Community leader marks start of Thanksgiving's Hull road race

Long-time community leader Jamie Cohen will be firing the starting gun for the annual Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race.

Cohen is a Derby native, and graduate of Derby High School. He went on to the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree, and the University Of Connecticut School of Law before starting a legal career at the Cohen & Thomas Law Firm in Derby from 1971 to 2008.

In 2008, Cohen was named president and CEO of the Valley Community Foundation and guided it through a period of growth until his retirement earlier this year.

Community service

Cohen has served two terms as corporation counsel for Derby. He has also been involved with the Derby Public Library, serving 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.

He was also a director of both the Valley Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Cohen has received numerous community awards for his work, 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 Gold Seal Award by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

Now living in New Haven with his wife Fran DeToro, Cohen is the father of Matthew D. Cohen and the late Daniel M. Cohen.

This year’s race is sold out. Learn more at