At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was massive immigration into the United States. Otto Kolschowsky was among the immigrants from Germany who arrived in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago was a gateway to most immigrants who sought employment from the thriving manufacturing industries. In 1909, Kolschowsky opened a small butchery to serve the surging German community. By the time the First World War was ending, his business had thrived into wholesale operations prompting him to open an additional branch at Maywood. As time passed, more opportunities emerged that spurred growth even further. One of the most remarkable opportunities was the partnership with McDonald’s for the supply of beef products.
Change of leadership
Since inception, the company was mainly run as a family business. However, in 1975 the company rebranded from Otto & Sons to OSI industries. At the same time, Sheldon Lavin, an investment consultant at the company joined as a partner. His entry saw a change of the leadership positions where he later became the CEO.
Leadership under Sheldon Lavin
The entry of Sheldon Lavin into the business saw expansion both locally and internationally. The first facility outside Chicago was opened in 1977 in West Jordan Utah. Expansion into the North American territories continued in the seventies and eighties. Mr. Lavin is credited to have brought in his expertise and skills from the banking sector that necessitated global growth. The company diversified their focus from only McDonalds to other sectors of the food industry. The diversification led to substantial increase that made the company become among the most significant food processing companies in the US and across the world. The considerable growth since Sheldon Lavin joined the company can be attributed to the massive purchases, joint ventures, and acquisitions. OSI’s Sheldon Lavin receives Global Visionary Award.
Global expansion has continued at a positive rate with footprints in over sixty-seven countries. Expansion into Asia and Europe has been the most successful. For instance, the opening of the first facility in Japan in 2010 helped the company gain access to the Asian-Pacific markets where it has continued to thrive. The company has laid their focus on the expansion of the European market in the past few years. Several facilities have been opened in several regions across the region for example in Germany and Poland. Due to the continued venture and the positive outlook into Europe, the company established a regional office in Gersthofen Germany.
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