Perched atop Derby Hill at Big Run Park, the hearts of children flutter in anticipation as they stare down the long slope. The racing competition can lead to a shot at the world championships and the coveted Gold Jacket is up for grabs, along with trophies and scholarships. But, to Alan Howe, Soap Box Derby is not about the material rewards; it’s about forging quality moments with your family that will last a lifetime. “It’s all about doing something special for people,” remembers Howe. “The way I was brought up, family time was a lot more prevalent than it is today.”
He knows a thing or two about the value of providing quality time. Howe’s the General Manager and Regional Director of the Hilton at Easton and President of the Ohio Hotel Lodging Association. “People who come here all have a different journey that they’re on,” he says. “We deal with very personal services, and it’s a very big responsibility to make sure people are safe, but it’s very rewarding.”
Embedded in the essence of hospitality, safety and family, Howe makes an ideal fit as President of the Soap Box Derby Association. He’s also the Derby Director of Columbus races, Rally Commissioner of the international organization that oversees between 600-900 races a year, and sits on the board of directors as part of the rule governing body.
Howe’s next ambition is to get involved with Super Kids, which allows mentally and physically challenged kids the opportunity to partake in these events. “I’ve been to Super Kids races before and they are fun,” he confirms. “I just see the look on the kids’ faces when they go down the hill and the excitement there… It’s just very special.”
Race on over to columbussoapboxderby.com for more info.