After a career as an investor and executive in the banking industry and owning a financial consulting firm, Sheldon Lavin became the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group. The OSI Group, which started out as a Midwest meat supply for McDonald’s, is now a worldwide food supplier, ranging their services from food service to retail brands and employs 20,000 people. They currently have more than 55 facilities in 16 countries, including the Philippines, Australia, Japan, India and South Africa.
Sheldon Lavin’s interest in the meat industry began in 1970 when he helped Otto and Sons, a predecessor company for OSI Industries, with financial consulting. He was told by the bank to have a position in ownership. At first he declined, but eventually agreed with the Otto family that he would have the same financial investment leverage as they did. In the late 70s, he joined the group full-time after McDonald’s inquired him. He grew OSI throughout North America and Europe and in the 80s expanded the company into Taiwan and South America. In that decade, he also gained half of the control of the business and 100% voting control.
Sheldon Lavin, at 81, is now trying to expand more growth of OSI Group into Asia and Europe. Since he’s been CEO, he has received numerous awards and involved himself in several charities. He is a trustee for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the President and Director of the Sheba Foundation. He is a board member for the Goodman Theater and the Rush University Medical Center. Other charities he has supported include the Jewish United Fund, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Inner City Foundation of Chicago, all of which he has received awards for.
Sheldon Lavin has other awards related to his work in the OSI Group. OSI Food Solutions UK was honored with the 2016 Globe of Honor by the British Safety Council for their health and environmental management. The Global Visionary award was also for Lavin’s service in making OSI Group an international business as well as creating several jobs.