Global Success Personified

Mr. Sheldon Lavin started out in the meat processing industry nearly 50 years ago. Rather fortuitously he took over a meat packing company, Otto and Sons, which would eventually become OSI Industries.

Mr. Sheldon Lavin is Chairman and CEO of OSI Group, LLC. The fortuitous part is that after buying Otto and Sons, McDonald’s approached OSI about being the company’s supplier of hamburgers for the entire Midwest division of this very successful franchise. By the early 80s, McDonald’s looked to OSI Group to grow with the company and to take over more of the manufacturing of their products.

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Today OSI Group has over 20,000 employees in this family-oriented company. The company has been able to reach such levels of success through major expansion efforts in the United States and Europe through the 80s and 90s, and now today they do business across the Pacific Rim. OSI is now doing business in China, Australia, Japan, South Africa and other countries. Mr. Lavin, now in his mid-80’s, readily credits all of the expansion over 3 decades as being the pivotal move that put the company on the map across the world. Today they are the number one protein supplier in the world to McDonald’s with nearly 60 facilities around the world to handle the global volume requirements. In fact, for all of his work that he did in the meat industry, Mr. Lavin was inducted into the Meat Hall of Fame.

In his early years, Mr. Sheldon Lavin was a banker and was introduced to Otto and Sons through an agreement to act as a consultant on a deal to get the company bank financing they required. Once the founder of Otto and Sons retired, Sheldon Lavin developed a more significant business alliance with the sons of the founder, and would eventually begin working full-time for Otto and Sons in the 70’s. Taking the company from a Midwestern meat processing plant to a dominant global force, likely not an easy feat, is squarely the result of Mr. Lavin’s efforts, and although he may not have seen the company becoming the sole supplier of protein for the franchise juggernaut, McDonald’s, some company had to be. Mr. Lavin’s may be a story of near perfect timing, but in the end , success always comes down to the same magical ingredients: hard work.

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