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Thank You Thursday - Bob Troyer

Troyer BobBob Troyer

Bob Troyer’s Soap Box Derby career began on Route 59 in Portage County, Ohio when he raced in the Ravenna-Kent Soap Box Derby in 1957 and 1958. His father, Loris Troyer, who was  executive editor of the Record-Courier newspaper, was also the director of the Ravenna-Kent Soap Box Derby from 1947 through 1972. Despite him winning only one heat (1958 race) his love of the Derby was cemented.

In 1967 Bob was invited to be the traveling chaperone for the All-American Soap Box Derby when he was still in college. While working in public relations for Firestone he was asked to be the PR chairman for the All-American Soap Box Derby race in 1973, a position he held through the 2016 race when he announced that he was stepping down. He was inducted in to the Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame in 2003.

“Bob Troyer has meant so much to this organization,” said Derby President and CEO Joe Mazur. “He has seen so much throughout his career and has been a tremendous help to me. He will be missed as the PR chair but we look forward to his continued involvement.”

Troyer was also a longtime member of the Derby’s Board of Directors. In 1974 he was elected to the Board and served as its Chair from 1993-1994. In November, 2016 Troyer’s stint on the Board came to an end as a voting member. When he was asked to say a few words at his final meeting the soft-spoken Troyer got choked up when talking about the organization that has been part of his life for more than 60 years. “This is such a great organization and we do so many good things for young people and families,” said Troyer. “We fell on some hard times a number of years ago but things have really turned around.” His fellow Board members appointed him as an honorary board member and presented him with a plaque. “I’m not going away,” Troyer added. “I still want to be involved and look forward to serving the organization in some capacity. Once it gets in your blood, it just sticks with you,” Troyer said. “When I come back here for race week, it’s like a family reunion.”

This past year was a significant milestone in Troyer’s Derby career. It was his 50th year of volunteering. It was also the first time he raced in a Soap Box Derby car down the world famous Derby Downs track. Though Troyer had never raced down the hill, it was something he had wanted to do for a long time. “I had it on my bucket list that some year, I was going to go down this hill,” Troyer said.

Troyer lives in Chicago and is an independent public relations consultant.

The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to Bob Troyer 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 16th 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.

Bob Troyer
Derby President & CEO Joe
Mazur (left) and Board Chair
Kevin Thomas (right) honor
Bob Troyer at the November,
2016 Board of Directors
Annual Meeting.

Bob Troyer Racing
Soap Box Derby Hall of
Famer Bob Troyer racing
down the world famous
Derby Downs track in July,
2016. It was the first time
Troyer raced down the track
after 50 years of volunteer
service to the Derby.

Thank You Thursday
Thursday, September 29, 2016 - FirstEnergy Corp.
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - Don Plusquellic
Thursday, October 13, 2016 - Bill Ginter
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Marous Brothers Construction
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems
Thursday, November 3, 2016 - Myers Industries
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - Outgoing Board Members
Thursday, November 17, 2016 - New Board Members
Thursday. November 24, 2016 - Volunteers
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - Dairy Queen 
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - Curriculum Funders
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - SUBWAY®
Thursday, December 22, 2016 - Will Looman
Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Taylor Made Jewelry

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - Greater Akron Chamber