Sheldon Lavin serves as Chairman and CEO of privately held OSI Group, one of the largest meat processing companies, privately owned in the United States. He came into the industry as an outsider over 40 years ago. Before being in the food processing business, Sheldon was an executive in the investing and banking industry. He hooked up with OSI Group when it was still called Otto & Sons and run by the originators of the company.
The original owners had the opportunity to become the major meat supplier to McDonald’s restaurants, but they needed financing to build a plant. Lavin helped them get the financing. The bank wanted Lavin to become a part owner in Otto & Sons, but he did not want to get into a business he had no experience in. He eventually agreed to work as a consultant for the firm to satisfy the lender. Learn More.
In 1975, McDonald’s persuaded Lavin to get involved with the company full time in order to help them with the expansion of the restaurant chain. He agreed. The business continued to expand into overseas operations as well as expanding with McDonalds. In the 1980s Lavin’s ownership of the firm became 50 percent. Several years later the last partner retired and sold out his interest, giving Lavin 100 percent control over the company. Sheldon Lavin News Here.
Today, OSI Group is in 17 different countries and has over 70 different plants. Their products are mainly protein, with some sauces and vegetable products. The company is run more like a family than a large organization. It seems to work very well that way.
Sheldon was married to his wife for 55 years, until her passing. They raised three children. He is active with many community organizations. He is a Trustee for the Ronald McDonald House. He is a board member for the Goodman Theatre, and Rush University Medical Center. He is President of The Sheba Foundation, a family charitable trust.
In 2016, Sheldon received the Global Vision Award from India’s Vision World Academy. OSI Group has received the Globe of Honour Award from the British Safety Council. It is given to companies who are environmentally conscious. Currently Sheldon is focusing on expanding OSI Group’s business in Asia.