Meet Our Team

Learn more about our Berbee Derby Team

No event reaches the 14-year milestone without the help of many people. A sincere thank you to ALL supporters of the Berbee Derby, past and present. This includes our wonderful sponsors, dedicated volunteers, the city of Fitchburg, Lands’ End and their fabulous shirts, our many suppliers and partners, and of course, our runners and walkers.

Without your continued interest, dedication and support, there wouldn’t be a Berbee Derby. And why do we do what we do? To see the smiles on the faces of our runners and walkers, and know the many technology education grants we will be able to award throughout our community.

 

Jim Berbee

I’m an emergency physician, and Founder of the Berbee Derby. I’ve been around since before the beginning of the race. 

For me, the Berbee Derby is a happy event, a time for friends and families to be together outside the home on Thanksgiving. Also, it encourages an active lifestyle, and importantly is ENTIRELY for charity, with 100% of the money raised for technology education in our community.

My favorite thing about the Derby is the race day itself in the early part of the morning. All of the work for the year has been done, and it is amazing to see the excited participants start to arrive.

My favorite race memory is first time I saw the MedFlight Helicopter (no worries: it was here for public relations!) circle over Derby Village and then land.

 

 

Karen Walsh

I’ve been a part of the Berbee Derby for many (many!) years. I am the coordinator of team processing – we love all the teams that participate! – and I manage our stock of inventory. Aside from working on the big race, I also rescue cats, and work in philanthropy.

I find that the Berbee Derby is a great way to kick off the holiday season. I love what the Technology Education Foundation has done for local schools and non-profits – the funding that we provide to the TEF provides a huge margin of excellence for lots of fantastic non-profit programs across the community.

I’ve met so many great people working on the Derby–sponsors, vendors, volunteers, runners and walkers. The City of Fitchburg is such a supportive host–we couldn’t ask for a better community partner. I’ve got some favorite thing about the Derby. I absolutely love the crazy days of packet pick-up, and I also really enjoy giving out my super-double-top-secret parking places. One of the best costumes I’ve seen through the years show up at the race is the Grinch - and he wasn’t even crabby!

 

 

 

SUZY SHAIN

I helped create the Berbee Derby many years ago, and now happily serve as the event’s Race Director. When not in full Berbee Derby mode, I am actively swimming, biking and running. My philanthropic endeavors include getting kids excited to exercise; activity and exercise are passions of mine.

I see the Berbee Derby as a great way to bring families and friends together, and to get them excited about doing something in the great outdoors. One of my favorite things is to work packet pick-up at the Derby – it’s something I’ve done every year, and I love getting participants pumped for the big day!

It is amazing to see the Berbee Derby grow from a small race of just a few hundred people (yes, it was small the first year!) to where it is today with many thousands. It is so important that every cent we raise goes right back into the community to help children and adults through TEF. And my favorite memory? I actually have a new one after the 2016 race. A large family, including a 5-year-old girl and her 85-year-old grandfather, explained that the grandfather had traveled all the way from Arizona to do his first 5K walk. As the family got their finisher photos, they shared their excitement of participating as a family and crossing the finish line together. It was heartwarming, and is the true meaning of the Berbee Derby.

 

 

KARLA BOCK

I've been a participant and volunteer with the Berbee Derby since its inception, and now serve as the Director of Corporate Relations. Over the years my volunteer roles have included organizing bibs and packet pickup, clustering safety pins, processing race registrations, and helping with parking (basically, a bit of everything!).

My full-time job isn’t surprising, given my love of fitness. I am a supervisor and exercise specialist at UW Sports Medicine Fitness Center; I do individual coaching, teach a variety of classes, and oversee a number of instructors and classes we offer. What else do I enjoy? Running, swimming, yoga, hiking, walking my dog, Surly, snuggling my 3 kitties, and occasionally enjoying a craft beer or a good glass of wine!

The Berbee Derby is truly a great race for a wonderful cause. I grew up in Madison, and as a runner, I have always loved that the Berbee Derby gets people moving on a holiday when people enjoy lots good food and treats. What better way to kick off a day of gratitude by participating in an event that completely benefits a charity, and is in turn good for you too! Every year it is fantastic to see the huge community of participants (no matter the weather!). Family and friends run together, wear costumes or crazy hats, and show big smiles. It's just an overall fun time.

 

 

JESSICA BENSON

I first started out as a participant in the Berbee Derby, then as Race Director and now in 2017 I am the Technology Education Foundation's (TEF) Administrator. TEF is the organization in which 100% of the Berbee Derby proceeds goes to fund. I am the office manager of Canine Sports Zone in Middleton, and I occasionally fill in at Lakeview Veterinary Clinic as a Veterinary Technician. 

I am very proud to stand behind an event that donates 100% of the proceeds to the Technology Education Foundation – with two kids in elementary school, I see how technology is so important to the learning process. I am also very proud to show my kids the "behind the scene" planning and preparing for an event like the Berbee Derby; it gives them a great sense of community involvement.

Each year I always look forward to seeing the little kids in costume. My favorite moment is the minutes right before the race starts.  I breathe for the first time when I hear the National Anthem. All the hard work and planning is done and we get to enjoy the ride. 

 

 

LYN JOHNSON

I have been involved with the Berbee Derby for over a decade serving as co-race director and returned in 2017 as Volunteer Director.

The Berbee Derby is a wonderful way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with family and friends. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Technology Education Foundation which in turn benefits Madison Area schools and non-profits.

My favorite thing about the Berbee Derby is the fact that this is a race for everyone—from the competitive runner to the first-time runner or walker. The Berbee Derby is a race for ANY age and ANY fitness level.  If this is your 10th race this year, this race is for you!  If this is your first time signing up for a run or walk, this race is for you!

With our Wisconsin weather, I am still in awe at how thousands of runners/walkers get out of bed on a holiday to participate in the Berbee Derby. I love seeing all of the clever costumes on race day, but my favorite part is seeing how creative people are with their team names (We have over 100 teams that participate in the Derby!).  I’ve heard of team members getting together for meetings to determine their team name for that year’s Berbee Derby.