News Article


2023 Hall of Fame inductees riding in parade

AKRON, Ohio (July 2, 2024) – The International Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame will induct three long-time volunteers into this year’s class. They will be honored during the post-race awards ceremony for the 86th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships. The championships and the ceremony take place on Sat., July 20, in Akron, Ohio.

The races are located at Derby Downs in Akron, and kick off at 8 a.m. with a parade.
The awards ceremony takes place at the Akron Civic Theatre in downtown Akron, and starts at 7 p.m.

“The Soap Box Derby Hall of Fame was established in 1997. They recognize the significant contributions and efforts of individuals who make it possible for this organization to have an impact on the lives of young people,” said Scott Taylor, president and chief executive officer of International Soap Box Derby, Inc.

The 2024 Hall of Fame inductees are:

RICHARD BEHAN Dover, New Hampshire
Dick Behan, 69, won the local New Hampshire Soap Box Derby on his first attempt in 1969, and placed second in that year’s All-American Soap Box Derby. He has been involved as a volunteer in local, regional and national Soap Box Derby programs ever since. Behan has been a board member and officer of the local New Hampshire organization since 2006 and has been New Hampshire race director since 2012. He became assistant regional director in 2012 and since 2022, he has been regional director of Region 10, serving as liaison between the All-American Soap Box Derby and local race programs in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.  He has mentored and encouraged young racers for decades.

Behan earned a business administration degree from the University of New Hampshire. He retired in 2017 from Liberty Mutual Information Systems in Portsmouth and Dover, New Hampshire, where he served 36 years as a principal software developer.

TIM HILLER New Philadelphia, Ohio  Tim Hiller, 66, raced for five years in the Tuscarawas County Soap Box Derby beginning in 1969.   He became a volunteer soon afterwards and has been race director since 1984 and is the longest-serving active director in the nation. He promotes Soap Box Derby participation through presentations at local schools and various local events, staging outdoor rallies in spring and fall and indoor rallies in winter months that attract participants from multiple states.  He holds technical sessions where experienced race families share their racing knowledge with new participants. Hiller’s goal always is to run a fair and memorable race program for racers and families.

He is a retired machine maintenance specialist.

LOIS HOWELL Kent, Ohio  Lois Howell, 70, was an officer of the Akron Jaycee Wives group when the organization was involved with the All-American Soap Box Derby. She joined the staff in 1980 and served as operations manager and office manager of the headquarters.  For years, she managed all events in support of race week, including the welcome ceremonies, heat-and-lane drawing, the Topside show, food for champs, champs’ attire, souvenirs, trophies and the awards show.

Howell is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School and earned an associate degree from The University of Akron.   She left the Soap Box Derby headquarters staff in 1994, when she joined Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.  She retired from the school in 2023 as registrar and test coordinator.

“These new honorees bring the total number to 89 over the past 27 years,” Taylor said. “The first inductee was Myron Scott, who founded the Soap Box Derby program in 1934.”



About the Soap Box Derby

The International Soap Box Derby® is a non-profit youth education and leadership development organization whose mission is to build knowledge and character, and to create meaningful experiences through fair and honest racing competitions, STEM curriculums, and other community-focused activities. The Derby’s Core Values and Drivers include Youth Education and Leadership Development; Family Engagement and Enrichment; Honesty, Integrity, and Perseverance; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Teamwork and Collaboration; Mentoring; Volunteerism; and Commitment to Community. The Derby’s two youth initiatives are the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby racing program and the STEM-based Education Program, which provides educational opportunities for K-12 youth worldwide through Soap Box Derby racing. The Derby dates back to 1934, when the first All-American race was held in Dayton, Ohio. For more information, visit

Bob Troyer
(312) 543-6703

BT 6/28/24 (4)



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