The Rich History of OSI Industries and Its President David McDonald

Like many titan businesses of today, OSI Industries came from humble beginnings over a century ago. German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky came to the United States in 1907 and settled in Chicago, Illinois. A couple of years later, he opened his very own meat market which did well in his busy community, and within a decade, he moved on to supplying more large-scale (wholesale) amounts of its meat products.

The company renamed itself Otto & Sons in 1928 and the family business continued to thrive in an expanding suburb community, especially after the two World Wars. By the mid 20th century, when the small company known as McDonald’s first started out and began seeing success, Otto & Sons (today known as OSI Industries) paired with the growing enterprise to provide them with a large supply of ground beef for their popular hamburgers. This supplier-consumer relationship would lead to innovations that would become quite common in the industry today such as flash freezing, which ensured that ground beef would remain fresh from it’s journey from the Otto & Sons (OSI Industries) to McDonald’s restaurants. From the start of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st, both companies have essentially grown together–globally–to become commercial successes. In 1975, Otto & Sons became what it is known today as OSI Industries.

Company President David McDonald has been there for a sizable chunk of his company’s history. He acquired his first job out of college as a project manager and worked his way up, eventually becoming OSI’s Chief Operating Officer and President. Born on a farm in Iowa, he went on to attend the state’s University, earning a Bachelor’s in animal science. Today, he serves as an active alumni of his alma mater, as well as a supporter of the mid-west community he was raised in. He helps fund the Alpha Gamma Rho scholarship, creates internship opportunities for students at Iowa State, and is a participant of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. He and his wife Malinda have six children, two of which are enrolled at Iowa State University.

Under David McDonald’s leadership, OSI Industries has seen steady growth in its operations and staff around the globe. The private company employs over 20,000 workers and has 65 plants in 17 countries; the company’s net worth in 2016 was said to be over $6 billion.

With a solid foundation rich of history, values, and talent, OSI Industries will likely continue to prosper in an ever-changing and unpredictable business world.

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