David McDonald Working His Way Through the Ranks

After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in animal science, David McDonald was hired at OSI Industries as Sheldon Lavin’s intern. From there he worked his way up the ranks and currently serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the global food processor and supplier. Just like McDonald, OSI Industries didn’t start out at the top. Otto Kolschowsky, an immigrant from Germany, started the business as a small Chicago butcher shop in 1909. Otto & Sons, what the company was called at the time, saw growth from the very beginning; however, that growth took off in 1955 when Ray Kroc opened the first Illinois based McDonalds in Des Plaines. Otto & Sons became the supplier of ground beef for this location.

As McDonalds began to spread throughout the region, Otto & Sons grew right along with it and became the meat supplier for the region. But, it didn’t stop there, as McDonalds spread to a global level, so did Otto & Sons; and, with their growth came the name to what it is known as today, OSI Industries. Starting as an intern to Sheldon Lavin over 30 years ago gave David McDonald the opportunity to learn the business from the bottom up. Additionally, it gave him the knowledge about the technical issues that accompany the operation of close partnerships and the culture of the corporate world. As he has worked his way to the top, David McDonald has played a number of critical roles in the growth of OSI Industries, including, the expansion of the company in China.

Where McDonald learned how to navigate the Chinese bureaucracy, ultimately allowing the company to spread to the area; the acquisition of Flagship Europe, a supplier for bespoke products; and, Baho Foods, a Dutch company that supplies both snacks and deli meats. David McDonald also had a hand in the spread of OSI Industries in Japan, Poland, India, Europe, and even the United States where several new facilities were opened. A small butcher shop known as Otto & Sons has grown to be one of the most successful privately-owned business in the United States and, it doesn’t appear as though that growth is stopping anytime soon. David McDonald takes great pride in the company he has helped grow into what it is today and their ability to stay humble and steady.

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