Sheldon Lavin is an easy guy to root for. He has been running a food supply company called OSI Group for the last few decades. He has overseen the expansion of this former meat supplier into a global food supply conglomerate. Now, that doesn’t sound too interesting but the story of OSI Group is pretty astonishing.
You can trace the origin of the company all the way back to a Chicago neighborhood in the early 20th century. A German immigrant by the name of Otto opened up the meager butcher shop in 1909. He worked hard and was eventually able to parlay his butcher shop into a meat supply company. And then he really lucked out when he met Ray Kroc.
Ray Kroc famously founded the McDonald’s chain. In the early 1950s, he reached out to hundreds of meat suppliers to supply the beef for his hamburgers. Otto and Sons were one of these meat suppliers. But it was a shrewd move by the Otto and Sons meat supply company that really vaulted them to the top.
The Midwestern meat supply company invested all sorts of time and money into cryogenic freezing technology. This breakthrough allowed them to deliver more meat over a larger geographical area. Eventually, Otto and Sons became the main meat supplier for the McDonald’s chain. The company’s expansion was meteoric.
Now the company is known as OSI Group and its CEO, Sheldon Lavin, is committed to sustainability. And that’s quite impressive coming from a global conglomerate that operates 65 different facilities across 17 countries. The company employs more than 20,000 people.
Sheldon Lavin directed his company to construct two different research facilities. One of them stands in the United States while the other performs research in China. These facilities search for innovative ways to lessen the company’s impact on the environment.
Sheldon Lavin and his respect for the environment grew out of the company’s roots in the Midwest. OSI Group still retains that Midwest earnestness. After all, the company’s headquarters is just a few miles down the road from the first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Stokes Development, LLC. is bringing a new manufacturing facility and a host of new jobs to Cullman, Alabama. Green Structure Homes of Alabama, a division of Stokes Development, will be investing $8 million in the new manufacturing facility. Read more at Business Insider.
Once complete, the plant will employ 80 area residents. The company hopes to expand quickly, however. Within three years of opening its doors, Green Structure Homes of Alabama hopes to employ more than 300 full-time associates. If plans go accordingly, this could be a big boost to the economy of Cullman.
Barbara Stokes, who serves as the CEO of Green Structure Homes of Alabama, issued a statement about the new facility. She expressed the company’s gratitude to the people and local government of Cullman for accommodating the company’s plans. While other cities in Alabama had been considered for the new facility, Barbara admitted sentiment played a part in choosing Cullman. She revealed that she and her husband had made a home in the area several years ago, adding that they wanted to do something to give back to that community. Bringing the new plant and the prospect of so many new jobs seemed like the perfect opportunity.
“Scott and I chose Cullman many years ago, when we decided to purchase a home on Smith Lake,” revealed Ms. Stokes. “We found Cullman to be a great location with friendly people. Setting up business here was the obvious choice.”
The new 99,000 square foot building is to be located within the Cullman Industrial Complex. Although the complex was constructed through a city and county collaboration, it was recently sold to Stokes Development in a separate real estate deal. Read more about Barbara Stokes at WDRB.com.
The homes to be constructed at the new facility will be light-gauge steel homes in the style of those built after Hurricane Katrina. Green Structure Homes of Alabama expects to construct between 500 to 600 of the homes each year. Scott Stokes revealed that the homes will be built using state if the art technology and will be resistant to mild and mildew. Additionally, they will be hurricane resistant. What may be even more impressive than the quality of the homes is that each home will take just two days to build at the facility.
Barbara Stokes added that the constructions will be primarily made from recycled steel. She said the raw materials will mostly come from Cullman, but added that they will also have to ship materials in from Birmingham and Decatur. Ms. Stokes added that the steel is designed to resist other elements as well. She says the homes will be fire resistant.