Sheldon Lavin: The Visionary Behind OSI Group’s Global Strategy

     When Sheldon Lavin first became a part of OSI Group’s operations, he had no idea just how big a role he was going to play at the company. But now even in his late years he’s taken a meat processing operation global and been a part of many partnerships that have brought quality food in many markets. If there was one thing Lavin would tell you he loves the most about this job, it’s working with people, especially his employees and managers. He wants to make sure people are treated right and encouraged to work hard in a positive environment. For this reason, many people who join OSI Group never leave it.

Sheldon Lavin was actually an investment banking advisor who guided top executives in various funds. But then he retired and started a consulting firm for small and midsized businesses. He was introduced to OSI Group when it was still known as Otto & Sons in the 1960s. Otto & Sons was a former butcher shop that had grown to owning several operating meat plants across Chicago and several other states, and in 1957 they had become a partner with McDonalds. They tapped Lavin for his skills in investing and financial planning, and with his guidance Otto & Sons was able to restructure their operations several times to meet customer demands.

Even though Lavin had not originally been interested in joining Otto & Sons full time, he was eventually won over by their commitment to family values and generosity in the community. So he soon was able to buy ownership shares in the company, and soon he joined McDonalds in expanding the company’s plants to overseas territories, and after it became an international company the name was changed to OSI Group. Lavin has not only been committed to making OSI Group profitable in the billions of dollars, he has also helped it maintain high safety standards. He is also an active philanthropist in the Chicago Community Foundation, the Jewish United Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities. Lavin also won the Global Visionary Award at India’s Global Vision Academy.

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