Being president of a multi-national food processing company is anything but a one-size-fits-all proposition, says David G. McDonald. McDonald is president at OSI Group Industries.
OSI Industries supplies protein products, such as breakfast sausage and beef patties, to the food service industry. For many years, OSI Industries was the exclusive supplier of frozen hamburger patties to the McDonald’s restaurant chain.
Today it operates approximately 65 plants in 16 countries and has branched out into sandwich, pizza, dough, and vegetable products. In 2016, Forbes magazine listed OSI Industries as the #58 wealthiest private corporations in the United States. Only five years earlier, in 2011, OSI Industry’s position on the list was 136th.
Ascending to the status of international corporation in the late 1970s, the company now known as OSI Industries was founded by an immigrant from Germany living in Chicago in 1909. Its affiliation with the McDonald’s restaurant chain and the skillful leadership of CEO Sheldon Lavin, who had previously worked in investing and banking, helped the company grow to the global powerhouse it is today.
For 20 years, OSI Industries has operated in mainland China. In China, OSI Industries supplies processed foods to U.S.-based restaurant chains including Papa John’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks.
Today much of OSI’s interest is in developing the European and Brazilian markets. In August 2016, when OSI Industries acquired Netherlands convenience foods processor Baho Foods, McDonald was quoted as saying, “Adding Baho Food to our OSI Europe business gives OSI a broader presence in Europe.” OSI Industries is already one of the top 100 U.S.-based food companies doing business in Europe.
McDonald was born into a farm family in Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1987 and went to work for OSI Industries, eventually working his way up to become president. An active Iowa State alumnus, he donates scholarship funds to the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity of which he was a member.