Mark will be the guest speaker at Waukesha Sunrise Rotary Club’s Tuesday morning meeting
April 5, 2016. Waukesha Sunrise Rotary meets at 7:00 AM at The Machine Shed. Guests are welcome!
Mark Johnson grew up in Luling, Louisiana, and St. Louis, and graduated from the University of Colorado in 1974. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in English, he worked as a carpenter, cement finisher, short-order cook, bartender, cabbie, trucker, sales rep, and freelance writer (columnist and features for the ProRodeo Sports News, and Colorado Springs Sun, among others) until he stumbled into his first career with United Way.
Johnson served as campaign and public relations director for Pikes Peak United Way, executive director of United Way of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, and CEO of the United Way of Southwest Alabama. After working for United Way for over two decades and raising a career total of over $100 million for nonprofit health and human services, in 2002 Johnson chucked it all for a badge and a gun and 13 bucks an hour with the Mobile Police Department. He was 50.
As a sworn officer — six years in uniformed patrol, six years as a detective — Johnson received numerous Chief’s and Commander’s citations for meritorious arrests, and was decorated for Excellent Police Duty (three times, for initiatives resulting in a 33 percent crime reduction in targeted area, apprehension and conviction of a burglary ring responsible for 83 residential burglaries, and for solo arrests and convictions of those responsible for over $50,000 in commercial thefts), Chief’s Unit Medal (for highest local and regional case clearance), Meritorious Service Medal (exceptional service involving grave danger: the apprehension of an escaped cop killer) and the Wounded in Service Medal (for wounds received while engaged in personal combat with an armed adversary in a manner reflecting courage and honor). He also received a handful of “performance observations” and citizen complaints, usually related to inappropriate radio traffic, car wrecks and demeanor issues.