OSI Industries has brought American-style meat products such as burgers, sub sandwiches, pizzas, fried chicken, chicken nuggets and breakfast sausages to countries all over the world, and what they do today likely wouldn’t be possible without the work of their Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin. Although he’s a rather low-key and quite humble guy, his acumen has been widely praised for how he’s built OSI Industries into an internationally-known brand. An award for his work was given at India’s Global Vision Academy during 2016 during which he reflected back on moments that defined the direction of the company.
OSI Industries was actually known as Otto & Sons back in the late 1960s when Lavin first got to know its owners. It had been started as a home-based butcher shop in 1909 but over the years expanded into a full-scale meat wholesale market operation. Lavin was originally a banking executive who later started his own boutique services firm and was first asked by Otto & Sons to acquire a bank loan. The loan helped Otto & Sons build their first big processing plant outside of Chicago, and it enabled them to supply mass shipments of meat to McDonald’s which was then still in its growth stage as a restaurant chain. Lavin was a part-time consultant with Otto & Sons as it started to grow, and because his financial advice was doing wonders for the company he was asked several times if he would become an owner. Lavin did not want to at first because he still loved financial consulting, but as he stayed on longer at Otto & Sons he began to change his mind.
The company was renamed OSI Industries around the mid-1970s and it was now pushing the boundaries outside the US and looking to buy up processing plants in Europe and Asia. The owners were getting older too and wanted someone to take over the company who could push the limits of its growth as far as possible. Lavin this time agreed to buy up the rest of the ownership shares, and upon assuming the role of Chairman and CEO began to aggressively move into more countries. While Lavin has made the company big, one thing he’s always done is make the company’s workplace into a welcoming environment. Even when he bought out companies like Baho Food and Flagship Europe, he gladly welcomed existing employees and management to the OSI team. Lavin also gives back much of his money to organizations in Chicago and around the US like the Jewish National Fund, Inner City Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Read More: www.linkedin.com/in/sheldon-lavin-a325b98