FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Thank You Thursday - Bill Ginter

Ginter BillBill Ginter

“There has been a change in leadership of the All-American Soap Box Derby.” That was the opening sentence of a press release dated April 26, 2011 announcing William J. (Bill) Ginter’s election to serve as the International Soap Box Derby’s Chairman of the Board. At the time Ginter filled the remaining term of Bill Evans, who resigned as Chairman to devote more time to his businesses. Prior to Ginter’s election as Chairman he served as Vice Chairman of the Board since early 2010.

In November, 2014 Ginter stepped down as Chairman of the Board but remains an active member. Under Ginter’s leadership the Derby created new revenue sources, increased activity at Derby Downs, recorded a surplus over his last three years as Chairman and introduced a new education program that includes the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM team competition. Ginter was also instrumental in bringing on FirstEnergy Corp. as the title sponsor of the All-American World Championship race, which is held annually at the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron.

“It has been a pleasure working with Bill Ginter over the past four years,” said Derby President & CEO Joe Mazur when Ginter stepped down as Chairman. “His leadership and guidance during the Derby’s struggling times was invaluable. We have come a long way under Bill.”

Ginter is one of those people who understands the importance of giving back. His leadership in the Akron community, compassion for people and devotion to humanitarian mission garnered him the 2015 H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award. The award is named for the late H. Peter Burg, former CEO of FirstEnergy and chairman of the local Red Cross board of directors. It is given to a greater Akron community member who exemplifies Burg’s selfless service to the community and honors his legacy of dedication to community service. Click HERE for the article that appeared in the Akon Beacon Journal on October 3, 2014 announcing his selection for the award.

The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to Bill Ginter for helping us continue our mission of building knowledge and character, and creating meaningful experiences through collaboration and fair and honest competition.

This is the third installment of our weekly “Thank You Thursday” feature. Each week we will offer a heartfelt “Thank You” to a corporation, civic or community leader, volunteer, foundation or an individual who has helped us continue our mission. To view previous features please click below.

Bill Ginter Firstenergy Press Conference
Bill Ginter announcing the
sponosorship of the FirstEnergy
All-American Soap Box Derby on
March 28, 2012.

Bill Ginter Presenting Gold Jacket
Bill Ginter presenting Local Masters Champion Jay Warnick with his gold World Champion jacket at the 2013 FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby. 

Bill Ginter Presenting Award
Bill Ginter presenting champion
Jacob Looman with an award at
the 2012 FirstEnergy All-American
Soap Box Derby as grandfather
Will Looman looks on.

Thank You Thursday
Thursday, September 29, 2016 - FirstEnergy Corp.
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - Don Plusquellic