Sheldon Lavin is a business executive who knows when it’s time to take risks and make changes, and that’s how he has spent the last 40 plus years building a major meat market wholesale company, OSI Group. The company only operated locally in Chicago when he first arrived there, but through his planning and hard work it became a global food industry powerhouse that is currently up in the ranks with Tyson Foods and Perdue. Lavin was at an event at a university in India where he was given the Global Visionary award for having a vision for OSI Group and seeing it through. He’s become an important person in the food industry despite not having a background on it originally.
Sheldon Lavin was a financial analyst when he first started his career, and most of the clients he worked with were customers with large accounts at investment banks. When he met the Kolschowsky family who originally owned OSI Group, he was asked to help them get financing for a new meat processing factory so they could start shipping out meat in huge quantities. His connections and knowledge of the banking industry helped him do this, and as he did more work as a consultant for the Kolschowsky’s company he began to have a greater role in its management. Sheldon Lavin had originally put aside any notion that he would leave finance to join the food industry.
But as OSI Group started growing, he decided to use his investing and growth strategies to help the company.When told he could grow it as large as he wanted, he decided to accept the offer of the Kolschowsky’s to buy the majority of shares and take over as CEO. Sheldon Lavin has primarily kept OSI Group in a strong partnership with McDonald’s restaurants, a partnership that’s lasted more than 60 years. But he’s also worked with other major restaurant chains including Burger King, Subway, and Pizza Hut. As part of OSI’s expansion, Lavin has also led the buyouts and addition of team members from companies like Baho Food, Flagship Europe and Select Ready Foods.