Dr. Teresa Garate has been named President & CEO of Anixter Center, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area serving children, teens and adults with disabilities and related challenges. She assumes the leadership role effective June 1, following the retirement of Anixter Center’s current President & CEO, Kevin Limbeck.
Dr. Garate becomes the first woman and the first Latina president of Anixter Center, an organization founded in 1919 by a group of dedicated women who were determined to make a difference in the lives of others. With an extensive background in both the government and private sectors, Dr. Garate brings a wealth of experience to Anixter Center and its three divisions, CALOR, Chicago Hearing Society and Lekotek.
“Tere’s lifelong passion for serving people with disabilities and her experience in the disability field, as well as her management skills and passion for innovation, made her a unanimous choice for us,” said Joanna Horsnail, President of Anixter Center’s Board of Directors. “She is a strong leader who is wonderfully suited to guide Anixter Center into the next 100 years of service.”
With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Garate is recognized at the local, state and national levels as an authority in the fields of education, human services, public health and disabilities. She is a well-known advocate for marginalized communities throughout Illinois and has been a keynote speaker in the United States and abroad on issues of disability and empowerment.
On a personal level, as the parent of a daughter with a developmental disability, Dr. Garate comes to Anixter Center with first-hand knowledge of the struggles and triumphs that families in similar situations face.
“Anixter Center has a rich history of service to others and an aggressive strategic plan that continues our mission of service and promotes growth so that we can serve even more people,” said Dr. Garate. “I look forward to the challenge of implementing that strategy and making Anixter Center a recognized go-to authority in the field of disabilities.”
In addition to her role as Anixter Center’s new leader, Dr. Garate will continue to serve on the Steering Committee of the Kennedy Forum Illinois, a coalition of local and state business and civic leaders charged with bringing attention to mental health issues. She will also continue as a faculty member in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago.