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Jamie Cohen Named 2013 Honorary Starter

Jamie Cohen

Photo by Fred Ortoli

When you hear the gun sound to start the 12th annual Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race, look quickly, and you will see Derby native and long time community activist Jamie Cohen pulling the trigger. The Commodore Hull Race Committee is pleased to have Jamie as the ninth person selected as the Honorary Starter for the event. Jamie is a Derby native and graduate of Derby High School who went on to the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree and the University of Connecticut School of Law before commencing a distinguished legal career at the Cohen & Thomas Law Firm in Derby from 1971 to 2008. His father David B. Cohen was the founder of the firm and a model for Jamie's community spirit.

In 2008, Jamie made a major career change when he was named President and CEO of the fledgling Valley Community Foundation and guided it through a period of impressive growth until his retirement earlier this year. Under Jamie's guidance, the Valley Community Foundation greatly expanded its leadership role in Valley philanthropy and cemented a new relationship with the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Jamie has always been an active member of the community and served two terms as Corporation Counsel for the City of Derby. He also found time for involvement with the Derby Public Library where he served as a Director and Vice President, the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Housatonic Council Boy Scouts of America, the Derby Historical Society, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Board of Ethics where he was a member and chair. He was also a director of both the Valley Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Jamie has received numerous community awards for his good works including the Martin Luther King Brotherhood Award, the Good Scout Award and the derby Historical Society's John Ireland Howe Award. He was also awarded the prestigious Gold Seal Award by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

Now residing in New Haven with his wife Fran DeToro, Jamie is the father of Matthew D. Cohen (wife - Sheri Cohen) and the late Daniel M. Cohen.

The Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day Race Committee is thrilled to have add Jamie Cohen to the list of outstanding individuals who have done so much to make Derby and Shelton such special places to live and work - and run!!

Click here to see the full listing of Honorary Starters.

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