David McDonald Runs A Major Meat Company But Relishes Being From Iowa

David McDonald knows and appreciates what the farmers in America’s heartland bring to the food industry because his company, OSI Group relies on their production to bring beef and poultry to the processing centers. OSI has been supplying meat to the David McDonalds fast food restaurants first and foremost over the years, but they have forged partnerships with many other franchises and supermarket chains over the years. McDonald himself has directed many acquisitions of smaller meat packing companies in Europe including Baho Food and Flagship Europe, and he’s been instrumental in the forming of food industry research coalitions such as the North American Meat Institute where he’s served as president, and the Global Roundtable for Beef Sustainability.

Well before he became a partner leader of a multibillion-dollar global meat distribution company, David McDonald worked with his parents on a dairy farm in Iowa. Though he lives in Illinois now, he always has loved returning back to see his home state, and he strongly supports Iowa State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in animal science. McDonald first came to OSI Group while it was still in its global growth phase and served as an intern reporting to CEO Sheldon Lavin who still holds that post along with chairman today. One reason why OSI has stayed strong in its mission is that while it may be registered as a corporation, it is not publicly traded and has no outside shareholders to answer to who could interfere with how they are run; and that’s why McDonald has been able work closely with Lavin all these years all the way from intern to now being president and chief operating officer.

McDonald has built on the internship program that he began in by bringing in more students from his alma mater Iowa State, and he once took them to see the operations of an OSI China facility. He’s been honored by the Iowa State Alumni Foundation with an emerging philanthropist award for supporting a scholarship for the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity that he was a member of as a student. He also has been a longtime supporter of the St. Michael Parish which helps the needy in Wheaton, IL.

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