Group O mourns the loss of company founder Robert Ontiveros

Milan, Illinois – Group O today announced the passing of its founder and chairman, Robert Ontiveros. In 1974, Bob and Blenda Ontiveros founded Bi-State Packaging selling packaging materials out of the back of their family station wagon. This small family business grew into Group O, a multi-faceted business enterprise specializing in supply chain, packaging and incentive marketing solutions. With more than 1,000 employees in 40 locations, Group O has been recognized as one of the largest Hispanic-owned companies in the United States.

Ontiveros’ influence has spread to the Quad Cities community with the generous support of many Quad Cities organizations, including the Black Hawk College Foundation, Augustana College, Western Illinois University, Niabi Zoological Association, and the Community Health Care Clinic – with a build funded by Bob and Blenda providing low cost critical care to those without a primary care physician. The couple’s leadership, commitment and positive influence on the community was evident in their dedicated philanthropic efforts to support initiatives within immigrant and minority communities. These efforts included West Gateway Partners and Mercado on Fifth – an outdoor night market in the Floreciente neighborhood of Moline that features live entertainment, food trucks and local vendors.

Additionally, Bob served as a trustee of Augustana College and was an active member of the Illinois and United States Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, as well as other community and business organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley and Junior Achievement.

Throughout his years of leadership, Bob has received many accolades, including:

  • Order of Lincoln – the highest honor in the state of Illinois, recognizing professional and community achievement
  • Outstanding Community Leadership – Illinois State Comptroller
  • United States Department of Commerce—Legacy Award
  • Minority Business Hall of Fame – Inductee
  • Black Hawk College Alumni Hall of Fame – Inductee
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Chicago Minority Business Development Council
  • Lifetime Achievement Award — Negocios Now
  • Honorary Doctorate – Augustana College

“The loss of ‘Bob O’ will be felt throughout the entire Group O family and in the many communities he supported,” said Kimberly Fox, Group O’s vice president of human resources. that words cannot express.

He was not just our founder, but a hardworking man of character who truly believed that everyone wins when people have the opportunity to show what they can do.

Group O mourns the loss of company founder Robert Ontiveros

About Group O: Group O is an end-to-end solutions provider specializing in supply chain, packaging, and customer acquisition and retention programs. Group O is committed to providing solutions designed to reduce or offset our customers’ carbon footprint through waste reduction efforts, efficiency programs, automation and technology.

Headquartered in Milan, Illinois, and with major operations in Minnesota and Texas, Group O employs more than 1,000 professionals with diverse industry experience in inventory optimization, logistics, fulfillment and customer engagement.

Founded in 1974 as a small, family-owned packaging company, Group O has grown into a thriving $900 million business with world-class industry experience now under the leadership of Bob’s son, Gregg Ontiveros. For more information about Group O, visit

Group O mourns the loss of company founder Robert Ontiveros

Sean Leary is a writer, director, artist, musician, producer, and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since he started at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. A graduate with honors from the master’s program at the University of Southern California, he has written more than 50 books, including the best-selling books The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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