Who We Are

Improving Lives

Our community knows that a professionally-managed business can raise the quality of life for business owners, employees, their families, communities, and the entire nation.

“To me, there’s no higher calling than taking your capital and putting it at risk to create jobs. What greater thing could you do for mankind?”

Clay Mathile, Aileron Founder

If you believe what our community believes, you came to the right spot.

Continuous learning

Community and comradery

Conscious leadership

Being a “we” organization

Progress over perfection

A Collaborative Community

Aileron is a community of people that have been where you are, felt what you’re feeling, and asked similar questions you’re wrestling with today. Yet, we don’t assume to know exactly how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. Instead, we listen, ask clarifying questions, and suspend judgement. There’s a reason you have certain thoughts, emotions, and actions. Our community helps you clarify those reasons and tackle them.

People

Our team is committed to helping you reach your goals.

  • Everyone
  • Board of Trustees
  • Business Advisors
  • Client Support Team
  • Leadership Coaches
  • Erika Alessandrini
    Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Erika Alessandrini
    Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    Erika lights up when she sees people step into the next best version of themselves. She’s energized by all things business, random acts of kindness, and people who pay it forward. Equally candid and compassionate with a strong, genuine curiosity, Erika has been referred to as a “modern day renaissance woman” because of her pioneering spirit and eclectic interests.

    Erika joined the Aileron community in 2019 to surround herself with like-minded leaders who share a passion for calling people, businesses, and organizations to be the best versions of themselves. Prior to Aileron, Erika spent 23 years in the automotive aftermarket and participated in four post-acquisition integrations at the executive level. Through those experiences, Erika learned why most leaders fall short, give up, or burn out. She went on to start her own coaching business in 2015.

    You can find Erika in her home with her husband and kids, entertaining family and friends, and finding any excuse to gather a group for a shared meal. Carrying on her mother’s tradition, there is always a seat at her family’s table.

  • Lindsey Bahr
    Director of Finance & Administration
    Lindsey Bahr
    Director of Finance & Administration

    Lindsey Bahr, CPA, MBA, first saw herself working for Aileron when she was a public accountant auditing Aileron, but at the time, she had no idea she’d later be a member of the team. She went on to do SEC reporting and HR for a large public company, a role that would round out her expertise and give her all the experiences she’d later need in her current role as the owner of Aileron’s finance, accounting, HR, and legal activities. 

    Lindsey is an avid collaborator and empath who seeks out different perspectives to better understand any situation. She feels fulfilled not by simply creating new processes to improve how we work, but making those processes visible and executable by the larger team. And she is a passionate people developer who finds joy in empowering her team to experiment, explore ideas, and grow their skills through doing rather than watching. 

    On the weekends, you can find Lindsey with her husband and their two children at a UD basketball game, hanging out at Kings Island, or checking out a new local restaurant. 

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “One of the things we value here is transparency, and I’m always working to be more articulate so I can be as transparent as possible. The better able I am to communicate my ideas with a team, the more insight into my ideas and intentions I can give them.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I value systems, and get energized knowing things can happen seamlessly when supported by great processes. I strive to never be a bottleneck that holds people back, but instead aim to enable others to feel comfortable taking advantage of opportunities to learn new skills and do their best work. I also value responsibility, which is why I find it so gratifying to work with a team of ambitious high-performers.”

    Why Aileron?

    “When I was growing up, my parents owned a grocery store, and when I look back on their experience, I think about how valuable Aileron would have been for them. Even in my first experiences with Aileron, I just had this feeling this was a great place with great people doing great work. I knew back then that I wanted to work here, and now that I’m here, I’m loving it. I think it’s our ‘we’ system thinking that drives me and gets me excited to come to work every day.”

  • Jenny Banner
    Leadership Coach
    Jenny Banner
    Leadership Coach

    As an Aileron Leadership Coach, Jenny helps leaders understand how their actions influence their teams, and how they can use that influence as a tool for catalyzing growth and positive change. Jenny has a rich history in people development; she previously worked in human resources, and after experiencing the most energy when helping people reach their potential, she moved into HR consulting and eventually leadership coaching.

    Jenny learned early on the importance of listening in both her personal and professional lives and relies heavily on active listening during coaching sessions. Her ability to listen enhances two other strengths she brings to her role: rapidly building connections with others (she has a StrengthsFinders theme of Woo) and being present. In a crowded room surrounded with distraction, she’s naturally inclined to hone in on one person to get to know them more deeply.

    Jenny is an iPEC Certified Coach and holds additional certifications in Everything DISC, Myers Briggs, Leadership Challenge, and Conversational Intelligence. When she’s not working toward her next professional certification, she’s spending time with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs in their home in Indianapolis, Indiana, or hiking in a local park.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Moving too quickly to action. I love ideation, and I love implementation, and in between those two points are discovery, exploration, questioning, and vetting. I tend to live in the ideas and the action, and what I’m working on is being better about doing the in-between phases.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “My primary value is growth – both my own growth and helping others grow. Three others that are important to me are creativity, fun, and love. I believe there’s a creative way to do even the most mundane tasks, and I try to bring levity and humor to most situations and show care to the people I interact with.”

    Why Aileron?

    “I am married to an entrepreneur, I’m the daughter of an entrepreneur, and I’ve led a small business myself. I believe that small businesses are the silent engine of our economy. The fact that Aileron is focused on affordably supporting those people to develop leaders is very aligned with my own values.”

  • Sarina Berning
    Senior Client Engagement Coordinator
    Sarina Berning
    Senior Client Engagement Coordinator

    As a Senior Client Engagement Coordinator at Aileron, Sarina works with the Aileron team to help clients implement successful growth plans and bring their desired outcomes to life. Prior to Aileron, Sarina spent 15 years leading process, operations, and sales activities in the automotive and energy sectors.

    Sarina brings to her work a put-yourself-in-their-shoes perspective, and leverages her natural empathetic approach as she aims to understand what her clients are feeling and going through. She pairs that empathy with her passion for life; whether at work or with family or friends, Sarina brings positive energy to any situation. And she loves change – not for the sake of change, but for the purpose of growing, getting better, and creating something new.

    In her free time, you can find Sarina spending time with her blended, seven-member family and their two dogs, or playing – and usually winning – poker with her friends.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Being intentional in how I use my time. Time is so valuable to all of us. There are things we have to do, and things we choose to do. I aim to enjoy both, making the most of the time I have wherever my feet are planted.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Being able to make an impact drives me. So does enjoyment; I believe the more you enjoy something, the more you’ll thrive. I’m also big on collaboration for the purposes of getting feedback and understanding multiple perspectives.”

    Why Aileron?

    “After learning about Aileron, I felt like it was a place I could both make an impact in the lives of our clients and also grow into a better version of myself. I’m also excited about growing with our team and building something meaningful together.”

  • Tony Collins
    Business Advisor and Facilitator
    Tony Collins
    Business Advisor and Facilitator

    Over the last 25 years, Tony has started, turned-around or helped grow over five different small to medium sized businesses in a variety of industries.

    At the age of 26, Tony founded a non-regulated energy service subsidiary of DPL, Inc. that he quickly led to profitably during its first year of operations. Having led on one subsidiary to profitability, Tony was tapped by DPL Inc.’s CEO to lead the turnaround of a technology subsidiary where he executed a new strategy that resulted in a 200% increase in sales and the subsidiary’s first profit. Tony left DPL Inc. after a 15-year career to help grow an early and pioneering internet start-up.

    Prior to startingTurningPoint Strategy over 10 years ago, Tony was Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Product Development for Cadence Network, a web-based cost management company that attracted $14 Million in venture funding. Tony was the architect behind the strategy that shifted Cadence Network into high-growth attracting such marquee clients as The Limited, Footlocker, Blockbuster Video, and AT&T Wireless. Forbes Magazine selected Cadence as Best of The Web B2B due in a large part to Tony’s strategy innovation and leadership.

    At TurningPoint Strategy, Tony is an expert in growth strategy development, planning, execution and strategic marketing. Tony has authored a series of small business strategy workshops and presentations that he has delivered throughout the U.S. He also authors a blog called Big Strategy for Small Business. Tony is often called upon by business leaders for advice and input how and where to strategically grow their business.

    Tony received his BS in Marketing from WSU, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Dayton. Tony serves or has served on several non-profit and for-profit boards in his community.

    Tony is an avid runner, competitive tennis player and chef wannabe that lives in Lebanon, Ohio with his wife Janet and his daughters Lindsey and Maddie.

  • Nicole Dalichau
    Director of Research & Development
    Nicole Dalichau
    Director of Research & Development

    As Director of Research and Development, Nicole oversees Aileron’s content and service development, working with the team to understand our community and their needs, and designing services that help them grow personally and professionally. Nicole started her journey here as an intern, got hired in an event management role, and later transitioned into a client support role before becoming the first member of what is now a much larger R&D team.

    Nicole values transparency, and brings to the team the courage to acknowledge and work through multiple perspectives for the betterment of the team. She’s naturally a collaborative communicator, and instinctively knows when to pull in the right people and how to disseminate ideas. And she's becoming more and more comfortable with vulnerability, recognizing that sharing something (even if she's worked on it for hours) can always be better with more perspectives.

    Outside of Aileron, Nicole loves spending time with her husband, Bernard, and their dog, Lola, taking group workout classes – most recently, barre, cycling, and yoga – and working on her and Bernard’s business, THEIA; the duo is out to change the contact case industry, and has already leveraged many of Aileron’s frameworks and tools to grow their business.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Suspending judgement; it’s great to bring your thoughts and ideas to the table. But I work hard to stay open-minded because it’s the collective wisdom of everyone that creates something really magical. I try to be humble, bring my best thinking, and create an environment for others to bring their best thinking.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Being transparent, situational, and curious. Transparency is probably the key; I can’t think of any situation where it’s not good to lean into the truth. Being conscious of thoughts and emotions is how I try to live. And situationally, I used to be black and white; Aileron has taught me to show up based on other factors. And finally, curiosity – continuing to be open-minded and suspend judgement. I don't know everything or have the best ideas, and don't view that as a sign of weakness.”

    Why Aileron?

    “It’s beautiful seeing us impact the world. I’ve envisioned the tides rising around the country because of what we’re doing together. On the flipside, I can also see the impact on one individual’s life. We’re a conduit for change in people’s lives.”

  • Lois Elrich
    Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Lois Elrich
    Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    As Lead Leadership Coach, Lois oversees Aileron’s leadership coaching system, sourcing top talent, onboarding and training coaches, and evolving the processes that support our coaches as they deliver services to our community. She also works within the system as a Coach and Facilitator, helping Aileron clients think more positively about themselves, others, and their circumstance, and empowering them to move forward confidently.

    A 21-year entrepreneurial veteran and owner of three businesses, Lois is both experienced and optimistic; she’s been told more than once that the world around her could be falling apart, and she’d still manage to find a silver lining. She’s adept at making the intangible comprehensible, leveraging metaphors and scenarios that bring big-picture ideas to life. And she has a gift for asking questions that catalyze “aha” moments and major insights, which serves her well when she’s working with both individuals and teams.

    Lois is an International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, holds an Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification – a prestigious program hosted by Daniel Goleman – and is one of 113 international winners of the 2020 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards. When she’s not working on one of her three businesses, Lois spends time with her family and dines out with her husband; the two enjoy their weekend tradition of traveling through the area for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Coaching – I’m always reading more about it and working on new certifications. On a broader scale, I’m always working to get better at understanding people, which helps me be a better coach.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Confidentiality, positivity, radical candor, and personal accountability.”

    Why Aileron?

    “Aileron has changed my life and my husband's life. Before Aileron, my husband was ready to quit our business and go back to working for someone else. When we were introduced to Aileron and professional management, we immediately felt relief; we weren’t alone, we had support, and we had energy to keep going. Now our relationship is better, our work is better, and our lives are better.”

  • Joni Fedders
    President, Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Joni Fedders
    President, Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    As a past business owner, Joni understands the risks, rewards, and challenges that ownership and professional management bring.  She had the opportunity at Iams as a Brand Manager to live in a professionally managed organization where she saw first hand how strategy, strong leadership and culture can fuel a company to do great things.

    After Iams, Joni co-founded a technology services company and became an Aileron client herself, taking the Course for Presidents, establishing an outside Board of Directors and utilizing strategic planning.  The company grew from 2 to 100 employees in five years, was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Cincinnati Entrepreneur of the Year award, and was named by the Cincinnati Business Courier as one of the 25 fastest growing companies in the region.  After selling this business, she and her husband just couldn’t stop and bought a second business in decorative packaging that they operated for seven years before successfully selling.

    In her role as President, Joni oversees Aileron’s strategic direction, culture and operational activities. Her leadership and energy inspire and motivate the Aileron team and the community as we strive to raise the quality of life, one private business at a time.

    Joni was honored with the “Forty Under Forty” award and received her bachelor’s degree in business from Miami University (the real one, in Ohio).  She obtained her MBA from Xavier University.  As college sweethearts, Joni and her husband Jim have been married for 27 years; they have three great children, a golden retriever and a small mutt who thinks he’s a cross between a mastiff and a pit bull.  Family time is a crucial priority for Joni and they enjoy skiing, tubing, running, fishing, sports, eating Chipotle (don’t ask Joni to cook – she can’t), family events and vacations.

  • Wes Gipe
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Wes Gipe
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    Wes Gipe works with business owners and their teams as a trusted facilitator, business advisor and coach. Known for his enthusiasm and high-energy approach, Wes’s willingness to boldly approach tough issues and go the extra mile have gained him loyal clients who look to him for help with strategic planning, leadership and culture development, and conflict resolution.

    Wes started his journey as an Aileron client in 2008. After applying Aileron’s Professional Management principles to build a self-managing company, he now spends much of his time helping other organizations—big and small—build a strategy that endures. Through this work, he has logged over 9,000 coaching hours with more than 500 individuals throughout North America and Europe. His work has been featured in Forbes as well as other national media outlets. Wes resides in Miami County, OH with his wife and three rambunctious boys.

  • Sarah Hallum
    Senior Accountant
    Sarah Hallum
    Senior Accountant

    As Aileron’s Senior Accountant, Sarah Hallum, CPA, CMA, evolves our accounting systems and processes, manages our budgets and forecasts, and prepares financial reporting. She has an extensive background in accounting, and has worked in both in-house and outsourced capacities to ensure financial compliance at small and large businesses alike.

    Sarah is an organization guru who gets joy from turning disorganized processes into streamlined systems. She’s a creative problem solver who thrives when finding solutions to challenging accounting issues. And she’s a positive team player with a contagious smile and persevering optimism.

    When she’s not knee-deep in spreadsheets, Sarah is at home baking sweet treats with her husband and two children, spending time outdoors, or listening to a personal development audiobook.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Normally it’s frowned upon for accountants to be creative, but I’ve always been driven to find new and better ways to do things. I’m always striving to fight limiting beliefs and stereotypes that hinder the impact I can make—which is part of the reason I was so drawn to Aileron’s progressive culture.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I value perspective and always aim to see all sides of a situation. I value structure and processes, but tend to push against unnecessary boundaries that prevent progress. And I value transparency—I would be the world’s worst professional poker player.

    Why Aileron?

    “The Aileron team reminds me every day that teamwork and collaboration really do change the world. We come together, leave behind any ego or pretense, and strive to empower leaders to improve their businesses, which changes communities, and in turn the entire nation. I love that I leave work feeling like I did that every day.”

  • Lito Hernandez
    Maintenance Specialist
    Lito Hernandez
    Maintenance Specialist

    Have you ever been here when it snowed and you went out to your car and it was cleaned off?  As our resident Maintenance Specialist, Joselito (Lito) Hernandez is responsible for the maintenance indoors and outdoors. And he always goes that extra mile for staff and clients.  He manages vendors and contractors in providing service to the campus, in addition to assisting the Facility Manager in managing the daily operations of the campus.

    But that’s not all and you may want to reconsider if you have any sinister plans for Aileron.  Lito retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service. He was an infantryman and held key leadership positions from Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant to Platoon Commander. He has led combat ready Marines in the state of Bahrain and his platoon was part of the security force of Naval Support Activity Bahrain, which is headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. His platoon was responsible for protecting 3,500 American lives and property on a daily basis. A squad of his Marines played a vital role in the security, safety and recovery of the USS Cole in Yemen after it was attacked. Lito has extensive training and experience in physical security, force protection, tactical response, counter-espionage and anti-terrorism methods and responses. Now you know why when anything happens on campus we all run behind him.

    Lito has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice Science from Sinclair Community College, a certification in “Building Operators Course (B.O.C.): Level I” and is a Certified Pool / Spa Operator. He is devoted to his 4 gorgeous children and 1 grandson.

  • Megan Hershberger
    Assistant Brand Manager
    Megan Hershberger
    Assistant Brand Manager

    Megan has always been passionate about connecting with individuals and finding solutions to their needs. Her natural curiosity and desire to help others brought her to Aileron as an Assistant Brand Manager. She is thrilled to be a part of a team that is dedicated to continuous improvement and the success of our community members.

    As part of the Research and Development team, Megan is responsible for managing project plans, supporting our products and services, and conducting research. She is most excited to collaborate with her coworkers as Aileron continues to evolve alongside our community.

    Megan is a graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, with minors in Marketing and Business. She is a proud Bobcat and loves any excuse to talk about Athens! On a typical Saturday you can find her walking with her dog, tackling a home project, grilling outside with her husband, or planning her next adventure with friends!

  • Chuck Huggins
    Chief Operating Officer, Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Chuck Huggins
    Chief Operating Officer, Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    As Aileron’s Chief Operating Officer, Chuck is responsible for pushing the organization’s products and business model forward through concepting, testing, and implementing new solutions. Previous to Aileron, he founded and sold two businesses, an experience that arms him with an empathy for and understanding of the community Aileron serves.

    Chuck has a keen eye for identifying problems and an unrelenting passion for pioneering ideas, and spends much of his time at work experimenting. He’s naturally humble, which fuels his experimentation by freeing him from fear that his ideas will fail. And Chuck is hyper-focused on the future; every day he asks himself: “How do we prepare our clients for the future to ensure they’re thriving ten years from now?”

    Chuck will tell you there’s no other way he’d rather spend the weekend than with his wife, son, and daughter. In the summer, you can find them soaking in the sun at Indian Lake, where Chuck occasionally sneaks away to enjoy his favorite hobby: bass fishing.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “My contribution to Aileron – I’m constantly asking myself: How can we touch more people, create more change, and improve the quality of life for the people that we touch?”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I value innovation and experimentation. If I was somewhere I couldn’t do those things, that would be tough for me. I also value responsibility, which can be at odds with innovation – sometimes you have to be less responsible to innovate.”

    Why Aileron?

    “People ask me this a lot, because I sold my business to come here. But I did that because I can impact more people here than I could running my own business.”

  • Tami Jones
    Facility Manager
    Tami Jones
    Facility Manager

    As the Facility Manager, Tami’s primary focus is to maintain the campus to the highest standard possible. Tami manages the maintenance, improvements, safety, security, catering, and daily operations of the physical space and site of Aileron to ensure the campus provides an enjoyable experience for all.  She is the champion of the campus recycling program and of every living creature that walks, struts, flies, slithers or trots on the property. A lot of Tami’s work is performed behind the scenes so you may not see her, but be assured the pristine appearance of the campus is a direct result of her efforts.

    If Tami is not zip lining with her husband Jody and their two sons, then they are out motorcycling, four wheeling, sledding, swimming, canoeing, walking their adorable pit bull Laya or playing with their two grandchildren.  If it’s outside, she’s all about it.

    Tami comes to us from KTH Parts Industries where she worked in an automotive manufacturing environment. Prior to KTH, she spent 20 years at W.B. Marvin Manufacturing honing her keen mechanical mind.

  • Todd Kelchner
    Board of Trustees
    Todd Kelchner
    Board of Trustees

    Todd Kelchner retired in 2017 as the CEO of Kelchner Incorporated, headquartered in Springboro, Ohio. Kelchner is an industry leader in heavy and civil construction and, under Todd’s leadership, has grown to be one of the top 20 excavation firms in the country.

    Todd started full time with Kelchner after college in 1976 as an estimator, advancing to President in 1982 and CEO in 2006. Since taking control of Kelchner, and with the help of Aileron, Todd grew the organization from $500,000 in annual sales to over $110,000,000 as of 2015. He proactively entered the Eastern Ohio oil and gas market in 2011, establishing Kelchner as an oil and gas industry leader. Todd accomplished this while also continuing to grow Kelchner’s traditional site preparation services.

    Todd sold the Excavation business in 2015 to a worldwide public company from Aberdeen, Scotland called Wood Group. Todd has previously served on the boards of Skilled Trades, Inc., the Eagles Forum, Wolf Creek Company, The Ohio Public Works Commission as chair and the Associated Builders and Contractors where he also served as chair.

    Todd currently serves on the boards of Aileron, the Duncan Oil Company, Mosby Building Arts, and Turner Property management. He is also active in two non-profits in downtown Dayton as Board Chair of the Life Enrichment Center and board member for The Gospel Mission.

  • Jack Lohbeck
    Business Advisor
    Jack Lohbeck
    Business Advisor
    Jack Lohbeck began serving on an advisory board for an Aileron client in 2002. Since that time, he has served on four additional boards in that capacity. In 2011, Jack began facilitating several of Aileron’s programs including Becoming an Effective Board Member as well as Interpreting Your Financial Results. In 2014, he expanded his involvement by becoming a Business Advisor assisting business owners and presidents intent on implementing professional management within their organizations.
     
    Since 2005, in his role as a senior business consultant for Battelle Rippe Kingston LLP, a firm based in Dayton, Ohio, Jack has been assisting companies and organizations engage in corporate planning, with a focus on prioritizing issues and strategies. He also provides expert guidance on financial and operational matters; drawing on 27 years of corporate experience with both privately held and publicly traded companies. Jack has served as Vice President of Finance and Administration for the eastern region of Utility Services Inc. USI is a wholly owned subsidiary of MDU Resources Inc., a diversified energy company. Prior to this position, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Wagner Group of Companies in Dayton Ohio. Wagner Smith was a privately held company founded in Dayton in 1917. The Wagner Group of Companies engaged in electrical and mechanical construction as well as equipment manufacturing and leasing. During the 1990’s, revenue from operations grew from $18 million to over $100 million in 2000. On July 2nd of that year, MDU Resources, a publicly traded company, acquired Wagner-Smith and related Companies.
     
    Jack is active in the community as past president of The Rotary Club of Dayton, board member of Rebuilding Together Dayton, and a board member of The Miami Valley Hospital as well as Premier Health. He has been an instructor in accounting at Sinclair Community College and has also served as an adjunct professor at the University Of Dayton School Of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and is a member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • Nicole Loy
    Senior Client Engagement Coordinator
    Nicole Loy
    Senior Client Engagement Coordinator

    As Aileron’s Senior Client Engagement Coordinator, Nicole Loy champions the client experience and uses creativity, collaboration, and a systems approach to improve how we interact with and support our community members. Nicole has a passion for helping communities and businesses thrive; previous to Aileron, she served as Executive Director of Troy Main Street, an organization providing economic support to help revitalize the city’s small business core. 

    Nicole is a natural team player; no matter her role, she’s driven to bring a group together to leverage the power of multiple perspectives. She’s humble and hardworking, and is unafraid to say she doesn’t know the answer to a question but quick to offer help in finding one. And she’s optimistic; Nicole believes having a positive attitude is the difference between average and high-performing teams. 

    Nicole lives in Piqua, Ohio where she owns a fitness studio that focuses on incorporating fun into the fitness experience. When she’s not at the office or teaching a workout class, you can find her exploring the outdoors while hiking or biking. 

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “I’m always working to improve my ability to foresee the needs of others rather than waiting for them to ask for help. I like to be able to take the onus on myself to say, “It looks like you could use some support with this. Can I help?”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I value creating a sense of belonging and community. It’s important to me that people feel welcome in my presence, no matter where we are.”

    Why Aileron?

    “I love that we empower people to strive both professionally and personally. When we’re helping businesses succeed, our work is also impacting their families and personal lives. That’s not something you get to do at every job.”

  • Clay Mathile
    Founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees
    Clay Mathile
    Founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees

    Clay’s success story began in 1970 when he became the seventh employee of The Iams Company. By 1982 the owner, animal nutritionist, Paul Iams was ready to retire. He convinced Clay, and his wife, Mary, to raise enough capital to buy his company. As new owners, the Mathiles faced a myriad of small business challenges, but thanks to dedicated employees, loyal customers, and Clay’s innovative leadership, Iams became a world leader in dog and cat nutrition in less than a decade. In 1999, the Mathile family sold Iams to international conglomerate Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion. Today, Clay attributes his commitment to professional management principles as a key reason for the phenomenal growth of Iams.

    Dedicated to inspiring others to be lifelong learners, Clay is the author of two books: Run Your Business, Don’t Let it Run You, and his autobiography, Dream No Little Dreams. Clay remains active in several business ventures. To manage and grow the family’s wealth, Clay and Mary established CYMI Holdings, a Family Office based in Dayton. Clay maintains that his most-important roles are as husband, father of five, and grandfather of 15. Life as a family man has led to yet another dream and vision for the future: “A Family United Forever.”

  • Mike Mathile
    Board of Trustees
    Mike Mathile
    Board of Trustees

    Mike Mathile is a family business executive and private investor with experience in strategic positioning and family asset management. As Chairman of CYMI Holdings, Mike provides strategic leadership and management acumen to the Mathile Family’s business entities.

    Mike holds Board of Director positions and advisory board seats in a number of portfolio companies including: CSAFE Global and MyScript.

    Prior to the positions listed above, Mike was the President and Chief Executive Officer at CSafe Global, formerly known as AcuTemp Thermal Systems, a Dayton-based, world-leader in energy efficient cold chain technology solutions. He is also Chairman of MyScript, the world’s most advanced technology for handwriting recognition and digital ink management.

    Mike holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University.

    He currently serves on various for and non-profit boards, as well as the Advisory Council for the Institute for Church Life-Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to his business career, Mike played professional baseball with the Montreal Expo and Cincinnati Reds.

    Mike and his wife reside in the Dayton Region and have four children.

  • Timothy Mathile
    Board of Trustees
    Timothy Mathile
    Board of Trustees

    Tim serves as Co-Chair and President of the Mathile Family Foundation Board of Trustees. In addition to these positions, he has started or assisted in the start-up of multiple ventures and now holds equity positions in a number of other entities.

    After receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio Northern University in 1987 and an MBA from Xavier University in 1991, Tim and his wife, Peg, purchased Franklin Brazing & Metal Treating, which provides brazing and annealing services to the automotive, appliance, lawn and garden, and power-generation industries. In 2008, he founded Coblynau Partners, a private equity company whose mission is to assist business owners in pursuing their dreams. He has retired from both of these endeavors.

    Tim is the Chair of the Mathile Family’s Governance Committee. He has been active on both for-profit and non-profit boards. He actively serves as a Trustee on the board of Aileron, The Mathile Family Foundation, Summit Country Day School and the Franciscan Media Advisory Board. Previously, he has been a Trustee/Director for the Mathile Family Office, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati Zoo Foundation, Cincinnati Art Museum, Summit Country Day School, Life Success Seminars, St. Anne’s Convent Development Board, and ONU Engineering Advisory Board. He is also an alumni of Leadership Cincinnati – Class XXV.

    Tim has been married to Peg Mathile for over 25 years and is the proud father of two incredible daughters. He enjoys traveling with his family, attending his daughters’ activities, and learning about anything new. His lifetime ambition is to do the most with the blessings and gifts God has bestowed upon him.

  • Rachel Markley
    Client Engagement Coordinator
    Rachel Markley
    Client Engagement Coordinator

    As a member of Aileron’s Client Engagement Team, Rachel taps into Aileron’s mission of enriching people’s lives by improving the client experience, both digitally and on campus. She brings to her role a background in strategic communications and small business marketing. 

    Rachel is naturally curious; she loves to ask questions that expose self-limiting beliefs to explore what’s possible. She’s a big-picture thinker, and enjoys connecting seemingly disparate systems and people to understand the interconnectedness of processes and organizations. And she’s a continuous learner, always on the hunt for the next-best version of a project, a product, and herself. 

    Rachel lives with her high school sweetheart and husband, and their French bulldog, Alfie. On the weekends, you can find them working on a project around the house or zooming around Ohio on their Harley Davidson motorcycle. 

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “I’m always trying to hone my natural instinct to be curious and kind rather than make a judgement. I try to ask questions to understand other perspectives and use listening as a curiority tool, not just asking the question but really listening to the response.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “In a class here, I learned the balance between independence and interdependence. I value being independent but also value being on a team and having a place to belong. I also have very high value for responsibility and achievement – I love to feel that I accomplished something and accomplished it well.”

    Why Aileron?

    “It’s so energizing to see firsthand how the things we’re teaching actually enrich people’s lives. Whether it’s our team or our community members, we live our vision of improving lives every day.”

  • Chris McAtee
    Business Advisor
    Chris McAtee
    Business Advisor

    As an Aileron Business Advisor, Chris engages with business owners and leaders to help them set their strategies, grow their companies, and change their lives both personally and professionally. Chris began his relationship with Aileron in Course for Presidents, and after a career in various operational and executive leadership roles, he joined the team to help fulfill our mission of improving lives across America.

    Chris believes a meaningful life – and meaningful work – begins and ends with people; he’s naturally driven to build deep and lasting relationships. He’s adept at listening and observing people and organizations to suss out the core issues preventing growth. And he’s a dedicated lifelong learner; currently Chris is learning how to play the piano.

    Chris loves to travel with his wife and best friend, Theresa. They enjoy visiting their children and grandchildren, and getting away for a sunny, beachside vacation. When he’s at home, you can find Chris at the gym, singing with his church choir, or with his nose in a book.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “I’m always working on my own personal development in the areas of human connection, business knowledge, leadership practices, and spirituality. I work hard to practice active listening and suspending judgement.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Family values – caring for others and helping them no matter where they are now or where they want to be.”

    Why Aileron?

    “Aileron’s mission perfectly aligns with my personal values – helping other people get better. Here we do it with business organizations and leaders, but it’s still an execution of my personal mission.”

  • Krista Powell
    Brand Manager and Leadership Coach
    Krista Powell
    Brand Manager and Leadership Coach

    As a Brand Manager, Krista Powell helps bring Aileron’s strategy to life by designing and developing Aileron’s products and services, ensuring they empower business leaders to grow in professional management. She also works directly with Aileron community members as a Leadership Coach, leveraging her deep understanding of organizational change and her background in professional management implementation across a variety of cultures and roles.

    Krista is naturally transparent; when she doesn’t know the answer, she isn’t afraid to say so – and she’s invigorated by finding it. She seeks to understand others’ points of view, and leans into curiosity over judgement. And she sees the opportunity in everything; Krista is easily excited about new ideas, and can envision the potential of an idea even in its infancy.

    Krista is a third-generation entrepreneur; her father and grandparents were both small business owners, and today Krista runs a branding and design agency, Christopher and Mae, with her husband Jon. When not working on the business, she’s knee-deep in a DIY project or spending time with her two children, adventuring to nearby museums, parks, and attractions.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Everything. I love learning and I see an opportunity for improvement in every aspect of my life. I’m also really passionate, so it’s easy for me to put my whole self into everything I do.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I have a high sense of both independence and interdependence; I love collaborating with a team, and at the same time I love autonomy. I am creative, so I enjoy designing and developing the experiences that we offer at Aileron. And I also have a high sense of responsibility – I’m driven to make an impact in what we do.”

    Why Aileron?

    “I have seen the impact that a well-run company can have on individuals’ lives, their families, and their communities – and I’ve also experienced companies that were not well-run, and the impact it had. I really believe professional management is making people’s lives and communities better.”

  • Kristen Rhoads
    People Engagement Manager
    Kristen Rhoads
    People Engagement Manager

    Kristen has always found her purpose in helping others discover the meaning behind what they do. Open-minded and creative, she joined Aileron to focus on people—and as the daughter of a small business owner, she has a soft spot for the community that Aileron serves.

    Described by her coworkers as goofy, easygoing, and empathetic, Kristen can find common ground with everyone. As Aileron’s People Engagement Manager, Kristen devotes her days to developing relationships with Aileron’s many contributors—passionately seeking to understand their perspective, show them their value, and learn from their motivation. Kristen’s heart for people is also evident as she invests in her local Cincinnati community with friends, family, and her husband, Jason. She also loves hiking and traveling, especially to the west coast where her favorite destinations are Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Yosemite, and anywhere in Montana.

    At Aileron, Kristen is enabled to pursue her passion for leadership development by focusing on the person behind the business. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or by email.

  • Larry Rice
    Facility Specialist
    Larry Rice
    Facility Specialist

    It’s a privilege to work at Aileron as a Facility Specialist who is responsible for supporting day-to-day campus operations and sponsored events. I ensure the needs of staff and external clients are met through supporting the client’s needs and helping them to reach their goals.

  • Jennifer Rohren
    Marketing Coordinator
    Jennifer Rohren
    Marketing Coordinator

    Entrepreneurship runs deep in Jennifer’s family: three generations deep to be exact. As a result, she is naturally passionate and curious about fueling free enterprise. Working at Aileron feels like an extension of her life in and out of the office as she helps push forward the mission to unleash the potential of private businesses through professional management.

    As the Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer enjoys spreading the word and getting the message out that Aileron can make a difference in the lives of small business owners and their respective employees. On any given day, you can find Jennifer helping her team study, plan, execute, and evaluate the marketing strategies that put Aileron in the best position possible.

    Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing, with minors in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Jennifer is happily married to the lucky Craig Rohren and keeps busy spoiling her young daughters whenever possible.

  • Tony Schroeder
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Tony Schroeder
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    As a Business Advisor, Facilitator, and Leadership Coach, Tony executes Aileron’s mission of improving the quality of life in America by teaching business leaders the advantages of incorporating clarity and simplicity into their businesses and lives. An entrepreneur himself, Tony gets is fulfilled by empowering people to practice professional management as a personal and business growth tool.

    Tony loves simplicity and believes the most effective things happen when people have clarity and understanding. He’s an avid and enthusiastic planner; Tony believes having a plan prepares people for focused execution and allows people to make adjustments along the way. (He also maintains that planning a vacation is almost as enjoyable as going on one.) And he’s a storyteller and humor advocate; Tony believes people learn best when they’re having a good time, sharing personal experiences, and creating connections over shared stories.

    When he’s not helping business leaders reach their goals, you can find Tony woodworking, spending time with his kids and grandkids, or biking around the world; he and his wife have biked for 30 days from Zürich, Switzerland to Budapest, Hungary.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Spirituality – understanding why I exist, what my purpose is, and how I can live it. Answering the question: what am I here for?”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Spirituality, personal growth, and relationships. Spirituality is about living my purpose in life. Personal growth is about continually growing and learning, and taking advantage of opportunities. Relationships is about nurturing relationships with my wife, my family, and other people.”

    Why Aileron?

    “It provides me an opportunity to live my values and purpose. I get personal growth here, I get to develop a lot of relationships, and I get to give back. That’s what I like about Aileron.”

  • Stacy Sheldon
    Marketing Manager
    Stacy Sheldon
    Marketing Manager

    Leading the Market Engagement team, Stacy Sheldon works closely with internal teams, partners, and clients to explore how Aileron can continue to add value to our community, and how we can communicate that value by sharing our stories and our clients’ stories. With a history of running a small business herself and working closely with a diverse collection of business leaders in an agency setting, Stacy brings to the team extensive experience in brand development, marketing strategy, and community engagement.

    Stacy is skilled at making complex ideas simple; she enjoys distilling seemingly complicated ideas into easily digestible priorities and next steps, and translating those next steps to a multi-perspective team. She loves connecting the dots, and takes pleasure in understanding the overall landscape of an organization or project to better understand her own contributions. And she’s always having fun; Stacy is known for infusing even the most intense projects with a sense of levity and joy.

    On the weekends, you can find Stacy spending time outdoors with her family and their many pets; the Sheldons have a horse, a cat, and two dogs who are just as much a part of the family as their human counterparts.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Having the patience to gather more information before jumping into action. I’m always working on staying curious, because as much as I enjoy connecting the dots, before I start drawing connections, I need to get all the dots on the map.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I value learning by working with people who have different experiences than me. The value of purpose is also big for me; if there's not a purpose to my work, I don't get a lot of energy out of it. And I value fun. I love to find the positive in things and laugh as often as possible.”

    Why Aileron?

    “I have so much passion for our mission of growing leaders and building entrepreneurial businesses. At the same time, I love being in an environment where I can grow and develop myself, too.”

  • Anne Thompson
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach
    Anne Thompson
    Business Advisor, Facilitator and Leadership Coach

    As a Business Advisor and Facilitator at Aileron, Anne Thompson uses her expertise in organizational, leadership, and culture development to help businesses achieve their vision and purpose. Anne’s diverse experience in working with small privately held businesses, large public corporations, educational institutions, and nonprofits – and growing a business herself – enables her to quickly understand the context and culture of organizations, ask important questions to uncover key levers for change, and assist business leaders in identifying and implementing strategies, structures, and behaviors to create positive, sustainable change in all kinds of organizations.

    Anne is endlessly curious; she uses the power of question to help people make sense of situations and uncover insights. She’s passionate about partnership, and driven to empower her clients to turn their hopes and dreams into realities. She has deep expertise in emotional and social intelligence, and sees the integration of the head and the heart as critical to developing the self, and in turn developing others. 

    In her free time, you can find Anne, her husband, and their son jet setting around the world to experience different cultures and cuisines, or enjoying a beer and OSU football game while stateside.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “I’m always striving to operate from a mindset of being ‘good enough.’ It’s counter-culture to feel that what I do doesn’t equate to the value I have as a person. To get there, I’m continually connecting to the intention of my heart and my desire to serve. That helps to minimize the ‘I’m not good enough’ narrative.” 

    What are the values that drive you?

    “I’m driven by mastery and serving clients through evidence-based, practiced strategies. I thrive on collaboration and work to build reciprocal, respectful relationships. And I practice empathy. I embrace people where they’re at while also challenging them to stretch just a bit further outside of their comfort zone to help them see greater possibilities.”

    Why Aileron?

    “At Aileron, we consistently put into practice with each other what we offer to our clients. Aileron is its own learning lab for all the concepts we’re asking our business leaders to embrace. I love that about this organization.”

  • Michaela Van Arsdale
    Client Engagement Coordinator
    Michaela Van Arsdale
    Client Engagement Coordinator

    As Client Engagement Coordinator, Michaela Van Arsdale liaises between the Aileron team and our community, welcoming new clients, delivering services, and supporting our clients throughout their engagement. Michaela has had a passion for nonprofit work since she studied it in college, and is energized every day by contributing to Aileron’s mission and seeing its impact in her work.

    Michaela is a problem solver; she naturally seeks out opportunity for improvement, and finds joy in evolving processes and systems to improve how we work. She’s a lifelong learner, and values the diversity of Aileron’s team members, their perspectives, and how they come together to create an environment where everyone is always learning. And she loves a challenge; one of her favorite parts of her role is the variety of her day-to-day work, and the constant opportunity it presents to try something new or develop an emerging skill.

    When she’s not on campus, Michaela is spending time with her three rescue dogs – Clover, Calvin, and Dax – or jetsetting with her husband. The two love to adventure and explore new places, and are always looking for recommendations for their next getaway.

    What’s something you’re constantly striving to get better at?

    “Recognizing and understanding other people’s perspectives – it’s really easy to think the way we naturally think, and live your life that way. But when you recognize how someone else thinks or feels and try to understand them, it helps you be a kinder person. That’s my goal, always.”

    What are the values that drive you?

    “Responsibility and concern for others. I feel responsible for working hard, but also for being kind to others and creating a positive environment around me.”

    Why Aileron?

    “It’s not like anywhere else. It’s a constant challenge with constant rewards. It’s always hard, and it’s always worth it.”

  • Wendy Vloedman
    Business Advisor and Facilitator
    Wendy Vloedman
    Business Advisor and Facilitator
    Wendy Vloedman began working with Aileron in 2008 as a facilitator for the President’s Roundtable, which has evolved into the Course for President’s Peer Group. She continues to work with the Aileron team to build and develop the organization’s internal Human Resources systems and practices and to add great talent to the staff. She currently facilitates the Course for President’s Peer Group and the Course for Managers, and she serves on a number of boards for privately held companies in addition to providing Executive Coaching for individual clients.
     
    She began her 23-year career with The Iams Company as a Territory Sales Representative in 1984 when the company’s staff numbered just over 100, while sales were less than $50 million annually. During her tenure with Iams and later, with Procter & Gamble when The Iams Company was acquired, Wendy moved through roles of sales management, sales training, training & development leadership, and human resources. She served as the Director of Iams University, a prototype of sorts for what would eventually become Aileron, and in 2000 she became the Human Resources leader for P&G Pet Care, a $1.7 billion subsidiary of Procter and Gamble. In that role, Wendy played an active role on the leadership team and spearheaded the integration of the organization’s practices, policies, and culture after The Iams Company was acquired in 1999.
     
    Wendy brings to privately held business owners her passion and expertise for people development, organizational strategy and change, culture, and performance management. Her deep roots and hands-on, practical experience in the fundamentals of professional management give her a unique perspective in assisting presidents and owners who are committed to establishing stronger professional management processes in their own companies.
     
    Wendy achieved her BS degree from Western Illinois University and is a certified P&G Executive Coach. For fun, she likes to cook, ride her horse, read, and create fabric art.
  • Sara Wiggershaus
    Client Services Manager
    Sara Wiggershaus
    Client Services Manager

    Growing up as the daughter of a small business owner, Sara has always had a passion for entrepreneurship and business development.  From her time working in the corporate sector as well as having experience in small business ownership, she brings a unique skill set with her to Aileron.  Sara has a desire to help others learn and implement professional management within their organization so that their business, employees and customers can reach their full potential.

    This passion carries over into her work as Client Services Manager for Aileron. In this role, Sara is responsible for leading a team in the delivery of our products and services with special attention to the current and future needs of Aileron’s clients. Her goal is always to create a memorable experience for those who Aileron serves.

    A Cincinnati native, Sara is a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in Entrepreneurship. When not at Aileron she can be found cheering on her 3 active girls at their sporting events. On the rare weekend her family is not involved in sports you will probably find Sara, her husband Adam and their girls making memories at the lake.

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