History

The Berbee Derby is a classic Madison event, and is steeped in tradition.

We often hear, “what is a Berbee”?  And the answer isn’t a “what”, but a “who”!

Native Madisonian Jim Berbee founded his namesake company – Berbee Information Networks - in 1993. A veteran runner, it was many years ago when Jim came across an article in the Wall Street Journal about Thanksgiving Day runs. “Turkey Trots”-5K or 10K races–were common all over the country and very successful.

So it got Jim thinking. He realized it truly was a no-brainer that a big running community like Madison would support such a race, and importantly, that such a race could potentially raise money for a worthy cause. So step one - Jim and his staff set out to create the race and run it near the company’s headquarters in Fitchburg.

But what was the right worthy cause? Eager to find something that would be in line with the company’s activities and philosophy, Jim and company CEO Paul Shain hit on the idea of something that would help promote the use of technology in classrooms and non-profit organizations.

“Technology changes so quickly, and it’s important that kids are exposed to it,” Jim explains. “The problem is that it’s also expensive, and there really wasn’t a good source of private funding dedicated to it in Madison.”

And so the Technology Education Foundation (TEF) was born, and has always been the cause that 100% of the proceeds from the annual Berbee Derby goes to support. Learn more about TEF