Addison Duling

Sheldon Lavin Continues to Thrive with OSI Group

OSI Group is one of the industry leaders in food and meat services and today, Sheldon Lavin is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the industry titan. Although he is well-known within the meat and food services industry, inspiring a myriad of entrepreneurs set on following in his footsteps, he got his initial start in an entirely different industry. Prior to domination the meat and food services industry with OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin was the head of his own financial consultancy firm, as well as an executive and investor in the banking industry. Due to his unique expertise, in 1970, Mr. Lavin was asked by the bank to help secure funding in an upcoming deal with meat processing company, Otto and Son’s. The heads at Otto and Son’s were seeking financing that would help them to complete a new meat processing facility in the midwestern United States. This new meat processing facility would allow Otto and Son’s to become the major supplier of meats for McDonald’s Corporation, thus taking the company to an entirely new level. During the deal, Mr. Lavin was also asked to come aboard at Otto and Son’s in order make the deal run smoothly. Although Mr. Lavin initially declined to come aboard at Otto and Son’s, he chose to stay on as a consultant, seeing the enormous potential that the company had. He also included a caveat that stated that if he were to ever desire to become more involved with Otto and Son’s, the initial deal presented to him would still be available. This proved to be a key move in Mr. Lavin’s role as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group. By the middle of the decade, Mr. Lavin had become substantially more involved with the business operations at Otto and Son’s, eventually choosing to take a full-time role. By the start of the 1980’s, Mr. Lavin held an executive role at Otto and Son’s, which had now become OSI Group, LLC. The 1980’s was a time of rapid expansion for OSI Group, as they established offices in places such as Australia, South Africa, Japan, and the Philippines. Today OSI Group has locations in 60 countries around the world and employs over 20,000 people, many of which have been longtime employees. At the age of 81, Mr. Lavin is still very involved with the company and continues to employ his family-oriented philosophy.

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