disabilities (EEOPD). She is also a faculty member in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. Garate has been a frequent speaker in the United States and abroad on the issues of disability and empowerment.