Meat processing can be quite a demanding task that wholesale food companies have to invest in to stay ahead of competitors. One man whose company has done this and continues to grow is Sheldon Lavin, the owner and CEO of OSI Industries. Lavin has helped the company maintain its strong relationship with McDonald’s restaurants and partnered with many other fast food franchises. He’s researched and led initiatives for safety practices in processing plants and invested in environmentally-friendly technology which has gotten OSI Industries recognition from various non-profit food organizations. Lavin likely never imagined he would be in the position he is when he first started over 40 years ago.
Sheldon Lavin was originally building his reputation as a financial advisor. He had worked for a big investment bank at the outset of his career, and then founded own consulting company. OSI, then known as Otto & Sons approached him when they needed to finance the opening of a new plant. The company was only located at Chicago at the time and was now having to increase its resources to meet the demands of McDonald’s who they had partnered with not long before. Lavin not only procured the funds for Otto & Sons first expansion, he got involved on a part-time basis and was overseeing a lot more of the company’s finances. It was then that the owners offered him the position of CEO and wanted him to lead the company completely. Lavin wanted to stick to financial consulting initially, but then he was approached with an ownership stake, and upon hearing that he could grow the company the way he wanted, he accepted.
Lavin renamed Otto & Sons to OSI Industries in the mid-1970s and first expanded into Germany. By the 1990s OSI was accompanying McDonald’s into their China venture, and it was recently announced a new plant was being built in the Philippines. All in all, Lavin has financed the expansion into 17 different countries and opening of 50 different plants, and also bought out Baho Food and Flagship Europe. What Lavin says he loves most about his career is the people he’s gotten to know and building a family atmosphere at OSI. He says the company has open door policies when it comes to their offices and it’s not just simply about giving orders from the top down. Lavin was awarded the Global Visionary for his entrepreneurship and philanthropy which includes serving on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Learn More: www.crunchbase.com/person/sheldon-lavin