Remembering Shelby Johnson
We are firing up the grills this afternoon to honor our dear friend and colleague, Shelby Johnson, who died last week after a short illness. Shelby was the heart and soul of CNT.
Working in a LEED Certified Platinum building, you have to maintain a “green’ and healthy environment. Shelby was the person who did that for CNT. Shelby worked for 13 years at CNT as our maintenance person. As we grew and renovated our old weaving factory building, he was the key person who kept it clean with the appropriate cleaning solutions. He was our chief recycler, painter, graffiti buster, indoor gardener, and all around go-to-guy. And most of all he was the person who loved to bring us all together over barbeques. He was always ready to get the grill going in our Rain Garden and he would cook up a storm of wings, turkeys, hamburgers, tofu burgers, and vegetables.
Shelby came to work with a smile and a twinkle in his eyes. He kept us all connected from the first, the second and the third floors. He loved talking with all of us. He was most proud of his young cousins who he would bring to the office now and then and walk them around to meet all of us. Shelby traveled from the South Side on mass transit and would do his errands around the neighborhood on a bike. Shelby was our number one cheerleader for Bike to Work Week and he would teach folks how to ride a bike so that they could participate, helping us go for the 6-peat win in the annual BTWW Office Challenge.
Shelby helped all of us –moving boxes, saving boxes for those who were moving, advocating for the right cleaning supplies, watering our plants while we were on vacation, arranging the board room, and many other activities.
So as we fire up the grill today, please help us toast our dear friend Shelby. May he rest in peace and may his beloved Sox and Bears win the World Series and Superbowl next season in his honor!
Photo of Shelby Johnson with Mayor Richard M. Daley at the Green & Platinium Party, CNT Office, February 2006.