Honorary starter named for Hull race

Janice A. Sheehy, senior vice president and team leader, business banking for Webster Bank has been named as the honorary starter for the 2015 Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race.

Sheehy is the 10th person recognized with the award, and the first female in the history of the race. The award is made to people of distinction who have made life-time contributions to the two communities along the racecourse – Derby and Shelton. The tradition of selecting the honorary race starter began in 2005. The honorary starter’s chief duty is to fire the starting gun at the race.

Sheehy joined Webster Bank in 1997 and has more than 40 years of banking experience. She works closely with business owners to help them achieve their financial goals.   

In addition to her banking career Sheehy is an active community leader serving on numerous boards including Board Chair of the Valley United Way, board member of Birmingham Foundation, the Hewitt Foundation, Shelton Economic Development Corporation and Center Stage. She is also a corporator of Griffin Hospital.

She is also a former volunteer for Junior Achievement, has served as chair of the board of the Valley YMCA and is a past member of the community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Women and Girls Fund.

Her community leadership has been recognized by the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce which presented her with its Gold Seal Award. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Charles H. Flynn Humanitarian Award presented by the Valley United Way.

Sheehy graduated from the University of New Haven with a bachelor’s in business administration.

The race is held on Thanksgiving morning starting along the Riverwalk on Canal Street in Shelton and crossing over the Derby-Shelton Bridge to the Derby Public Library and then back to the Riverwalk in Shelton.

The race honors the memory of Commodore Isaac Hull, who authored one of the U.S. Navy’s greatest victories as commander of the U.S.S. Constitution in the War of 1812. Funds raised from the race have been donated to the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Through the first 13 years of the race, that has amounted to more than $140,000.