Spotlight on Kemin

Serving the world, serving Greater Des Moines

Spotlight on Kemin

Our donor spotlight is on Kemin Industries Inc, a company with a global vision, local presence and a supporter of providing affordable housing. 

Headquartered in Des Moines, Kemin provides human and animal nutrition ingredients around the world.  The company’s support of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund has been long, generous and engaging.  From financial contributions to the “Combined Campaign for Housing” to their leadership in working to end homelessness, Kemin lives their values of servant leadership. 

We caught up with Lauren Burt, the company’s Worldwide Communications Manager, for additional insights on the company’s servant leadership approach and their corporate culture.  She shared how from its beginning in 1961, Kemin has worked relentlessly to discover molecules and create ingredients that improve nutrition and health.  In fact, today they have the goal of “improving the quality of life by touching half the people of the world every day with Kemin products and services.”  Lauren also notes that “affordable housing helps form the foundation for a successful community.  Our philanthropic efforts focus on science and general education, affordable housing, disaster relief and creating vibrant communities.”  The fact that helping a family achieve housing stability has a positive impact on education does not go unnoticed.  Students are able to stay in the same school with the same teachers and support groups.

This all contributes to a quality of life for the region that is also so important to attracting and retaining great employees – which is key, as the company continues to grow its workforce.  Lauren acknowledges housing for all income levels is important to meeting fundamental needs and in turn “enriches our community both socially and economically.”

When asked about affordable housing’s impact personally, Lauren goes back the company’s dedication to servant leadership and the words of their leaders.  Kemin CEO and President Chris Nelson states, “It’s a privilege to work in an organization where you can serve not only your customers but also your colleagues.”  And as Mary Nelson, Co-Founder eloquently puts it, “We have a responsibility to return to our community and the world a portion of what we earn from our endeavors.”  

We thank Kemin for their vision, commitment and support of the PCHTF and allowing us to help provide part of their “return to our community and the world” in the form of affordable housing.