David McDonald is an American business executive who went from growing up on a northeast Iowa farm to being in senior management at one of the biggest food processing firms in the world, the privately held OSI Group. After graduating from high school he decided to attend Iowa State University. He majored in animal science and was an excellent student, earning the Wallace E. Barron Outstanding Senior Award. He was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and often took part in community and university activities. When David McDonald graduated he was hired by OSI Group as a project manager. Over the next three decades he earned higher and higher positions of authority and today he is the president of OSI Group and also its chief executive officer.
During his time at OSI Group, he has been a large part of its expansion both across the United States and internationally. He is a top leader of a hugely diverse operation which manages a global supply chain that supplies food to restaurants around the world as well as major supermarkets. He says that growing up on a farm and being at the start of the food production and distribution chain informed him and his management style later in life. It is his belief that those closest to the customers are in the best position to making fundamentally sound business decisions. He says that his company empowers local management teams to make day-to-day decisions that best fit the needs of the market in which they operate.
OSI Group is anything but a top-down firm where far away executives make decisions on the local level which often ends up in disaster. The company that David McDonald works for started out life in 1909 as a small company started by Otto Kolchowsky, a new German immigrant. Over time his sons joined the operation and it became Otto & Sons. In the mid-70s it changed its name to OSI Group and its new owner, Sheldon Lavin, started its rapid expansion. David McDonald has been along for the majority of the ride and says that his career turned out better than he ever dreamed possible.