Bravo to honor Mary & R.W. Nelson at 11th Annual Bravo Awards Gala

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mary and R.W. Nelson, will be honored at the 11th Annual Bravo Awards Gala – The Best Is Yet To Come on Saturday, February 6, 2016.

Founders of Kemin Industries, Mary and R.W. have been influential business, community and philanthropic leaders in the central Iowa region. Their compassion extends as far as the global reach of Kemin Industries – supporting those who experience distress, disadvantage and who are impacted by natural disasters.

Natives of Des Moines, the Nelsons founded Kemin Industries in an abandoned wool barn in 1961. Together they have shepherded the company to have a global reach, touching more than two billion lives worldwide. This led to their induction in the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in 2006. Kemin provides “inspired molecular solutions” specifically developed to provide nutrition and health benefits for humans and animals. A privately held, family-owned and operated company, Kemin has nearly 2,000 employees and operates in more than 90 countries with manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

In addition to being a member of the Iowa Business Hall of Fame, Mary has been the recipient of the Sisterhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the President’s Angel Award from Dowling High School, the People of Vision Award from Prevent Blindness of Iowa, and the YMCA Women of Achievement.

R.W. holds four patents and has been recognized worldwide for his innovations, including citations from Presidents Nixon and Carter – the President’s “E” Certificate for Exports in 1971, and the President’s “E” Star Award for Excellence in Export in 1978. He also received the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Award in 1972, the State of Iowa Economic Impact Award in 1987, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Achievement Iowa award in 1991, and the Iowa Biotechnology Association’s Entrepreneur Achievement Biotechnology Award in 2004.

Bravo will celebrate Mary & R.W. Nelson for their contributions to the cultural community of our region on February 6. The Nelsons support the Des Moines Art Center, the Science Center of Iowa and Mary is an emeritus board member of Living History Farms.

The Bravo Award has been presented annually since 2006. Past recipients include:

  • Myron & Jackie Blank Family (2006)
  • David & Liz Kruidenier (2007)
  • John & Mary Pappajohn (2008)
  • Richard & Jeanne Levitt and Maddie Levitt (2009)
  • Barry & Michele Griswell (2010)
  • The John Ruan Family (2011)
  • William C. Knapp (2012)
  • Patty and Jim Cownie (2013)
  • Fred and Charlotte Hubbell (2014)
  • Steven Zumbach (2015)