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Ozinga: Mixing It Up, Keeping It Fresh, Pushing It Forward

Ozinga: Mixing It Up, Keeping It Fresh, Pushing It Forward

by Rob McManamy

Ozinga may be an 86-year-old, family-owned concrete supplier, but the creative mindset at the Chicago-based firm is anything but set in stone.

The Chicago Plant

The Chicago Plant

On the contrary, the ready-mix concrete giant refuses to stand still. Last month, even as employees Barb and Joel Alford --a now famous mother-son duo-- were splashing viral on social media with their own over-the-top take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge*, we had the chance to catch up with the fourth generation brothers now running the company. Refreshingly, they seem as committed to innovation and enviro-friendly opportunity as any startup, but they have the wherewithal and resources to implement their ideas sooner and on a wider scale.

One primary example? The company's own lively blog and newsfeed, 'The Mix'. Its motto: "Serve, Learn and Innovate with Ozinga."  

Burnham Works recently visited with marketing chief Tim Ozinga (whose Twitter feed also bills him as "innovator & problem-solver") at the firm's concrete yard in suburban Aurora. Surrounded by several of Ozinga's signature red-and-white mixers, Tim proudly pointed to the fleet as another symbol of his company's progressive approach to a very traditional industry. "We are the only company of our kind to commit to having all of our trucks run on natural gas," he says, noting that roughy 25% of the vehicles now use the alternative fuel.

Big brother Marty Ozinga, the firm's CE0, visited our headquarters last week at 1130 West Monroe and told us why Ozinga is such a strong supporter of Burnham Works. "It's all about 'speed'," he says, marveling about how inter-connected his business is now compared to 10 years ago. And ever since the economic recovery has started to gain momentum, he adds, consumers have really been driving Ozinga to be more and more creative and responsive.

 

*See Ozinga's spectacular 1,200-gallon ALS Ice Bucket Challenge below: 

 

Rob McManamy

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Rob McManamy

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