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Business Record
Wednesday AM Daily | July 5, 2017
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Renewable Energy Group CEO resigns 
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Renewable Energy Group CEO and President Daniel Oh resigned from his position Monday.

The group's board of directors appointed longtime director Randy L. Howard as interim president until a replacement is found.

Oh is "extremely proud of the REG team and the success we achieved over the past ten years," he said in an REG news release announcing his departure. The release did not cite a specific reason for his resignation.

REG's stock was trading at $12.32, down 5.9 percent, at 10:30 a.m. today. 

In January, the Business Record published a profile on the Renewable Energy Group, including an interview with Daniel Oh, which can be read here.

Ames, Des Moines land atop Silicon Prairie startup ecosystem rankings
Silicon Prairie News released its annual State of the Silicon Prairie Report, and Ames and Des Moines were recognized in the publication's startup ecosystem rankings. Ames ranked first and Des Moines ranked fifth among Midwestern cities for their index score per capita. The Silicon Prairie index attempts to form an algorithm to judge and evaluate the overall well-being of the startup ecosystems within a city, but does not specify which data points are used in the algorithm.

Correction: A news item that ran in the Monday AM Daily contained an error in the name of the marketing director of the Iowa Soybean Association. His correct name is Grant Kimberley.
Iowa State University College of Business
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Insider Notebook
Volunteers logged 277,664 hours at cultural groups in '15
BY PERRY BEEMAN: Americans for the Arts reports that in 2015, 7,590 volunteers donated a combined 277,664 hours to the Greater Des Moines region's participating nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. This represents a donation of time with an estimated aggregate value of $6.5 million. Read more

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Report: Iowa budget shortfall could hit $350 million for the year
Des Moines Register: State budget analysts are expecting revenue to fall another $104 million short of projections, bringing the year's total budget shortfall to about $350 million, a new report shows.

Volvo, betting on electric, moves to phase out conventional engines
New York Times: Volvo Cars said today that all the vehicle models it introduces from 2019 on will either be hybrids or be powered solely by batteries, betting that the era of the internal combustion engine is coming to a close. The company would still produce older models with conventional engines after 2019.

Emirates and Turkish Airlines say laptop ban lifted on their U.S. flights
New York Times: Emirates and Turkish Airlines said today that they were the latest carriers to have been exempted from an American ban on laptops and other electronic devices in the passenger cabins of flights from eight Muslim-majority countries.

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More than half of workers looking for new jobs, survey says

BY JOE GARDYASZ: A new survey from Gallup sheds some light on how American workers feel about their jobs, Fast Company reports. According to the Gallup Report on the American Workplace, a record 47 percent of the workforce says now is a good time to find a quality job, and just over half of employees indicated they're searching for new jobs or watching for openings. The study also points to a lack of worker engagement; only one-third of U.S. employees said they are engaged in their work and workplace, and about 1 in 5 fault their managers for failing to motivate them. Ninety-one percent of respondents said their last job change was to a new company rather than moving to a new position within the company. Read more

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More than 60 firefighters called to 15-alarm fire 
A major fire damaged several buildings in a Central Iowa town's downtown. The fire started late Tuesday in Melcher-Dallas and continued to burn into the early morning hours today. The 15-alarm fire engulfed at least four businesses, including That's My Bag and More, Iowa State Savings Bank, Craftiques Flea Market and the post office. Melcher-Dallas Police Chief Steve Johns said he doesn't think fireworks caused the fire, but the cause hasn't been determined yet. More than 60 firefighters helped battle the blaze. Read more

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The Iowa Index is an unweighted average of all 23 Iowa-based public companies. Below is a live look at those 23, plus 14 additional companies with large operations in Iowa.
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