Sheldon Lavin’s meat business career was built patiently and persistently. Lavin entered the sector over four decades back as a “outsider”. Since then, Lavin has become Chairman and CEO of the OSI Group, LLC and has changed the little, “McDonald’s focused” hamburger supplier into a global provider of food items to many different foodservice and retail manufacturers.
OSI Group numbers almost 20,000 employees internationally, and Lavin is most proud of their workers and the business culture he’s cultivated. The organization is highly family-oriented, and the work force is full of loyal employees who have been with the company for ages.
Lavin’s route to meat business success started in 1970 when he ordered funding for Otto & Sons, the predecessor firm of OSI Industries, LLC. Otto & Sons had an chance to construct a meat processing center and eventually become the Midwest provider of hamburgers to McDonald’s Corporation, but first they needed help to secure financing. Lavin was asked by the lender to have an ownership position in Otto & Sons, but he dropped since it was not exactly what he was used to in his consulting practice. Lavin, however, did consent to function as a consultant, after some concessions.
Now, at age 81, with the company having grown considerably in the intervening period, Lavin is not done working. He remains active in pursuing additional expansion for the OSI Group with special focus on Asia and Europe. He’s growing and diversifying the company, circling the planet and carrying the OSI brand abroad, all of the while maintaining a commitment to supporting the McDonald’s company (OSI is the greatest protein provider on the planet to the McDonald’s system.) Now, OSI has over 55 centers in 16 countries, supporting the growth of McDonald’s and other clients around the world.
Lavin lived with his wife until she died, and together they raised three wonderful kids, all of whom are married with kids of their own. He also very much believes that the workers of OSI are a part of his international extended family. After all, he is a family man.