For more than a quarter century Jonathan Elias has been an award winning journalist. He anchors WBZ-TV News at 5PM and 11PM with co-anchor Lisa Hughes on WBZ-TV, and he anchors the “WBZ-TV News at 10PM” with co-anchor Kate Merrill on WBZ-TV’s sister-station myTV38 (WSBK-TV). Since joining the team in 2007 he has won eight Emmy awards including Best Anchor and Best Reporter three times. In addition to his work with local charities, Elias is involved with the U.S. Military. He serves as the Honorary Commander of Hanscom Air Force Base, and also teaches once a year at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Elias joined WBZ-TV from KNXV in Phoenix, AZ. He served as the main anchor for five years. He also traveled the country reporting stories such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the Washington D.C. sniper shootings. While in Phoenix his investigative work won him a George Foster Peabody Award, an Emmy award, a National Headliner Award, and an Investigative Reporters and Editors certificate. He also formed the “Welcome Home Project” to honor and recognize returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Prior to Phoenix, Elias was the main anchor at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, CA. In his five years at the station he won a Golden Mike for his work during the Jewish Day Care Center shooting. He also anchored for hours following the crash of Alaskan Airlines flight 261. He spent a great deal of time helping local charities with fundraisers and events, and he also helped promote awareness about the need to build the World War 11 Memorial in Washington D.C.
In the early 90’s Elias worked at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, MN. He was the 5pm anchor and 10pm reporter. For five years he traveled the country covering a variety of stories including the Oklahoma City bombing, the crash of TWA flight 800, the Northridge earthquake, and the O.J. Simpson murder trial. He was apart of the team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, and he won Emmy awards for his anchoring and reporting.
Early in his career he worked in Birmingham, Alabama – and Sacramento, California. In that time he’s headed up an investigative unit, been a traveling correspondent that reported from the L.A. Riots, Oakland Hills Fire, Landers Earthquake and a half dozen huge wildfires. In all, he’s won 2 Peabody Awards, 16 Emmys and more than 15 Associated Press Awards.
Jonathan has a B.A. in history from California State University at Northridge. He and his wife Holly met when they were five years old. He has two kids and loves spending his off time with his family. He enjoys golf, martial arts, weightlifting, rock climbing, and target shooting. Now and then he likes to play the piano or “pick his banjo”.
The Leominster office of Emergency Management has a group known as the Emergency Rehab Unit. This group of volunteers works 24-7 on any large-scale emergency to comfort the first responders and comfort the victims.
They all work for their dad at the Old Neighborhood Foods in Lynn, a business that has been around since 1914.
MassBay Community College student Kenny Moreno received the award.
This year’s theme is inspired by the documentary film Vanishing Of The Bees.