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Akron's Soap Box Derby taps head of Portage Foundation to be its next CEO

 Soap Box Derby grandstand
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
The International Soap Box Derby, based in Akron, has named Scott Taylor as its next CEO.

The International Soap Box Derby in Akron has named Scott Taylor as its new CEO. Taylor is currently the executive director of The Portage Foundation.

 Scott Tyalor
International Soap Box Derby
Scott Taylor, currently head of the Portage Foundation, will become CEO of the Soap Box Derby in August.

The derby cited Taylor's 37 years of experience in the nonprofit world. He's led programs with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters and YMCAs in Pennsylvania, New York and across Ohio. He also served as the executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Mahoning County.

In the press release from the Soap Box Derby, board Chair Bret Treier said Taylor's "record of leadership roles in operations, fund-raising and volunteer efforts focusing on youth is a perfect fit for the Soap Box Derby mission to build knowledge, leadership skills and character among the boys and girls who participate in our racing programs.”

Taylor received his Bachelor of Science in physical education from Kent State University and a master's degree in human services from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Taylor is from Winterville, Ohio, in Jefferson County and currently resides in Tallmadge.

In the press release, Taylor said he was "looking forward to working with the board, staff and volunteers to help grow the racing and education programs of and participation in the Soap Box Derby throughout the country and, of course, in Akron at the world championships.”

Taylor's first day as CEO is Aug. 21.

The Soap Box Derby says it works to accomplish its mission by creating "meaningful experiences through fair and honest racing competitions STEM curriculums, and other community-focused activities,” according to the press release. Racers build their own cars and compete on a downhill track. They use their knowledge from STEM education to try to create the most aerodynamic cars.

 Zach Sain, a grounds and events intern for the Akron soap box derby, moves a derby car that's being stored at the track ahead of the upcoming race.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
Zach Sain, a grounds and events intern for the Akron soap box derby, moves a derby car that's being stored at the track ahead of the upcoming race.

Every July, racers from around the world meet up in the annual competition. The derby is in the midst of its 85th World Championship through July 22.

Kennedy Gotham was a news intern in the spring and summer of 2023. A journalism major with a minor in media advocacy at Kent State University, she plans to graduate in May 2024.
Andrew Meyer is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.