DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Kemin Health president and FloraGLO® Lutein inventor, Rod Ausich, died Friday, June 25, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Ausich was president of Kemin Health until late 2009 when his health began to deteriorate. He is credited with realizing lutein’s benefits for eye health in combating age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and pioneering a new methodology for the development of purified lutein still used at Kemin today.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Rod Ausich,” said Chris Nelson, Ph.D., Kemin Industries president and CEO. “Rod was a true pioneer in the fight against blindness caused by AMD. A founding father of Kemin Health, his leadership and guidance led Kemin Health to become a preeminent supplier of Lutein worldwide. Millions of people have benefited from his work and his legacy will be remembered by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children in this difficult time.”
Ausich is survived by his wife, Becki, and his two children, Brandyn and Evan.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the Dr. Rodney Ausich Scholarship Fund. Checks should be made payable to Rebecca Simmons. Please mail your donations to: Wells Fargo Advisors, ATTN: Tamara Elwell, 1245 Jordan Creek Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266. Ausich always believed in education. Several students will benefit from this scholarship fund including a sponsored child living in Peru and students from Roosevelt High School and Natrona County High School.
Ausich joined Kemin in 1994 as the director of research and development for Kemin Industries. After he realized lutein’s benefits for eye health, a separate business unit was formed, Kemin Health, to focus on the commercialization of FloraGLO Lutein.
Prior to joining Kemin, Ausich worked for Amoco Corporation for nearly 14 years as a research scientist. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Wyoming and a graduate degree and Ph.D. in plant sciences from Indiana University. He also received a Master of Business Administration from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management while at Amoco Corporation.
Ausich authored seven published and five pending patents. He was also an active member of the Des Moines community serving on the Board of Directors of Mercy College, and ultimately Chairman of that Board for four years.
Kemin® – Inspired Molecular Solutions™
Founded in 1961, the Kemin group of companies (www.kemin.com) provides health and nutritional solutions to the agrifood, food ingredient, 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.
Kemin Health develops, manufactures and markets specialty ingredients with healthful benefits for the dietary supplement and functional food and beverage markets. Specific to the nutraceutical industry, Kemin Health is credited with successfully commercializing lutein and significantly developing the eye supplement category under the FloraGLO® Lutein brand (www.floraglolutein.com), the leading and most researched lutein ingredient brand sold worldwide. Kemin Health also manufactures Slendesta®, a safe, natural ingredient for healthy weight management, and Cr-Pro™, a new source of dietary chromium for dietary supplement products.