OSI Group’s history is deeply rooted and attached to the immigrant experience. Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant, who decided to establish in Oak Park, a small meat market, two years after reaching United States. He viewed this as a means of serving his community. Within decades, the business had expanded its operations to Maywood, making it rebrand to Otto & Sons in 1928. The company came to be McDonald’s supplier after Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky, bumped into Ray Kroc. He was a franchise agent for a San Bernardino couple, who opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois.
After Kroy purchased the McDonald’s later on, the Otto & Sons symbiotically joined in to supply the ever growing number of regional McDonald’s restaurants. Transformation of the Otto & Sons to the OSI Group evolved within the next two decades. In 1973, Otto & Sons established its first plant, with machinery for flashing freezing hamburger patties. This was in a bid to produce an affordable, sustainable and consumer related product. The outcome saw them become a two track company; one a rapidly growing Midwest supplier and second, a stable local supplier. This triggered its change to OSI Industries in 1975.Its drastic growth over the years was a result of making Lavin the chairman and CEO in the late 1980’s.
Sheldon Lavin, an experienced investor and executive in the banking sector, saw the OSI Group ranked #58 on the 2016 Forbes list of the largest private companies. It has become one of the most essential food distributor in the world, with expansions and joint ventures in Brazil, Hungary, among other countries. The large company continues to evolve and diversify. With an impressive rate, it has expanded to beans, salsa and tofu commodities, in addition to sausage, pizza and hamburger patties. The OSI Group has merged with Turi Foods, the largest poultry processors in Australia, to serve customers in new, innovative ways and build a world class food solution group.OSI Group pinpoints how small businesses can rise to become world’s leading food providers, with hard work and determination.
Betsy DeVos discovered politics in college and has been involved ever since. She has been actively campaigning for causes she believes in for thirty years. She fights for educational choice, clean energy, manufacturing and technology. The role she has played in the nonprofit field has been invaluable. She chairs the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation as well as local and national boards. This includes the Mars Hill Bible Church, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. Betsy DeVos has devoted a significant portion of her career to educational choice. There are currently 33 publicly funded programs with 250,000 students. The program has gained 40,000 students in the last year and new programs are located in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Louisiana and Virginia. Programs for educational choice are gaining in momentum especially with the Latino population.
Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/01/dick_and_betsy_DeVos_lift_the.html
Although Betty DeVos’ interest in educational choice was gradual she was greatly influenced by the Potter House Christian School. She saw parents doing everything possible to help their children and keep them in a safe environment. They had the disadvantage of being low income families and were having a difficult time. Every time she left she wanted to return and she understood the parents simply did not have the money for tuition. Along with her husband she began giving support to some of the schools individual students. Eventually she began giving significant support to the Potter House. Ms. DeVos felt it was tragic how many families in Michigan were nearing desperation for better education for their children. Unfortunately their state’s constitution restricted educational choice. She made a difference in Michigan in 2001 and 2002 with work that was incredibly successful.
Betsy DeVos is a strong leader and an efficient advocate. She is also a pioneer and has focuses on education, politics and business for most of her career. She has held the position of chairman for the Michigan Republican party four times and served in roles of leadership throughout her career. Her current goals are in educational choice. Betsy DeVos takes an active role in her community and formerly chaired the board of directors for both The Philanthropy Roundtable and the Federation for Children. She has donated her time to local and national boards for the American Enterprise Institute, ArtPrize, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management located at the University of Maryland and Excellence in Education. Betsy DeVos attended high school at the Holland Christian High School and her Bachelor of Arts degree was achieved at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dick DeVos is a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, an activist in the community and married to Betsy DeVos. They are the proud parents of four children and additionally have five grandchildren. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.
There is power in giving. The Holy scriptures state that it is more blessed to give than to receive. These words seem to augur well with the world-renowned philanthropists who have perfected the art of amassing wealth and then giving back to the less fortunate in the society. George Soros is one of the most talented givers having participated in numerous philanthropic activities.
Back in the days, George Soros was a teenage Jewish refugee who narrowly survived persecution by the Nazis. Following his humble background, the business tycoon has embarked on a humanitarian cause to support refugees from various parts of the globe and a liberal world order. Soros, who is currently estimated to be worth $25 billion, has given out more than $12 billion dollars so far to support various causes across the globe. Soros has been in the forefront in fighting for freedom of expression, accountability in governments, transparency, and societies that promote equality and justice. Soros giving has mostly focused on the oppressed in the society such as the refugees and those individuals who are most likely to face discrimination. Read more about George at The New York Times.
He has offered invaluable support to organizations representing Europe’s Roma people and other groups of individuals who are not considered part of the mainstream society such as the sex workers, drug users, and the LGBTI people. Having survived during the Nazi invasion of the Hungary that resulted in the killing of more than half a million Hungarian Jews, no one understands better what refugees undergo than Soros. Soros and his family survived persecution by faking their identity papers, concealing their backgrounds and helping other Jews to hide their identity from the Nazis.
As the war intensified in Hungary, Soros left the war-torn region for London where he began working part-time as a railway porter and a nightclub waiter to sponsor his studies at the London school of economics. Soros later moved to the United States and ventured into the world of finance and investments where a bright future awaited him. While in the United States, George launched his hedge firm, “Soros Fund Management,” a company that achieved a lot of success making him one of the most successful hedge firm managers in the history of United States. Learn more about his profile at businessinsider.com
Over the years, George amassed a fortune that earned him a slot in the list of world’s dollar billionaires. After achieving significant success, Soros then decided to give back to the society by establishing the Open Society Foundations. Open Society Foundations refers to a network of foundations supporting various causes, partners, and projects in more than hundred countries worldwide. Soros began his philanthropic work in the late 70’s when he helped victims of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Since then, he has been on the forefront in advocating for open societies through his philanthropic activities.
Learn more: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=977