Dayton Development Coalition welcomes Ohio governor, celebrates 25th anniversary

Feb 11, 2019News, Newsletter

John Bush
Dayton Business Journal

 

The Dayton Development Coalition celebrated its 25th anniversary at its 2018 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, honoring the regional collaboration that drives the organization’s work.

The sold-out gathering of 500 community and business leaders featured a keynote address from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, as well as comments from Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. The event kicked off with a speech from DDC president and CEO Jeff Hoagland, who touted the region’s job growth.

In the last six years, the Dayton region has created more than 22,000 jobs through JobsOhio projects, seen more than 10,000 jobs come to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and thousands more jobs through growth in private industry. John Landess, chair of the DDC’s board of trustees, said “none of that would be possible without the dedication, hard work and vision of so many of the people here today.”

The DDC also highlighted aspects of economic growth in the Dayton region over the last year. Hoagland noted that, in addition to an investment of more than $850 million, companies committed to create some 3,800 jobs while retaining 13,000 others in 2018. These numbers represent companies that worked with JobsOhio to expand or establish new operations in the region.

The DDC’s Accelerant Venture Capital Fund invested in three new companies and made five follow-on investments for a total of $1.44 million in 2018 as well. Accelerant investments helped generate an additional $1.28 in sidecar investment for each dollar the fund invested in local startups last year.

Supporters of Wright-Patt celebrated two major developments in 2018: the authorization of a new, $182 million complex at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center and the Pentagon’s decision to locate the F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator organization at the base. The F-35 program will bring more than 400 new jobs to Wright-Patt.

The new NASIC facility represents one of the largest single capital investment projects ever allocated at Wright-Patt. NASIC’s growth over the last 15 years has generated hundreds of jobs, and the new facility will provide NASIC with the space and resources needed to perform a critical mission to the nation’s security.

“In 2018, we saw job growth and capital investment in the private sector, new and expanded missions at Wright-Patt, and an energized venture capital community,” Hoagland said. “Each of these achievements reflect the vision of the DDC’s founders. Together, they represent a solid foundation for our regions’ economic future.”

During his keynote address, DeWine reflected on he and Husted’s “deep roots” in the Miami Valley, and said that while their mission to be govern the entire state, “this is home.”

“You cannot deny where home is,” DeWine said.

DeWine also discussed key issues facing the Miami Valley and entire state, including the opioid epidemic, early childhood development and funding issues with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Speaking of ODOT, DeWine said the organization’s history of borrowing money to fund projects has masked deeper structural problems, and now the group is facing a more than $1 billion budget shortfall per year.

“The situation is a lot worse than we thought,” DeWine said, adding the issue is “unprecedented” in the state’s history. “We’re about ready to go down a cliff.”

DeWine said he and his administration will have ongoing discussions with ODOT officials and other state leaders to address the issue, which could lead to fewer roadway projects if nothing is done.

DeWine also vowed his administration will allocate more funding for early childhood development programs, including educational initiatives that he hopes will reach more children by the time they enter kindergarten. He noted current early children programming reach just 4 percent of Ohio families, and DeWine said his goal is to triple that number.

“We owe it to our kids, and to future generations that we do everything in our power so that children have a level playing field,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

DeWine also said his administration would “put our money where our mouth is” when it comes to funding addiction treatment programs. He said funding would also be allocated to mental health initiatives, which often tie into the addiction problem.

“We’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m very excited,” he said. “I think we have a great future here.”

The DDC also handed out a few awards at the meeting that recognized business and philanthropic leaders in the community.

This year’s Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award honored Clay Mathile, former CEO and owner of the Iams Company. Mathile is founder and chairman of the board of Aileron. He and his wife, Mary, also created the Mathile Family Foundation, The Glen at St. Joseph and Aileron to serve the community and make a difference in the world.

“For decades, Clay and his family have strived to make our region a better place,” Hoagland said. “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.”

The award was accepted by Mathile’s son, Mike, on his behalf. Clay Mathile also said a few words in a video presentation that was broadcast at the event.

“I am so grateful and appreciative for being recognized this year as the Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award honoree,” Mathile said.

The DDC also presented three economic development awards to companies that have chosen to invest in the Dayton region. Chewy Inc. won the 2018 Leading Job Creator Award; Crown Equipment was honored with the 2018 Project of the Year award; and AMB Surgical was recognized with the 2018 Entrepreneurial Startup award.

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