Sheldon Lavin entered the meat industry as a career 43 years ago. He was previously an investor and a banker with his own consulting firm. He is currently the CEO of the OSI Group and has transformed the small burger supplier into a food products supplier on a global basis. The OSI Group has almost 20,000 employees is family oriented and experiences very little turnover,
Mr. Lavin’s proverbial path to success started in 1970 when he arranged financing for a company then called Otto & Sons which is now OSI Industries. They required funding to build a processing facility for meat and become McDonald’s hamburger supplier in the Midwest. Lavin was offered an ownership position with the company but originally declined. He did however become their consultant.
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Sheldon Lavin became more involved with Otto & Sons and researched investments overseas. When his father retired he became a partner along with his sons. He joined the company full time in 1970 and they continued to grow with McDonald’s. In the 1970’s the OSI Group expanded into Europe and North American. They reached Taiwan and South America in the 1980’s and Lavin acquired fifty percent of the controlling interest. When the last partner retired Lavin had 100 percent of the controlling interest in the company. Their expansion continued into the Phillipines, South Africa, India, Japan, Australia, China and the Philippines. This added to the company’s presence as they already had Brazil and Europe.
Lavin is currently 81 and still pursuing the growth of the OSI Group. His main focus is on Europe and Asia. He feels the most exciting part of the business was the expansion and the diversification. He is proud the company has managed to expand all around the globe and taken the OSI successfully overseas while simultaneously growing their business with McDonald’s. OSI is currently the biggest supplier of protein to McDonald’s in the world. The company has over 55 facilities located in sixteen countries so they are able to support McDonald’s and their other clients all over the world.