Board of Directors

By applying effective interventions, advancing nutritional truths through research, and building global collaborations, The Mathile Institute is able to have a tremendous impact while maintaining a lean and efficient organization. Guided by a small but intensely dedicated leadership team, the institute is able to advance its mission worldwide while growing capacity for the future.



Clayton L. Mathile, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

The Mathile Institute

Former CEO and owner of The Iams Company, Clay Mathile, is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition®.

Born into a hard-working family, Clay is an Ohio native who worked as an assistant purchasing agent for the Campbell Soup Company. He joined Iams in the 1970s where he went on to become CEO, owner and Chairman of the Board over the following few decades. In 1999, the Mathile family sold Iams to international conglomerate Procter & Gamble.

Clay’s passion for teaching and his belief that no child should suffer from the lack of quality food, inspired him to develop The Mathile Institute. Clay’s idea was fueled by the notion that the expertise, energy and dedication he and his team put toward creating world-class quality pet food, could be redirected to finding sustainable, practical and evidence-based solutions to help children and families around the world.

Clay’s long-time friendship with Nobel Laureate and father of the Green Revolution, Dr. Norman Borlaug reinforced the urgency with which to look at combating hunger and malnutrition in a new way. As such, The Mathile Institute is committed to exploring nutrition interventions through different, yet culturally-relevant approaches that would build upon and strengthen existing food and nutrition insights.

Clay’s ultimate vision for The Mathile Institute is that its outputs help the human condition by reducing suffering, improving quality of life, and empowering people to reach their full potential.

Still active in several business ventures, Clay devotes most of his time to philanthropic interests. In addition to The Mathile Institute, Clay is involved in the following ventures:

  • Founder and Chairman of the Board of Aileron, a Dayton-based non-profit organization created to strengthen communities by helping business owners lead and manage their companies, driving growth, innovation and jobs.
  • The Mathile Family Foundation: Since 1989, the Foundation has granted more than $230 million to nonprofit organizations that help Dayton area children and their families.
  • The Glen at St. Joseph: This life-changing campus for 36 single-moms and their young children is a realization of a longtime dream of Clay’s wife, MaryAnn Mathile. The Glen offers mothers the opportunity to pursue their educational and career goals while their children attend a state-of-the-art early learning center on campus.

Clay also serves as a trustee on a select group of nonprofit boards focused on education, medical innovation, and social justice. Clay and MaryAnn, live in Dayton, Ohio. Clay insists his most important roles are that of husband, father of five, and grandfather of 15.


Mike Mathile, Chairman

Mathile Enterprise

Mike Mathile serves as Chairman of the Mathile Enterprise and provides strategic leadership and management for the Family’s business activities. He is also a Managing Director of growth capital firm, Myrian Capital.

Prior to undertaking his current roles, Mike was the President and Chief Executive Officer at AcuTemp Thermal Systems, a Dayton-based, world-leader in energy efficient cold chain technology solutions. He is also Chairman of MyScript and CSafe Global, formally known as AcuTemp Thermal Systems.

He holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University. He is an Executive Scholar in Leadership and Management at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Mike serves on the Business Advisory Council of the Mendoza School of Business at the University of Notre Dame.
Mike and his wife, Michelle, reside in the Dayton region and have four children.


Dwight Armstrong, PhD, CEO

The National FFA Organization

Since 2009, Armstrong has served as CEO of the National FFA Organization. In this role he guides the organization and works with the National FFA Board of Directors and the National FFA Staff to address pressing challenges and opportunities facing FFA on local, state and national levels. FFA is in nearly 7500 schools in all states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and has 557,318 members enrolled in agricultural education. FFA is focused on developing the potential in these young people for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Since 2008, Armstrong has also served as the Founder and Principal at JDA Consulting, LLC. From 2000-2008, he served at Provimi, a global nutrition company, as Group Vice President and Director of the Americas and as President and CEO of North American Nutrition Companies, Inc. Prior to joining Provimi, Armstrong was President and General Manager at the animal nutrition and research center of Akey, Inc., from 1982-2000, where he led major business initiatives with increased growth and profitability. From 1975-1982 he was on the faculty at North Carolina State University in the Animal Science Department.

Dwight is a former FFA member from Kentucky, and he served as chairman of the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board. He has also served as chairman of the American Feed Industry Association’s Board of Directors. Dwight received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Murray State University. He earned a Master of Science and his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from Purdue University. He grew up on a farm in Kentucky and is still proudly involved with his family’s farming operation.


Richard J. Chernesky, Partner

Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP

Richard J. Chernesky is a Partner in the Corporate Department. Dick concentrates his practice in the area of general corporate law, including negotiation, structuring, and consummation of acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, and reorganizations. He has extensive experience representing family owned and publicly held companies, with emphasis on general corporate and business advice as well as raising capital through public and private offerings, venture capital financings, and real estate syndications.

J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (The Ohio State Law Journal, Note Editor, 1966)
B.A., Political Science, The Ohio State University (1963)


National Lawyers Association
Ohio State Bar Association, Corporate Law Committee
Dayton Bar Association.
Sinclair Community College, Member of the Board of Trustees
Mike-sell’s, Inc., Member of the Board of Directors
International Display Systems, Inc., Member of the Board of Directors
Dolly, Inc., Former Member of the Board of Directors
The Better Business Bureau of Dayton/Miami Valley, Inc., Former Member of the Board of Directors
Miami Valley Hospital Foundation, Former Member of the Board of Directors
United States Soccer Federation Foundation, Former Member of the Board of Directors
American Indoor Soccer Association, Inc., Former Member of the Board of Directors
Hipple Cancer Research Center, Former Trustee
The Lutheran School of Dayton, Former Trustee
Development Committee of the Lutheran Social Services of the Miami Valley, Former Member

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
Selected for the Ohio Super Lawyers® List
Named to The Dayton Business Journals “Who’s Who in Law”


W. Ronnie Coffman, PhD, International Professor & Director of Intl Programs

Cornell University

W. Ronnie Coffman serves as International Professor of Plant Breeding and Director of International Programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. He also serves as Principal Investigator of the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSPII) and the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project. With Jeanie Borlaug Laube as Chair, he serves as Vice Chair of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative. Previous positions include Associate Dean for Research and Director, Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station; Chair of the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, and Plant Breeder at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Coffman’s work has been important to the development of improved rice varieties grown on several million hectares throughout the world. He has collaborated extensively with institutions in the developing world and has served as a board member for several international institutes, including the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA), and the Council of Advisors of the World Food Prize. His Ph.D. is from Cornell University and undergraduate work was done at the University of Kentucky, his home state.


Diane A. Hirakawa, PhD, President

The Mathile Institute

Diane A. Hirakawa, Ph.D., became the President of The Mathile Institute in 2007. Prior to this position, she served as Global Vice President for Pet Health and Nutrition at Proctor and Gamble, and as Vice President for Research and Development for the Iams Company. Diane was able to take her love of nutrition and companion animals, and deliver innovations in pet nutrition, thereby extending the healthy longevity of dogs and cats around the world.

Her years in global pet nutrition enabled Diane to gain extensive knowledge in combining unique ingredients and provide value-added nutrition for growth, reproduction, physical stress, endurance, and overall maintenance. It is this foundational knowledge that allows The Mathile Institute to be founded on solid nutritional principles and evidence-based responses.

Diane is passionate about preventative health care and is serves as President of Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN), an organization supporting research collaborations among experts who focus on finding a cure for ependymoma brain cancer. Diane serves on the Board of the Miami Valley School.

Diane graduated from the University of Illinois where she received her PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry.