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Soap Box Derby and International Resource Development, Inc. Form Partnership for Soap Box Derby Programs in China


Kim And Mark China Cropped

The International Soap Box Derby (ISBD), an Akron-based non-profit organization, announced today that it has signed an agreement with International Resource Development, Inc. (IRD). This partnership will introduce Soap Box Derby programs into China. The ISBD curriculum will be accessible to students, schools and people who are interested in implementing the ISBD programs in China. IRD will be collaborating with ISBD to further its international reach with its after-school education programs, STEM summer camps, and All-American race program.

IRD was founded in Ohio by President and CEO Kim Kirkendall. IRD has been developing relationships and improving businesses opportunities between the U.S. and China for more than 25 years. IRD has worked with hundreds of U.S. companies to implement, develop and expand their operations in China.

“International expansion is a big part of the future of the ISBD and this is an unprecedented partnership in our history,” said Derby President and CEO Mark Gerberich. “Not only will IRD be promoting racing in China, but it will also help us create brand awareness, furthering the Soap Box Derby’s mission by delivering our STEM-based education program and summer camps.”         

IRD will operate under the license of “China All-American Soap Box Derby.” This follows the partnership with Australia last fall as ISBD continues to expand its global reach. By expanding to China, this is an opportunity to introduce and develop a presence in the Asian market.

Kirkendall has expressed how this partnership is a fantastic opportunity for IRD to develop this new division of their company. Kim says, “It is very exciting for IRD to introduce Soap Box Derby to China. The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive with a very strong interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education from China. ISBD provides the opportunity for youth to participate in a challenging academic and physical activity.”

“The Soap Box Derby program brings STEM education, American-style hands-on learning, English language skills, and an exciting race competition to students in China. These students are eager for the opportunity to participate in a program that is such a strong part of American history,’ said Kirkendall.