Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
In 1993, artist and inventor Jeffrey Smith is living in his hometown of Fairfield. At age 23, one of his many hand-drawn concepts came to life as what would be the world’s first-ever product of its kind.
It was an idea he could not let go.
Jeffrey sought a business partner to help him get his vision to the next phase. Enter longtime friend Monica Hadley. With her financial expertise, Monica developed funding for the first round of engineering and tooling of what would soon become the Drive Time brand aromatherapy diffuser, which would warm fragrance in a vehicle’s 12-volt charger insert.
Over the next three years, Jeffrey and Monica refined and made a prototype of the device, first in the U.S. and then in Taiwan, attracting interest from customers all over the world.
A formal corporate organization was put into place with longtime businessman Patrick Kosar joining Jeffrey and Monica in their vision to get the ingenious product into national retail and wholesale markets.
Moving from Nevada to join this team, Nate Orme-Johnson came on board as national sales manager, and within months, his persistence led to the company’s first sales breakthrough putting AERON on the route to today’s leadership role in the making of fragrance diffusers for home, office, and car.
In 2021, Monica continues as chief financial officer and directs AERON’s expansion of the company’s house and private label brands. Patrick continues as chief executive officer overseeing the AERON enterprise. Nate serves the company as president overseeing U.S. and overseas locations. Jeffrey moved on as founder of several other businesses which today interface with and support the AERON enterprise.
The company has recorded eight years of record-breaking growth in recent years, and the last five have been consecutive.