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Thank You Thursday - Greater Akron Chamber

Greater Akron Chamber Logo
Dan ColontoneDan Colantone - Greater
Akron Chamber President

The Greater Akron Chamber has been a long-time supporter of the International Soap Box Derby (ISBD) and the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio. In early 2010 the relationship grew even stronger when the Derby was near financial collapse. 

The Chamber, led by President & CEO Dan Colantone, formed a task force to offer assistance to the Derby. Chamber board member William Ginter led the work to ensure a successful 2010 World Championship race. The Chamber also provided the leadership to help support the Derby’s short- and long-term sustainability plan. The Derby’s Board of Directors was reorganized to include new members representing Akron’s business community. The Derby, city, chamber and the new board used all best efforts to identify potential sponsors for future race years and recruit companies to help underwrite the event in the future.

In 2012 Akron-based FirstEnergy became the title sponsor of the All-American Soap Box Derby. Colantone was interviewed for a local newspaper article prior to the 2012 race and said, “I’m confident the Derby is now moving in the right direction. I think leadership realized it had to be more entrepreneurial and innovative in its thinking."

Because of the Chamber’s commitment the ISBD has been able to turn the page on the financial problems that plagued the organization nearly seven years ago and has been able to attract a number of new partners and foundations to help blend a rich heritage with a zeal for continuous improvement.

“With tremendous efforts from the Greater Akron Chamber the Derby is no longer in a survival mode…it’s in a growth mode,” said Derby President & CEO Joe Mazur. “Without the leadership of Dan (Colantone) and his team the Derby more than likely would not be in existence today.”

The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to the Greater Akron Chamber 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 15th 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.

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