The following press release was distributed on March 25. 

Contact: Joe Hrdlicka (515) 327-9156-office (515) 250-9798-mobile


DES MOINES — April 1, 2016 — Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio) Executive Director Joe Hrdlicka and Cultivation Corridor Executive Director Brent Willett announced Kemin President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chris Nelson the recipient of the inaugural Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award at this year’s Partnering For Growth forum.

As CEO of Kemin, a global bioscience company specializing in improving human and animal health through molecular innovations, Dr. Nelson is a recognized leader in the field of biotechnology. The company operates manufacturing facilities on six continents and has more than 90 offices worldwide. Kemin touches more than two billion people daily with products for specific health and nutrition solutions.

Dr. Nelson began his career with Kemin in 1980 as director of research and development; however, since 1993, he has served as president of Kemin. Distinguished among the company’s many commercial and scientific advances is the fact that Kemin pioneered the process of isolating and purifying the antioxidant molecule lutein for human consumption in supplements and fortified foods.

Under his leadership at Kemin, the company has more than quadrupled in size and now employs nearly 2,000 people. Dr. Nelson received his undergraduate training at Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Washington State University. He holds 15 patents and has authored numerous peer-reviewed, published research studies.

“I’m honored to accept this award,” Nelson said. “The Cultivation Corridor and IowaBio are strong organizations committed to moving this industry forward and I appreciate their recognition.”

“The leadership exhibited by Dr. Nelson at Kemin Industries make him a model to receive this award,” Willett said. “The Cultivation Corridor is pleased to recognize him and his achievements.”

“Dr. Nelson has been a leader in this industry for a long time,” Hrdlicka agreed. “His recent leadership on advocacy for the renewable biochemical tax credit is just one example of his commitment to biotechnology in Iowa.”

The recipient was determined by a committee of individuals with roles in Iowa’s biotechnology industry. The recipient was required to have demonstrated leadership traits and commitment to advancing Iowa’s biotech industry.

IowaBio’s Partnering For Growth forum is the state’s “biotechnology summit” targeted to senior leaders in biotech who have funding, human resources, issues management, business development and research in their areas of responsibility. The event also attracts public leaders who lead programs assisting the biotech sector from a funding, regulatory or economic development perspective. Partnering For Growth features a series of educational presentations, track sessions and networking activities aimed at sharing best practices and opportunities for collaboration within the industry.

About IowaBio
Since 1994, the Iowa Biotechnology Association has provided benefits and services to promote the interests and growth of the life sciences industries in Iowa. We are a non-profit, membership-based organization with a diversified membership including industry companies from all segments of biotechnology, universities & colleges, state & federal associations, as well as numerous service & support companies. Our Association seeks to promote the success and growth of biotech-based business in Iowa, ultimately securing our strong biotech economy while growing our business & increasing our influence nationally and around the globe. For more information, visit

About Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor
Focused on further developing and marketing the world-renowned bioeconomy in Central Iowa, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor is building on a rich history of innovation to accelerate value-added agriculture business development by attracting companies, talent and capital from across the globe to the state. Representing a diverse public-private coalition of stakeholders including the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Iowa State University, non-profits and private sector companies from across the region and state, the Cultivation Corridor is one of the nation’s foremost cluster-based economic development organizations. For more information, visit