McLain graduated from Auburn in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and later earned a joint Clemson University-Furman University master’s degree in business administration. Currently he serves as CEO and managing partner of ICON Investment Partners in Atlanta, Ga., and as a senior advisor to Irving Place Capital in New York. In his work, he focuses on investments and building “great companies” in branded industrial and consumer products sectors.
Prior to joining Irving Place Capital in 2012, McLain served from 1998 to 2008 as CEO of Aearo Technologies, Inc., a maker of worker safety equipment for industrial and consumer markets and a successful Irving Place Capital investment. During his tenure, his team helped drive more than $1 billion of value creation for three private equity firms before selling Aearo to 3M Corporation.
Previously, McLain spent more than 25 years in branded consumer products, including as president and CEO of DowBrands, the consumer products division of The Dow Chemical Company that marketed Ziploc, Saran, Spray’n Wash, Fantastik, and other well-known consumer brands. McLain currently serves as chairman of Chromalox, a thermal technology company with headquarters in Pittsburgh, and as a board member of Timex Watch Group. He previously served as chairman of Victor Technologies, Porex, and Playcore.
He is a former Park Tudor School board chairman, and a former board member of Community Hospitals, Pleasant Run Children’s Homes, Center for Leadership Development, and the Furman Advisory Board. He is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, and a member of the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business Shareholders’ Club and its Advisory Council, the 1856 Society’s Founders Circle, and James E. Foy Loyalty Society. He is married to Jane Thompson McLain ’72 (clothing and textiles, College of Human Sciences) and together they have three children and eight grandchildren.