Dayton Children’s CEO honored with region’s top leadership award

Dayton Children’s Hospital president and CEO recognized for being an advocate for community’s economic health and growth.



Deborah Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s Hospital, is this year’s recipient of the Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award, the Dayton Development Coalition announced on Wednesday.

The annual award honors “an extraordinary leader in our community who, like Patterson, advocates for the community’s economic health and growth,” according to the coalition news release.

“For decades, Debbie Feldman has been a true servant leader. First at Montgomery County and then at Dayton Children’s Hospital, she works every day to make our community better,” said Jeff Hoagland, coalition president and CEO. “It came as no surprise that when a global pandemic hit Dayton, her trusted leadership has guided our community through the crisis and protected our children.”

Feldman, who was Montgomery County administrator for 15 years before taking the hospital job, said that after graduating from Miami University and moving to Dayton she found it to be a community that was caring, with a rich history of innovation and a willingness to collaborate to overcome challenges. She took special note of healthcare workers.

“The last two years I have seen healthcare workers do incredible things, whether they worked at Dayton Children’s (or other hospitals),” Feldman said. “We owe such a debt of gratitude to our healthcare workers.”

Four other awards also were presented at the coalition’s annual meeting. The winners were:

Jobs Creator of the Year: Gabriel Brothers Inc., which last year announced it is building a new 850,000-square-foot distribution center in Springfield at the PrimeOhio II Industrial Park at 1801 Prime Parkway. Construction is underway with hiring planned for this fall and full operations set for February 2023. The $77.5 million project will create more than 800 full-time and part-time jobs over five years.

Largest Capital Investment: Royal Canin North America, a pet health nutrition subsidiary of Mars, Inc., that last year announced it would build a $390 million factory in Lewisburg to manufacture Royal Canin and Eukanuba cat and dog food products. Construction of the 450,000-square-foot facility began in spring 2021 and operations are expected to begin in the second half of 2023. The company pledged to bring more than 224 new jobs to the area.

Entrepreneurial Start-Up: Sentinel Occupational Safety, is a company that began operations in October 2020. The venture-backed startup is a spinoff of Aptima Ventures and “introduced its ‘Safety as a Service’ platform known as SafeGuard to improve workplace safety through more preventive oversight,” the coalition news release said. The company last year announced it raised a $2.1 million round led by the coalition’s Accelerant, Aptima Ventures, JobsOhio Growth Capital, Ohio’s Hospice, Inc. and The Indiana University Angel Network to further develop its platform.

Project of the Year: Economy Linen and Towel Service, which is investing about $20 million to build a 78,000-square-foot laundry facility at 2100 McCall Street in West Dayton. The state-of-the-art plant will use environmentally friendly equipment, create at least 70 new jobs and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

“The transformational project has the potential to spark additional development in West Dayton and serve as a catalyst for growth in the neighborhood,” the coalition said. “The company has committed to hiring people who live near the new facility, generating additional economic impact for the community.”

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