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Dayton Development Coalition Honors Oscar-Winning Filmakers With 2019 Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award

DAYTON, Ohio – This year’s Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award honors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, documentary filmmakers who have spent their career giving voice to the people who form the backbone of the Dayton Region. 

In their 2019 film American Factory, Julia and Steven gave the world an intimate look into the first three years of Fuyao Glass America’s redevelopment of General Motor’s former Moraine Assembly plant. Bognar and Reichert chronicled the shuttering of the GM plant in their 2009 film The Last Truck.

Netflix, the film’s distributor, described the film as, “a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.”

The annual award is named for Maureen Patterson, who dedicated her career to the region’s economic growth. The award honors an extraordinary leader in our community who, like Patterson, advocates for the community’s economic health and growth.

“Films like American Factory and The Last Truck bring a compassionate, nuanced view of Ohio’s industrial heart to many people who will never set foot in Ohio or near a factory,” said Jeff Hoagland, the DDC’s President and CEO. “They highlighted the hard work that goes into standing up a massive manufacturing operation while navigating the cultural landscape created when Chinese and American employees build a new workplace. It’s no surprise this compelling story has been nominated for an Academy Award.”

In the two years since Reichert and Bognar turned off the cameras, Fuyao has continued to evolve. Their work in the community through programs such as “Connect Centerville” show how they are building broader regional relationships. Chairman Cho Tak Wong’s recent announcement of additional investment at Fuyao’s Moraine facility demonstrates the company’s commitment to the Dayton Region and Ohio, as well as its confidence in the region’s workforce and business climate.

The DDC also presented three economic development awards including: 

  • Cornerstone Research Group was recognized as the Dayton Region’s 2019 Leading Job Creator.
Cornerstone Research Group (CRG) announced it will expand its current operations to a new facility while expecting to create 250 new jobs in the Dayton Region. The company’s expansion initiative would open new opportunities for a variety of high-skilled jobs in the Dayton Region including software developers, aerospace engineers, electrical engineers, composite engineers, chemists, and manufacturing personnel.
For more than 20 years, Cornerstone Research Group has been trusted to provide innovative technology solutions to solve some of the nation’s most challenging defense and aerospace problems. Founded in 1997, the small business has rapidly grown through strategic partnerships and advanced innovative technologies to deliver solutions for a large variety of applications including carbon composites, advanced batteries and power systems, electric propulsion and unmanned air vehicles. 
  • Henny Penny was honored as the Dayton Region’s 2019 Project of the Year.
Henny Penny began construction in October for a 150,000 square-foot expansion to its Preble County manufacturing facility and will add 70 new jobs. The new space will house an Innovation Center for new product development, automation & innovation and expand the company’s manufacturing footprint. At completion, Henny Penny will have a total of 585,000 square feet on its 60-acre campus and more than 800 employees.
Eaton-based Henny Penny provides premium food service equipment solutions in more than 100 countries to high-volume kitchens, including QSRs and casual dining chains; healthcare facilities; supermarkets and more. 
  • Oculii was recognized as the 2019 Entrepreneurial Startup.
Oculii finalized plans in June to build a new 18,000 square-foot facility in Dayton to accommodate its growing team. Oculii plans to hire 30 highly-skilled positions in radar engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering with a specific need for veteran workers with industry experience. The company will be pursuing an aggressive hiring plan to bring manufacturing and production experience to its team.
Oculii manufactures 4D intelligent sensing radars for autonomous systems. They utilize the cloud to process and analyze information, allowing product to be more effective, smaller, and cheaper than traditional hardware. The company has developed an intelligent sensor for autonomous vehicles, self-flying drones, and robots, and plans to ramp up manufacturing to address client needs for their sensors. 

Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award Honorees
2005- Lt .Gen. (ret) John Nowak
2006- Dr. Daniel Curran
2007- Beverly Shillito
2008- Dennis Rediker
2009- Peter Luongo
2010- Dr. Benjamin Schuster
2011- Maureen Patterson
2012- Gen. (ret) Lester Lyles
2013- Dayton Power & Light
2014- Pam Morris
2015- Dr. Daniel Curran
2016- Cho Tak Wong
2017- Dr. Anne Eiting Klamar
2018- Clay Mathile

The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) is the leading economic development organization for the 14-county Dayton Region. Working closely with public and private regional partners, its mission is to recruit, expand and retain jobs. The DDC and the Dayton Region ranked as the nation’s top metro for its size for economic development in 2008, 2009 and 2012 and runner-up in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2018. With the State’s largest single-site employer in its backyard, the DDC also focuses on advocating for the critical missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and supporting the work of the United States Air Force. The DDC was ranked as America’s top military community, and was presented with the 2015 Community Excellence Award from the Association of Defense Communities. It was designated as one of the ADC’s Great American Defense Communities in 2016 – a testament to the collaborative efforts in support of Wright-Patt, America’s #1 Air Force Base as ranked by the Air Force Times in 2014.

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