Corn Oil One's Bob Riley receives leadership award

By The Iowa Biotechnology Association and Cultivation Corridor | March 22, 2018

Iowa Biotechnology Association (IowaBio) Executive Director Joe Hrdlicka and Cultivation Corridor Executive Director Billi Hunt have presented the 2018 Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award to Robert (Bob) G. Riley Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Feed Energy, CEO of the Riley Resource Group and owner of Corn Oil One.

The award recognizes an individual who in the past year has demonstrated leadership, innovation, advocacy and commitment to advancing Iowa’s biotechnology industry. Riley received the award on March 20 at an Ankeny reception as part of the Partnering for Growth Biotech Innovation Showcase and Forum.

A Des Moines native, Riley has worked for more than 40 years in the fats and oil processing industry in many capacities. He has been involved in domestic and international sales and marketing, laboratory supervision, research and development, as well as executive and corporate management. Of significance is Riley’s work with Corn Oil One, a startup company within the Riley Resource Group that is bringing new technologies and products to market to add value to the biofuels, life sciences, oleochemicals and feed industries.

“Bob Riley is immersed in service to the biotechnology profession,” Hunt said. “He has been an active leader for more than four decades. Not only does he champion advancing technology and innovation throughout our state, his activity has moved on to the national and international level, giving Iowa’s biotechnology industry a strong presence and recognition among a much larger audience.”

Riley purchased Feed Energy in 1986 and immediately began the process of building a feed ingredient company with products developed on innovation, research and sound science. Riley is CEO of the Riley Resource Group, a collection of related companies which serve the agricultural industry and its local communities. Riley serves on a number of boards including Iowa State University Research Foundation, Simpson College Board of Trustees and Two Rivers Bank, to name a few. He is a delegate council member of the Cultivation Corridor Board of Directors.

In addition to his tireless advocacy for Iowa’s biotechnology industry, Riley has a unique background and lifelong interests in both agriculture and the environment. In 2017, Riley was presented with the Nature Conservancy International Advocate of the Year award for his advocacy for conservation and natural resources. In the same year, he was inducted into the Iowa Poultry Association Hall of Fame.

“Bob’s a banner waver and very passionate on topics that are important to the biotech industry and Iowans in general,” Hunt said.

IowaBio and the Cultivation Corridor team up to present the Cultivation Corridor Iowa Biotech Leadership Award annually. The recipient is determined by a committee of individuals with roles in Iowa’s biotechnology industry. The inaugural award was presented in 2016 to Kemin President and CEO Chris Nelson. John Swart, founder and CEO of Exemplar Genetics, was last year’s honoree. Additionally, special recognition was awarded posthumously to former Monsanto executive and industry leader Ted Crosbie, who passed away suddenly in 2017.

IowaBio’s Hrdlicka also presented the 2018 Partnering for Growth Biotech Innovation Showcase’s Top Company Award to SynderBio of Coralville, Iowa.

SynderBio is a lab automation and cancer diagnostics company that offers novel techniques that expedite and enhance cellular analyses through label-free, targeted capture of cells from biopsy tissue in both research and clinical settings.

“Our expert panel felt SynderBio made the most compelling case for best company,” Hrdlicka said. “We had 12 companies from around the country. SynderBio work exemplifies a leadership position in bioscience.”

IowaBio’s Partnering for Growth Biotech Innovation Showcase and Forum is the state’s biotechnology summit targeted to senior leaders in biotech who have funding, human resources, issues management, business development and research in their areas of responsibility. The event also attracts public leaders who lead programs assisting the biotech sector from a funding, regulatory or economic development perspective. Partnering for Growth features a series of educational presentations, track sessions and networking activities aimed at sharing best practices and opportunities for collaboration within the industry.


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