Starting out his professional career in finance, Sheldon Lavin likely never knew he would one day be in the food industry, let alone being the top executive of one of the largest privately held companies in the world. He is now the owner, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group. He is also the President of their international operations which goes by the named OSI International Foods Ltd.
It was in 1970 that he first became acquainted with OSI Group, which at that time was known as Otto & Sons. This company was one of just four suppliers of beef patties for McDonald’s. McDonald’s wanted them to expand their capacity and build a new processing facility. In order to do this Otto & Sons needed to obtain loans. Sheldon Lavin, as someone that routinely handled transactions like this, put together a deal for the company to build the facility.
A few years later the owners of OSI Group brought Sheldon Lavin in as a part owner of the company and its top executive. Seeing the possibilities of the company, he started to rapidly expand the scope of OSI Group and where it did business. He spent much of the 1980s expanding his company’s presence in Europe and in the 1990s he did the same with Asia. His company now has offices and food processing facilities in several different nations around the globe.
Sheldon Lavin has commented that his company is organized in a unique way and has its own family-like culture. Many people have spent their entire careers working for OSI Group under his leadership, and he makes it a priority to help people advance their careers at his company. Due to this the company workforce has had very little turnover. Sheldon Lavin has also said that its the people that are employed by the company that are essential for its success.
Over the years Sheldon Lavin has acted philanthropically. He financially supports many charities, such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Jewish United Fund, The United Negro College Fund, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and many others. He has also donated his time and expertise, such as serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. He has also been personally honored, such as when he was given the Global Visionary Award which was presented to him in India by the Vision World Academy.
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