Sheldon Lavin Taking OSI Group Global

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Patience pays. This is the story of an outsider who has gone to become one of the best in the meat industry around the world. After a successful career as an executive in the banking industry, and as an investor, Sheldon Lavin quit his consulting firm and joined OSI 43 years ago, going ahead to becoming the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group. He has transformed the small McDonald burger supplier into a leading global supplier of food products to retail brands and foodservice providers. OSI Group, LLC is a conglomerate of LLC, in the US, OSI International Foods, OSI Industries, LLC, and OSI International, Inc., which operates OSI Group’s international ventures.

His journey began in 1970 acting as a consultant who arranged for financing for Otto & Sons the predecessors of OSI. They wanted to build a meat processing plant and become suppliers of hamburgers in Midwest to McDonald though they lacked funds. This was before becoming taking an ownership position, later a partner before joining full time. All along the 1970’s, Sheldon was highly involved with the company’s plan of expanding its network in North America, South America, Taiwan and Europe. He gained 50% control after one of Otto sons sold out, and later 100% control when the remaining partner retired in the early 1980’s. At this time he decided to give it all his best and make OSI a big venture. He went on to make expansions of the group presence in India, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Philippines, China with the latest advancement in Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and Germany.

Though aged 81, Sheldon Lavin has said he plans to intensify OSI Group in Europe and Asia where there is a prospected and growing market for food products. He is particularly proud of the way OSI has circled the globe spreading the culture overseas. The group has more than 55 facilities in over 16 countries. They have in the recent years entered into a series of acquisitions including the Tyson Food plant in Chicago, Flagship Europe, Baho Food in the Netherlands, and the Toledo production line in Spain.

Sheldon Lavin treats the over 20,000 OSI Group employees in a family-oriented way. This gives them high longevity in their personnel department with low turnover a fact that excites him. He is the director and president of The Sheba Foundation, board member of the Goodman theater and Rush University Medical Center, and a trustee for Ronald McDonald House Charities. He is actively involved in charities such as Evans Scholarship Fund, United Negro College Fund, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society among others.

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