Sheldon is the current chief executive officer and chairman of OSI Group. His career in the meet industry started over 40 years ago. Initially, he had a successful career in the banking industry where he served as a financial consultant. OSI Group supplies food products to numerous foodservice and retail brands, including McDonald’s. Notably, the corporation is the holding company for OSI International, OSI International Foods and OSI Industries.
The corporation has almost 20,000 employees. Sheldon is proud that the company has a low staff turnover owing to the high cohesion. His journey with Otto & Sons started in 1970s when he was called upon to arrange financing for the company. The corporation used the funding to build a large meat processing plant. To this end, they became McDonald’s largest supplier of hamburgers in the Midwest. Owing to the success of the financing arrangement, Sheldon Lavin was asked to take an ownership position in Otto & Sons. In the 1970s, he became a partner with the two sons of Otto considering that Otto had retired from the business. Later, McDonald’s requested him to join the company full-time. His deep appreciation for the McDonald’s business culture saw him join the Otto & Sons (presently, OSI Group) full-time.
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Sheldon’s transformative leadership helped the corporation to expand across North America and Europe. He also played an instrumental role in enabling the company to penetrate South America and Taiwan. After one of the original partners sold out his shares, Lavin acquired a half controlling interest of the corporation. Later, he bought the remaining shares to gain total voting control of OSI Group. This way, he expanded the entity’s operations to South Africa, Japan, India, Brazil, Australia, Philippines and China. Today, the company has over 55 facilities in 17 countries. They rank as the world’s largest protein supplier to McDonald’s.
Lavin has three children and many grandchildren. He supports various charitable initiatives, including United Negro College Fund, Evans Scholarship Fund, Jewish United Funds, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Sheldon is a member of the boards of Rush University Medical Center and Goodman Theatre. In addition, the executive is a director and president of a family charitable foundation, The Sheba Foundation.