Clay Mathile, former Iams owner and Aileron founder. STAFF PHOTO BY TY GREENLEES
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Mathile honored with leadership award

The Dayton Development Coalition honored Clay Mathile — former CEO and owner of the Iams Company — with the 2018 Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award at its annual meeting on Wednesday.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted introduced the award — touching on Mathile’s lasting economic and philanthropic contributions to the Dayton region. Mathile, who was not in attendance, is also the founder of Tipp City-based Aileron. He and his wife also launched the Mathile Family Foundation and The Glen at St. Joseph. The award was accepted by his son, Mike Mathile.

“For decades, Clay and his family have strived to make our region a better place,” said Jeff Hoagland, DDC President and CEO, in a statement. “His work with small businesses at Aileron supports local companies as they grow, leveraging Clay’s business acumen and experience. Their steadfast commitment to helping children, raising people out of poverty, and promoting access to education has transformed our community and helped thousands of people build a better life.”

Mike Mathile said the family was honored by the award, and that they’ve given back hundreds of millions of dollars in charity to the Dayton community through the family foundation.

Clay Mathile was one of the first employees of the Iams Company, and bought it from the owner in the early 1980s. In 1999, the Mathile family sold Iams to international conglomerate Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion. Mathile founded Aileron in 1996, while still owning Iams, as the Center for Entrepreneurial Education. Its mission was to function as a local outreach in response to the declining automotive and manufacturing industries in the Dayton region, according to a company statement.

“I have had a strong belief in and a commitment towards the potential of the Dayton Region since I joined the Iams Company in 1970,” Clay Mathile said in a statement. “And, it was because of that belief that we kept the Iams Company headquartered here, in Dayton. After the sale, we went to work on giving back to the region through our Family Foundation, The Glen and of course Aileron. Each of which have helped to support our dreams of giving back to this community.”

The award was named after Maureen Patterson in 2013 after she retired from the Dayton Development Coalition. Patterson spent her career lifting up business owners and corporations in the Miami Valley. In past years, the coalition has presented the award to other regional leaders like former CareSource President and CEO Pamela Morris and former University of Dayton President Daniel Curran.

The coalition also presented three other awards:

• AMB Surgical won the Entrepreneurial Startup award.

• Chewy Inc. won the Leading Job Creator award.

• Crown Equipment won the Project of the Year award.

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