Sheldon Lavin’s Roots In Financial Consulting Helps Him To Thrive In The Food Industry

Sheldon Lavin is the CEO and chairman of OSI Group, LLC, a worldwide supplier of food products to various retail and foodservice brands.

Speaking to CEOCFO Magazine, Sheldon said his rich background in accounting and finance inspired his initial career in financial consulting, which has proved to be important in his meat processing business. He professionally transitioned from banking to become a global food executive through hard work and determination.

Today, OSI Group operates in 17 countries where they have over 70 plants. Besides proteins products, the company also supplies baked products, sauces and vegetables. He told the magazine that he drives success at the company by cultivating a culture where team members operate as a family in addition to upholding rules, strategies and responsibilities. Innovation has also played a central role in the company’s excellent performance.

Sheldon Lavin’s quest in the meat industry began in 1970, as a financial consultant, when he oversaw the financing of Otto & Sons, the predecessor of OSI Group. Otto & Sons needed financial support in the establishment of a meat factory. Later, Lavin invested in the company. The corporation became the supplier of McDonald’s Corporation in the Midwest. In 1975, Sheldon became a partner when Otto & Sons began to look for overseas investments. He went on to partner with the two sons after their father retired from the business. In the late 1970s, Sheldon Lavin became fully involved in the business after McDonald’s made a request to Otto & Sons to enhance their services to suit the growing demands of their products.

OSI Group started expanding to other markets. In the 1980s, Lavin gained half controlling power of the company after one partner sold out. The remaining partner eventually retired, leaving Lavin in full control of the company. Over the years, he has concentrated on expanding the company to new regions. OSI Group comprises OSI Industries LLC, OSI International Foods LLC and OSI International, Inc. Sheldon Lavin has actively participated in charity initiatives such as the Inner City Foundation of Chicago, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. He is also affiliated with Goodman Theatre, The Sheba Foundation and Rush University Medical Center.

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