Johnson, Glenn - CopyGlenn A. Johnson, Mayor, Term: 2004-2007; 2008-2011; 2012-2015; 2016-2019; 2020-2023

Glenn considers it an honor to serve the people of Pullman and has always thought of himself a servant leader. He is now in his fifth, four-year term and when he was elected for the third time in 2011, he became the longest serving mayor since the city was founded in 1888. He has been unopposed in all five elections.

As Mayor, Glenn has chaired the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board of Directors since 2004. The airport (PUW), with the help of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its sponsors, has completed a $158 million project that realigned, widened and lengthened the runway and taxiway for the airport. It added an instrument approach system (ILS) which dramatically increased the airport’s reliability. The construction of the new terminal is nearing its completion date, moving from an 8,000 sq foot terminal for smaller planes to a terminal nearly 50,000 sq. feet for demands of today’s air travel, including charters.

He serves the Pullman Chamber of Commerce on its board and was the chamber president in 1999. He continues to work on the popular Fourth of July celebration and has chaired the event since 1998. In 2014 Glenn received the first ever “Continuous Service Award” from the chamber. He serves on the board (and current chair) of the Community Action Center of Whitman County, and was co-chair of the Next Era of Excellence fundraising campaign for Pullman Regional Hospital. Before becoming Mayor, Glenn was on the hospital board and president for the last three years of his term, ending December, 2003.   He was actively involved in the process to move the hospital off campus and build the new facility on Bishop Boulevard, completed in 2004. He is an honorary co-chair of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center’s fundraising campaign and is a member of Kiwanis. Glenn also volunteers his time as an emcee for the hospital, Whitman County Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity of the Palouse, WSU, and the chamber.

In addition to working daily for our residents in this part time mayor’s position, his leadership is also on the state level. The governor appointed Glenn in 2018 as a trustee of the Community Colleges of Spokane and renewed the appointment to 2027.  He is the immediate past chair of the board. Spokane Falls Community College serves Pullman with a location on the WSU campus. He is also on the board of the Association of College Trustees, based in Olympia.

He was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) and is its chair. He is chair of the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) Board of Trustees, a self-funded insurance pool covering city and other employees in over 240 communities, as part of a service of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC). He has served on two AWC CEO search committees in his years as mayor including the committee that selected our excellent CEO, Deanna Dawson. He is past president of AWC (2009-2010), an organization that represents all 281 cities in the state and was on its board from 2006 to 2013. He served for 10 years on the board of the Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC) based in Seattle and continues to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters.

Glenn is known in the state as the “Voice of the Cougs.” He has been the public address announcer for Cougar football and men’s basketball since 1980 and started the phrase, “And that’s another, Cougar First Down” back in 1983—copied and modified in many sporting venues, including in the home of the Seattle Seahawks. He is a member and sings bass with the Palouse Choral Society. He sang with a Seattle choir, the Bel Cantos, for a few years before they disbanded.

He has volunteered since 2000 with the Pullman Fire Department as its public information officer (PIO) and responds 24/7 when paged for a second alarm structural fire.  After the WSU riot occurred in 1998, Glenn volunteered as the PIO for the Pullman Police Department as part of its professional reserves, from 1998-2003. He holds a basic and advanced certification as information officer from FEMA. When he first arrived in Pullman in 1979, Glenn became active assisting the community and was co-chair of a bond issue to build a police station and was chair of several other successful bond issues: the expanded Bill Chipman Palouse Trail, the Downtown Riverwalk, and the measure to add three new firefighters and police officers.

In 2016 the WSU Alumni Association presented Glenn with the highest award it can give to an individual who did not graduate from WSU—the honorary alumnus award—during halftime of a Cougar basketball game “for significant contributions and steadfast support of WSU and the Pullman community.” The WSU Foundation presented him with its Outstanding Service Award in 2013

He taught his last WSU class in 2014 and retired as professor emeritus and the Les Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. For 35 years he taught courses in television news, communications management, and others.

Glenn earned an AA degree from Modesto Junior College in California; a BA from Sacramento State University in speech with a minor in journalism and political science; a master’s degree from UCLA in journalism; and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Iowa. Prior to arriving in Pullman, Glenn was a broadcaster and news reporter in California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento. He managed two radio stations in Sacramento and was an adjunct professor at Sacramento City College before WSU.

Glenn and his wife, Kathryn, raised two children in Pullman’s excellent school system. Their son, Eric, is Associate Director of Student Safety and Well-Being with the North Central Educational Service District 171, based in Wenatchee. His wife, Darcy, is associate director of student success with District 171. Glenn and Kathy’s daughter, Karen, who was a registered nurse at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, WA, and her husband, Jeff Doke, a junior high science teacher, were killed in a car accident on Highway 95 near Genesee, Idaho on December 23, 1996.
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