The way Sheldon Lavin described things when he bought out the controlling shares of OSI Group was that he would not have decided to do so unless he believed he could do something very big with it. Today he’s the CEO of OSI Group and its flagship operations, and he’s won numerous recognitions for his work as a food service entrepreneur. Just last year India’s Global Vision Academy presented him the Global Visionary award for his ability to turn a local Chicago meat processing center into an international chain network. He also won the Edward C. Jones Community Service Award for philanthropy in the food industry.
Sheldon Lavin first came to OSI Group in the 1970s after he had spent the first part of his career in finance and banking. He knew how to manage investor portfolios well and turn investments into profit, so he decided to step down from banking and run an independent financial consultin business. It was while running this business that Otto & Sons, the company that would later become OSI Group asked him to help guide the company. At first Lavin turned down an offer to become an executive at Otto & Sons, but after the McDonalds restaurant corporation explained their plans to go global, he decided to join the executive committee.
In the 1980s Lavin was given control of Otto & Sons, and as the company started investing in overseas factories and operations Lavin had the name changed to OSI Group. Also joining Lavin on the executive committee during that time was President David McDonald who also had a passion for the food industry and knew finance. Lavin has helped struggling food processing companies by buying them out and funding them, bur he’s also helped out non-profits in Chicago that include Inner City Foundation of Chicago, Jewish United Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities.