Emmy Award winning meteorologist Chris Warren is the first in 12 years to be inducted into the Kirkland Plaza of Champions.
Warren received the bronze plaque bearing his name from Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride at the recognition ceremony on Nov. 30.
“I was really surprised, it’s a huge honor,” Warren said. “To have something like that in a place that I hold dear to my heart, it’s humbling. It’s great.”
Warren, the current Weather Channel meteorologist, makes his way home to Kirkland, where he maintains residency, from Atlanta, Ga. as much as he can during the holidays, spring and summer.
Born in Spokane and raised in Kirkland, he attended Juanita Elementary, Finn Hill Junior High and graduated from Juanita High School in 1993.
From there, Warren went on to major in communications and broadcasting at Washington State University with a minor in psychology. He later obtained a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.
In 2003 his career took off when he accepted a job at Northwest Cable News. He worked there during the week and at King 5 on the weekends.
“I had an opportunity to go to Seattle, that was really my dream,” he said. “Then it turned into just King 5. It was amazing, I was working with these people who I grew up watching on TV.”
Warren worked out in the field as a reporter, photographer, news anchor and video editor.
But in 2008 his career took off again when he won an Emmy for best weather forecast of the year.
Soon after, Warren found himself talking to people from the Weather Channel and just when he thought he was living the dream, he found himself reporting the weather on a national scale.
Warren has worked on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and CNBC. He’s talked to Brian Williams on the air, he’s traveled the country and in 2010 he was recognized again when he was chosen to represent the United States in the World’s Fair in Shanghai, China.
“You just keep doing what you love and it works out,” Warren said. “But you have to be open to it though. I got here through connections but getting to Seattle was just a huge dream for me. I was willing to not make a lot of money for a while.”
Warren said being 28 years old and moving back in with his parents was not above him.
“Take a risk and be persistent,” he said.
Warren’s goals are simple: ride the wave as long as he can. He said he’s in a good place in his career right now and although he’d like to maximize doing more live coverage, he’s also cognizant that he needs to maintain a balance with his personal life.
“It’s an exciting time to be here,” Warren said. “Right now I’m in a good place, a good fit.”
Warren’s Plaza of Champions nomination was considered by the city’s Park Board which forwarded its recommendation to the Kirkland City Council to induct Warren.
The Council unanimously approved the recommendation in August and Warren joined a long list of professional athletes, little league champions, a U.S. Olympian, a film maker and a national beauty pageant winner.
The “Plaza of Champions” Program was initiated in 1988 to honor and recognize a group or individual in Kirkland who has not only reached the pinnacle of achievement in their professional field, but has also, through that achievement, significantly contributed to the quality of life for the Kirkland community.
For a complete list of honorees go here.