Sheldon Lavin: 40 Years Of Meat Industry Excellence

Sometimes when you join a company, you have to change its image and set it on the road to bigger things. Surely, when Sheldon Lavin first signed on with OSI Group, it already had an auspicious relationship with McDonald’s, but specialization is for insects and he knew that diversity was vital to the company’s continued success.

Since becoming CEO and Chairman of the organization, he has expanded its holdings to include multiple food service and retail brands.

Sheldon Lavin first foray into the meat industry began in 1970 when he first found capital for the creation of Otto & Sons, which would eventually become OSI Industries. When you have an offer to become one of the suppliers for the Midwest portion of one of the most well-known names in fast food, you don’t waste time, nor argue the details. You see, the bank had wanted him to hold an ownership position in the newly formed company to secure the loan, something typically outside his role as a consultant. However, after securing an agreement with the Otto family ensuring that his financial investment would come with the same degree of leverage as their own, he conceded to the bank’s demands.

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His role with Otto & Sons seemed ordained by providence, or at least demanded by the forces existent in the industry. You see, as time went on McDonald’s wanted to expand their relationship with the business now known as OSI, but insisted that in order to do so Lavin had to come into the business full time. He scarcely could have said no. From there he went on to lead OSI into South America and Taiwan.

Now 81, Sheldon Lavin is still working to expand the holdings of the OSI Group, paying special attention to Asia and Europe. He has been a long time contributor to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Jewish United Fund, Evans Scholarship Fund, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and many more. All of this while being the Chairman of the largest protein supplier of McDonald’s in the world, with more than 55 facilities in 16 countries serving to support the company that started it all.

For more information about Sheldon Lavin, visit forbes.com