Iris Simpson Bush to hand off day-to-day activities to Doug Olberding

CINCINNATI (For Immediate Release) – Pig Works, the parent organization of the Flying Pig Marathon, announced today that Doug Olberding has been appointed President & CEO, as Iris Simpson Bush moves into the role of Director of Community Engagement, Pig Works.

Olberding, who recently retired from Xavier University where he chaired the Department of Sports Studies for 14 years, and also served as Associate Professor in Sports Science and Management for 25 years, has been a board member of the Flying Pig Marathon for more than 20 years. He is an expert in the field of sports economics and created the formula for the Flying Pig Marathon economic impact report, among others. Olberding has completed seven marathons.

“Doug has been a long-time valued volunteer leader on the board of the Flying Pig Marathon, and we are thrilled he accepted our offer to lead the organization as President & CEO,” said Jamie Smith, Board Chair of Pig Works. “With Doug’s knowledge and passion for the organization, I know we will have a seamless transition in leadership.”

“I am deeply honored to step into the role of CEO for Pig Works,” said Olberding. “I have great passion for our mission and I am committed to continuing the incredible work of Iris and this all-star staff, bringing opportunities for health, fitness, and fun to participants of all abilities.”

Simpson Bush, will remain active with Pig Works overseeing the community outreach of the organization, which raises more than $1 million a year for more than 300 charities. She will also lead the Flying Pig Scholars Program that annually awards scholarships to local high school student athletes.

Under Simpson Bush’s leadership, the Flying Pig Marathon has grown into one of largest and most celebrated running festivals in America. In 2024, USA Today named the Flying Pig Marathon as the #1 Marathon in America. Since 1999, the Flying Pig Marathon has raised more than $20 million for hundreds of charities.

She was one of the first board members who joined the organization in 1997 and became executive director of the Flying Pig Marathon in 2002 after a successful career in broadcast sales. Simpson Bush has been recognized as Race Director of the Year by Road Race Management and was inducted in the Running USA Hall of Fame. Simpson Bush has been honored as an Enquirer Woman of the Year and by the YWCA Greater Cincinnati as a Career Woman of Achievement.

To honor and recognize Simpson Bush, the Flying Pig Finish Swine was re-named “The Iris Simpson Bush Finish Swine” on race morning of the 2024 Marathon. Additional tributes will be added to the Flying Pig course for the 2025 Marathon.

“Under Iris’ leadership, the Flying Pig Marathon has become one of the most iconic road races in America for all of the right reasons: the race experience, the charitable aspect and the community support,” said Smith. “We are grateful for Iris’ service and thankful she is staying with the organization to lead our community relations program.”

“It has been an absolute honor to lead my hometown marathon and all of the aspects that go into the making it such a special event for our community,” said Simpson Bush. “I want to thank all of the participants over the years, the grunts, the street squealers, and those who have made the ‘Pig’ happen including staff, board members and sponsors.”

The Flying Pig Marathon, founded by Bob Coughlin, the founder of Paycor, was introduced in 1997 and the first events were held in 1999. Today, Pig Works events include more than 50,000 participants annually, and include the Flying Pig Marathon weekend, TQL Beer Series and the Queen Bee Half Marathon & 4 Miler.