At Victory Enterprises, our number one pride is in our staff.  Not only because they are quality people, but because they are capable of incredible things.

This past weekend, VE CFO, Kelli Grubbs, exemplified our employee model – And she proved to be faster than your CFO!

Grubbs, also a company co-founder with her husband, Steve, just competed in the Quad Cities Times Bix 7 Beat the Elite challenge – And WON!

Not only was it a moment of accomplishment for her, her family, and her company, it was a victory for the on-going humanitarian effort in Ukraine.  

We interviewed Kelli after Sunday’s race, and her responses captured her humble, endearing, and winning spirit.

Give us some background about your involvement in the Quad Cities Times Bix 7 and the Beat the Elite challenge.  

This was my 30th time running the Bix7.  I was very surprised to be asked to run Beat the Elite, and had actually already signed up to ride RAGBRAI all week (500 miles across the state of Iowa), then run an easy Bix7 since RAGBRAI was ending in Davenport.  Although very nervous about it, I decided to stick with that plan, and pray for light legs and fast feet to get me across the finish line in time. 

What led you into competitive running? 

The Bix7 is the race that kicked off my running life in 1991, when I was curious if I could actually run 7 miles. On my first training run I managed 1/4 of a mile before stopping.  The Bix7 is such an incredible community event and nationally recognized race, that participating is a highlight of every summer. A few years later I found our Cornbelt Running Club, which then gave me the support to push on to half marathons and Marathons. Since then, I’ve qualified for Boston twice, and will be running the Chicago Marathon this fall to see if I can BQ one more time.

How does your commitment to running translate to the work you do for Victory Enterprises? 

Running is a great way to clear your mind and let problems percolate and resolve themselves.  I do some of my best problem solving on long, solitary runs.

As a result of your success, you won $2500, which you have committed to the Christian ministry group that your son, Jared, works for overseas. Tell us more about Jared, the work he is contributing, and why his work is so essential on a world-wide scale

Jared and his team are in Poland running a community center for Ukrainian refugees.  Because most of the men are in Ukraine fighting the Russian invasion, there are many women and children displaced and on their own in Poland in difficult circumstances.  His team offers a safe place for social activities, kids sports programs, language lessons, evening gatherings and church and discipleship opportunities.  We had the chance to spend Christmas with them in 2022 and it was amazing to be part of the support in such a tangible way. It’s very sobering to realize how fragile peace can be. Creating relationships across countries and cultures is so necessary to understand what is happening and find solutions for long term stability.  And at the end of the day, by faithfully being the hands and feet as we are called by Christ to be, we can help develop the trust needed for those relationships to grow.

Your family was at the race to cheer you on and meet you at the finish line.  How did it feel to have such great support?

Nothing beats family for sharing a moment like that.  We have 3 grandkids and having all of them there with our stateside kids and my husband, Steve, at the finish line was an absolute joy.  And I got a message from Jared right after the race as well.