FirstEnergyAll-American Soap Box Derby Countdown


Thank You Thursday - Volunteers

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Today we have many things to be thankful for as our nation celebrates Thanksgiving Day. We would like to say thank you to a group of individuals who are the “Spirit of the Derby.”

More than 700 volunteers lend their time and talents to the staging of the All-American Soap Box Derby program and the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship race. In big ways, and small, the volunteers are the backbone of the program and we cannot thank them enough. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”

FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby logo

The program is administered by a volunteer Board of Directors. Technical aspects of the entire racing program are the responsibility of the Racing Commission. The Commission includes members from across the country, and all members work to provide safe and fair rules and regulations for racing. The Rally Commission, like the Racing Commission, is a recommending body to the Board of Directors. The Rally Commission oversees the Rally program and is also made up of volunteers across the country.

A Board of 13 Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors spread across the country to volunteer their time to serve as liaisons between the International Soap Box Derby organization in Akron and the local Derby programs throughout the United States and around the world. Regional Directors work year-round to recruit new race cities and to assist with current programs. 

Various boards are assembled at the national level to organize the AASBD program, but it all starts at the local level with hundreds of volunteers throughout the country. They are involved in the Stock, Super Stock, and Masters Divisions race programs, which are run as qualifiers for the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship race.

Without the volunteer efforts of those who are dedicated to the program, the All-American Soap Box Derby would not have grown into the success that it is today.

As champs arrive in Akron for the World Championship race, volunteers inspect cars, register champs, organize, answer questions, and acts as mentors through the week.

Volunteers calm champs in the starting blocks, help load cars on the trucks, and transport champs to the top of the world famous Derby Downs Track. You’ll find volunteers on the finish-line bridge making sure heats are timed and photographed. Volunteers also judge winners, record results, and supply information to the media.

Volunteers are the heart of the Derby. Our sincere thanks go out to our volunteers, who truly are the “Spirit of the Derby.”

The Derby would like to say THANK YOU to all of the volunteers, who truly are the “Spirit of the Derby.” Below please find the respective leaders of each volunteer group and a list of race city partners from the 2015-2016 season including the President, Race Director and Co-Directors from each organization. We thank you 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 ninth 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.

Thomas Kevin     Bobby Cooper - 2015     Graham Brian     Marty Sullivan- 2013

       Kevin Thomas                      Bobby Cooper                       Brian Graham                Marty Sullivan
   Board of Directors             Racing Commission             Rally Commission           Regional Directors
              Chair                                      Chair                                       Chair                                 Chair

Race City State Position  Name
Akron  OH Co-Director Bill Atchison
Akron  OH Director Wayne Rathbun
Akron OH President Jeff Iula
Alpine CA Co-Director Steve Blake
Alpine CA Director Greg Fox
Amarillo TX Co-Director Wayne Osteen
Amarillo TX Director Richard L. Hanna
Amarillo TX President Richard Hanna
Arlington MA Co-Director Bob Barnes
Arlington MA Director Cary Conrad
Arlington MA President Cary Conrad
Ashtabula County OH Co-Director Kelly Welton
Ashtabula County OH Director Tracy Welton
Ashtabula County OH President Tracy Welton
Athens TN Co-Director Jody Boggess
Athens TN Director Austin Fesmire
Blue Ridge Classic VA Co-Director Anthony Marshall
Blue Ridge Classic VA Director Joe Kiminski
Blue Ridge Classic VA President Anthony Marshall
Bowling Green KY Co-Director Don Ritter
Bowling Green KY Director Jacqueline Peterson
Bowling Green KY President Chad Godman
Bristol CT Co-Director Brian Zukowski
Bristol CT Director Kyle Wentland
Bristol CT President Chris Jones
Bucks County  PA Co-Director Ray Mongillo
Bucks County  PA Director Kim McCauley
Bucks County  PA President Kim McCauley
Cape Girardeau MO Co-Director Mike Rushing
Cape Girardeau MO Director John Grimm
Cape Girardeau MO President Ken Heischmidt
Capital District NY Co-Director Joe Miller
Capital District NY Director Ginger Miller
Capital District NY President Ginger Miller
Central Florida FL Co-Director Sam Brewer
Central Florida FL Director Eric Griffin
Central Florida FL President Terry Lindsey
Chattanooga Area TN Co-Director Ray Johnson
Chattanooga Area TN Director Michael Stewart
Chattanooga Area TN President Michael Stewart
Chicago Metro IL Co-Director Fred Barnes
Chicago Metro IL Director Ralph Campagna
Chicago Metro IL President Ralph Campagna
Cincinnati OH Co-Director Stan kokotajlo
Cincinnati OH Director Trevor Griffith
Cincinnati OH President Doug Newberry
Cleveland Area OH Co-Director Dick Thornton
Cleveland Area OH Director Chris Dyer
Cleveland Area OH President Chris Dyer
Clovis NM Co-Director Brian Chambers
Clovis NM Director Larry Erwin
Clovis NM President Gail Tarson
Columbus OH Co-Director Danny Hughes
Columbus OH Director Alan Howe
Columbus OH President Alan Howe
Conshohocken PA Co-Director Leo Costello
Conshohocken PA Director Mark C Marine
Conshohocken PA President Mark Marine
Cookeville TN Co-Director Anthony Leonard
Cookeville TN Director Mitch Harrington
Cookeville TN President Randy Evans
Danbury CT Co-Director Michael Corson
Danbury CT Director John Strand
Danbury CT President John Strand
Delmerva MD Co-Director Elliott Frazier
Delmerva MD Director Danny Phillips
Drummond Regional (NB) CAN Co-Director Marc Laforest
Drummond Regional (NB) CAN Director Gilles Beaulieu
Drummond Regional (NB) CAN President Gilles Beaulieu
DuBois PA Co-Director David Duncan
DuBois PA Director Alan Uhler, Jr.
DuBois PA President Alan Uhler
Dunwoody GA Co-Director Mark Hodges
Dunwoody GA Director Nancy Mooney
Dunwoody GA President Norman Collins
Erie PA Co-Director Kim Rounds
Erie PA Director Jerry Dobmeier
Flushing Meadow NYC NY Co-Director Larinda Hooks
Flushing Meadow NYC NY Director Henry Foster
Flushing Meadow NYC NY President Stephen Stafford
Fredericksburg VA Co-Director Tiffany Capehart
Fredericksburg VA Director Alvin Staples
Glens Falls NY Co-Director Lynn Hayes
Glens Falls NY Director Lisa Wells
Glens Falls NY President Lisa Wells
Greater Chicago IL Co-Director Darryl Witte
Greater Chicago IL Director Stan Iglehart
Greater Chicago IL President Chris Witte
Greater Des Moines IA Co-Director Andy Crump
Greater Des Moines IA Director Mark Artwein
Greater Des Moines IA President Craig Lankford
Greater Houston TX Co-Director Harry Harwood
Greater Houston TX Director Rick Higginbotham
Greater Houston TX President Rick Higginbotham
Greater Lafayette IN Co-Director John Jones
Greater Lafayette IN Director Dr. Thomas Burns
Greater Lafayette IN President Thomas Burns
Greater Pittsburgh PA Co-Director Chuck Freyer
Greater Pittsburgh PA Director Bryan Brain
Greater Pittsburgh PA President John Wagner
Greater Washington DC Co-Director Christopher Slawinski
Greater Washington DC Director Jim Hagan
Greater Washington DC President Jim Hagan
Green Bay WI Co-Director Susan Hardtke
Green Bay WI Director Mark Miszewski
Green Bay WI President Dennis VanGruwnsven
Harrisonburg VA Co-Director Andy Myers
Harrisonburg VA Director Matt Findley
Harrisonburg VA President Matt Findley
Hazard KY Co-Director Tom Cravens
Hazard KY Director Sam Collins
Hazard KY President Brandon Robinson
Henderson NV Co-Director Gene Blackwell
Henderson NV Director Jerry Gresko
Henderson NV President Dave Knapp
Hopkinsville KY Co-Director Spencer Warren
Hopkinsville KY Director James (Chuck) Cummins
Hopkinsville KY President Dave Fernandez
Indian Valley PA Director James Pike
Indian Valley PA President James Pike
Indianapolis IN Co-Director Cleo Wells
Indianapolis IN Director Bob Getts
Indianapolis IN President Bob Getts
Jamestown Area NY Co-Director John R. Williams Jr.
Jamestown Area NY Director John R. Williams Sr.
Jamestown Area NY President Tony Purpura
Japan   Co-Director Akio Sato
Japan   Director Noriko Yamamoto
Kanawha Valley WV Co-Director Eddie Peck
Kanawha Valley WV Director Nathan Garnes
Kanawha Valley WV President Nathan Garnes
Kansas City MO Co-Director Paul Meara
Kansas City MO Director Jeremy Darling
Kansas City MO President Sarah Darling
Kenai AK Director Scott Hamann
Kenai AK President Scott Hamann
Kitsap WA Co-Director Michael Barry
Kitsap WA Director Brian Stuart
Kitsap WA President Michael Barry
Lancaster OH Co-Director TJ Clark
Lancaster OH Director Jamey Allen
Lancaster OH President Tom Clark 
Lima OH Co-Director Greg Skinner
Lima OH Director Steve Skinner
Lima OH President Steve Skinner
Mahoning Valley OH Co-Director Jeff Davis
Mahoning Valley OH Director Brooke Kaschak
Mahoning Valley OH President Patty Postlethwait
McHenry IL Co-Director Brian Cunat
McHenry IL Director James Marinangel
McHenry IL President Patrick Letizia
Mid Missouri MO Co-Director Rick McKernan
Morganton NC Co-Director Tommy Waters
Morganton NC Director Marylin Waters
Morganton NC President Marylin Waters
Moss Point MS Co-Director Susan Stachowski
Moss Point MS Director Bob Donald
Moss Point MS President Ralph Griffin
New Brunswick NJ Co-Director Sonny Keeles
New Brunswick NJ Director Michael Blackwell
New Brunswick NJ President Michael Blackwell
New Hampshire NH Co-Director David Borden
New Hampshire NH Director Richard Behan
New Hampshire NH President Michelle Chasse
New Rochelle NY Co-Director Byron Gray
New Rochelle NY Director Richard Bongiorni
New Rochelle NY President Richard Bongiorni
New York City NY Co-Director Deborah Klingele
New York City NY Director Patricia Lockhart
New York City NY President Chris Gale
New Zealand   Co-Director Shawn Dyer
New Zealand   Director Terry Clarkson
New Zealand   President Alan Pattison
Newport VT Co-Director Scott Stevens
Newport VT Director Dr. Normand P. Turcotte
Newport VT President Normand Turcitte
North Central Ohio OH Co-Director Kerry Rich
North Central Ohio OH Director Brian Smith
North Central Ohio OH President Eric Sayers
Northern Maine ME Co-Director Chris Holmes
Northern Maine ME Director Edward W. Rand
Northern Maine ME President Ed Rand
Northwest Indiana IN Co-Director Joe Baczynski
Northwest Indiana IN Director Mike Bottom
Northwest Indiana IN President Mike Bottom
Norwalk WV Co-Director Dina Edwards
Norwalk WV Director Trey Knepper
Norwalk WV President Dina Edwards
Ocala FL Co-Director Roger Soucey
Ocala FL Director Alan Cummings
Ocala FL President Nick Gajraj
Ogallala NE Co-Director Bob Collins
Ogallala NE Director Dave Barrett
Ogallala NE President Melissa Skalsky
Ohio Valley WV Co-Director Craig White
Ohio Valley WV Director Steven Jumper
Ohio Valley WV President Craig White
Omaha NE Co-Director Dusty Brand
Omaha NE Director Greg Roseland
Omaha NE President Jim Kunkle 
Oregon OR Co-Director Paul Sadler
Oregon OR Director Dana Campbell
Oregon OR President Dana Campbell
Owensboro KY Co-Director Chris Settles
Owensboro KY Director John Austin
Owensboro KY President Howard Burton
Pennyrile KY Co-Director Brien Terry
Pennyrile KY Director William Farrell
Pennyrile KY President William Farrell
Piedmont Area VA Co-Director Tony Troilo
Piedmont Area VA Director Frankie Gilmore
Piedmont Area VA President Tony Troilo
Pikes Peak CO Co-Director Duane Gritzmaker
Pikes Peak CO Director Jody Shanklin
Pikes Peak CO President Dave Gritzmaker
Port Jervis NY Co-Director William McKerrell
Port Jervis NY Director Wayne Addy
Port Jervis NY President Wayne D Addy
Portage County OH Co-Director Kelly Heritage
Portage County OH Director Bill Atchison
Portage County OH President David Adkins
Pottstown PA Co-Director Michael Benner
Pottstown PA Director Michael McKain
Pottsville PA Co-Director Donald Ditzler
Pottsville PA Director Robert Womer
Pottsville PA President Barbara Carrol
Rochester NY Director Mark Scuderi
Rochester NY President Mark Scuderi
Rochester  NY Co-Director Jeff Bartocci
Saint John NB Co-Director Shyla Arsenault
Saint John NB Director Deborah Lawton
San Diego CA Co-Director Paul Jones
San Diego CA Director James Justus
San Diego CA President James Justus
Sertoma Mile High CO Co-Director Bob Stander
Sertoma Mile High CO Director John P. "Buzz" Pankoff
Sertoma Mile High CO President Buzz Pankoff
Sheyenne Valley ND Co-Director Wes King
Sheyenne Valley ND Director Scott Miller
Sheyenne Valley ND President Natalie Sayler
Silicon Valley CA Co-Director David Stagnaro
Silicon Valley CA Director Chris Harris
Silicon Valley CA President Chris Harris
Southeast Georgia GA Co-Director Anita Hooper
Southeast Georgia GA Director Michael Williamson
Southeast Texas TX Co-Director Susie Fontenot
Southeast Texas TX Director Bobby Chapman
Southeast Texas TX President Paul Andrues
St. Louis MO Co-Director Lia Adams
St. Louis MO Director John Dabrowski
St. Louis MO President Kristen McVey
Stanwood Camano Island WA Co-Director Randy Heagle
Stanwood Camano Island WA Director Christie J. Connors
Stanwood Camano Island WA President Kevin Burham
Star City VA Co-Director Larry Waldron
Star City VA Director Del Waldron
Star City VA President Del Waldron
Stuart FL Co-Director Bob Harding
Stuart FL Director JD Geisler
Stuart FL President Jeff Carson
Sullivan County NY Co-Director Daniel VanDenberg
Sullivan County NY Director Carol VanDenberg
Sullivan County NY President Dale VanDenberg
Syracuse NY Co-Director David Bordonaro
Syracuse NY Director David Butchko
Tullahoma TN Co-Director JP Kraft
Tullahoma TN Director Kurt Glick
Tuscarawas County OH Co-Director Ashley Hiller
Tuscarawas County OH Director Tim Hiller
Tuscarawas County OH President Mark Renner
Tyne Valley (PE) CAN Co-Director Stacy MacWilliams
Tyne Valley (PE) CAN Director Rod MacNeill
Tyne Valley (PE) CAN President Rod Macneil
Wayne-Holmes County OH Co-Director Leon Hershberger
Wayne-Holmes County OH Director Robert Lucci
Wayne-Holmes County OH President Tim Dever
Western Pennsylvania PA Co-Director Bob Gallaher
Western Pennsylvania PA Director Gregg Galbreath
Western Pennsylvania PA President Gregg Galbreath
Williamsport PA Co-Director Donald Noviello
Williamsport PA Director James Campbell
Williamsport PA President James Campbell
Wisconsin WI Co-Director Bill Liimatainen
Wisconsin WI Director Paul Ganshert
Wisconsin WI President Paul Ganshert

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