2023 Tour & Talk with Kemin Industries

Apr 19, 2023

2023 Tour & Talk with Kemin Industries


Yesterday was our third annual Tour and Talk and we had the opportunity to be hosted by the Nelson family at Kemin Industries in Des Moines. It was truly a privilege to be a part of the conversation happening around family-owned businesses in Iowa. We are blessed to have some of the most amazingly strong, yet humble, business families on the planet. Not only that, but they are willing and wanting to share with others and see the ecosystem of family ownership strengthened. After yesterday’s interactions, I believe that even more.

Siblings Chris and Libby Nelson shared their family history and future vision. It was both educational and inspiring for our members to see how others are handling the same generational transitions that all business families go through.

The most impressive part to me was the foresight and proactive approach that the business’ founders R.W. and Mary Nelson took to involving their children early—using education and communication as a foundation for including them. These days, those are called best practices, but when they were doing this in the late 70s and early 80s there weren’t centers, magazines or consultants dedicated to pushing the importance of this work.

They spoke of those initial family business meetings on holidays, as that is when they knew everyone would be together. Mixing turkey, stuffing and balance sheets—wow! That’s how you lay the foundation for a strong business family!

Dan Beenken