President - Ready Mix
Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 1928
Industry Group Specific: Concrete, Materials, and Logistics
Family is important to Paul Ozinga. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and five children and traveling to explore new places. It seemed only natural that Ozinga and his five brothers would eventually embrace the family business, too, which is what they did when they took over Ozinga in 2012.
Ozinga is a fourth-generation family-owned business established in 1928 as a small coal and coke yard that has expanded its product and service offerings to become one of the first ready mix providers in the region. Today, the company provides concrete, bulk materials and energy solutions while offering transportation services through an extensive network of truck, rail, barge and ship terminals.
The firm has a CCRL and AASHTO-accredited laboratory located in Chicago that is equipped with a team of engineers and scientists to develop, analyze and experiment with customized concrete mix designs. The lab includes ConcreteAI™, a proprietary machine-learning program that allows the company to shorten the time to market by predicting strengths and performance of mix designs.
Ozinga’s purpose is to make a positive impact on individuals, their families and the community for generations by upholding its values of service, learning and entrepreneurship to influence and encourage coworkers, customers and the community.
Ozinga began in the research and development lab and worked his way into an operations management role, ultimately landing the position of president of the company.
“As a family-owned company, we place a strong emphasis on educating the next generation of Ozinga ownership,” said Ozinga. “Members of the fifth generation who are old enough to spend their summers working with our organization get hands-on experience and we spend time with a family business consultant to ensure we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure growth within our organization for future generations.”
Ozinga also prioritizes giving back to the community. He sits on numerous charitable boards and is involved in the National Ready Mix Association, Illinois Ready Mix Concrete Association, AIA Chicago and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Associations. He is also involved with Restoration Ministries and Reclaim 13. As a company, Ozinga and his team donate 10 percent of net profits back to the community through charitable organizations.
“I regularly challenge myself with our purpose and the meaning behind what we do, and I also like to lead by example,” said Ozinga. “It’s important to have a healthy balance between faith, family and work and I encourage those under my leadership to ensure they are regularly reminded of that mindset – when we’re happy outside of work, we can bring our best selves to work.”
For leading by example and empowering the next generation of workers, Ozinga has been named a titan.