Sheldon Lavin’s Track Record From Finance To Food Manufacturing

When Sheldon Lavin took over the running of OSI Industries many years ago, it might have never been guessed that he would build much more than a company. Although he has grown the company dramatically in his 30 plus years there and is still doing so, what he has done is build a culture that listens to the ideas of its workers and gives them something to be proud of working on. Lavin himself even at his old age still enjoys coming to his office every day and hearing what those around him have to say. He was recently honored at the Global Vision Academy in 2016 for not only making a lot of profits in business, but for giving to charity and being a model of strong ethics in the workplace.

Sheldon Lavin had originally planned to be successful in investing and retire in that field. He was a manager at a big investment bank for many years, and by the time he met the owners of OSI Industries, which was then known as Otto & Sons he was already running his own consulting company. The Kolschowsky sons who owned Otto & Sons had come to him to help raise financing to open several new meat processing plants and to see about opening new locations overseas. Lavin was not a meat industry expert, but he did know how to do deals quite well and it wasn’t long before he was able to get Otto & Sons to their fundraising goal. Otto & Sons had become the premier supply company to McDonalds, and after seeing how adept he was at managing investments both Otto & Sons and McDonalds wanted Lavin to come into the business full-time. Eventually he was told he would get an ownership stake in the company and that he could use his own ideas to grow the company. Lavin decided eventually to join and then became CEO.

Sheldon Lavin started the big expansion back in the late 1970s when he made an investment in Germany, and since the company was now going international he had the name changed to OSI Industries. Soon the company was moving into Asia and became the key supplier to various McDonalds in China locations as well as other local supermarket chains, and today OSI has holdings in 17 different countries. Sheldon Lavin has also been known for retaining or looking to retain staff on every company OSI Industries has acquired, including Flagship Europe which has kept its brand name and even CEO Russell Mattock has stayed there and works with Lavin. Lavin’s community giving has included organizations like the Chicago Inner City Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Jewish United Fund.

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