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Kemin Industries CEO Dr. Chris Nelson Named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2009 Award Winner in Central Midwest Region

Award Recognizes Entrepreneurial Excellence in the Life Sciences Category

DES MOINES, Iowa – June 5, 2009 – Kemin Industries Inc., a nutritional ingredient manufacturer, today announced that Dr. Chris Nelson, CEO, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2009 Award in the life sciences category in the Central Midwest region. According to Ernst & Young LLP, the award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic, growing businesses. Dr. Nelson was selected by an independent panel of judges, and the award was presented at a gala event at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel on Thursday, June 4, 2009.

“We are proud to recognize the achievements of Dr. Nelson,” said Randy Buseman, Ernst & Young Partner, Strategic Growth Markets. “Winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year award build leading businesses and contribute significantly to the strength of our region’s economy. Their success helps our area grow stronger.”

After joining the family business in 1979 as a research director, Dr. Nelson set a new standard for research and development at Kemin. An industry pioneer with a PhD in biochemistry, he pushed his team to “understand the mode of action of all products”. Assuming the role of president in 1999, Kemin’s sales have grown 65% under Chris’ leadership. Kemin Industries Inc. now employs nearly 1,000 people and holds over 170 patents.

Chris encourages his leadership team and employees to think like entrepreneurs and proceed with passion in the development of new ideas and business opportunities. People are the key to Kemin’s long-term success, says Chris, and this “team effort” drives the company’s success. Furthermore, optimistic the innovation will continue, Chris hopes to enter two new markets in the coming years.

As a Central Midwest award winner, Dr. Nelson is now eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 14, 2009. The awards are the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards celebrate their 23rd anniversary this year. The program honors entrepreneurs who have demonstrated exceptionality in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and SAP America as national sponsors.

Regional sponsors for the Central Midwest program include Lockton Companies, Inc. and The Kansas City Star. Locally, the program is sponsored by Faegre & Benson LLP, Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP and Smart Business magazine.

Kemin® – Inspired Molecular Solutions™ Founded in 1961, Kemin Industries Inc. ( provides health and nutritional solutions to the agrifoods, food ingredients, pet food, human health and pharmaceutical industries. Kemin operates in more than 60 countries with manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

About Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® Awards Program

Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Kemin Industries Inc., Erin Mitchell, 515-559-5349, [email protected]

Kemin Industries Inc., Charlotte Jacobs, 515-248-4020, [email protected]