Sheldon Lavin: The Global Visionary

Mr. Sheldon Lavin is the 81 year old Chairman and CEO of OSI Group, LLC. Sheldon is also the current President of OSI International Foods Limited. Amongst many other titles, Sheldon was the director of the National Fish and Wildlife association and is the General Trustee of the Rush University Medical Center.

With over 43 years of experience, Sheldon has had a successful career with OSI. He joined the company in 1970 after arranging financing for Otto & Sons, OSI’s predecessor. As a successful investor and banking executive, Mr. Lavin had virtually no experience in the meat industry when he was approached to finance the then small and unknown firm. This is why he initially declined to work with them but later on agreed to come in only as a consultant.

In mid 1970’s he helped Otto & Sons arrange for financing to help them build a meat processing facility. This helped the company to grow substantially and was soon looking to expand internationally. As this was happening, Lavin became equal partners with the two son’s as Otto himself was retiring from the business. In the late 1970’s, Otto & Sons changed its name to OSI and soon Sheldon was working full time on special request from McDonald’s.

One of the two brother’s sought to retire and Mr. Lavin bought his stake and thus gained a 50% controlling interest in the company. A few years later, the remaining brother also retired leaving Sheldon with the 100% stake in the company. With Sheldon at the helm of OSI, the company has witnessed phenomenal international growth. The company has grown from burger meat supplier to a world wide food and food services supplier with 20,000 employees in 55 facilities across 16 countries.

OSI has received numerous awards under Sheldon’s leadership. These awards honor the company’s commitment to environmental management as well as health and safety risk management. Mr. Lavin is an active philanthropist. He has supported several different charities such as the United Negro College Fund, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Jewish United Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He has been married for 55 years and has 3 children.

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