At the Age of 81, Sheldon Lavin Continues to Innovate

Prior 1970, Sheldon Lavin had very little knowledge of the inner workings of the food and meat services industry, but he was already carving out a very successful career in the banking industry as an executive, while also seeing significant success as an investor and head of his own financial consultancy firm. Today Mr. Lavin is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group LLC, one of the foremost food and meat processing corporations in the world. Ironically, it was Mr. Lavin’s stronghold on the fine points of finances and ways to acquire them, that led him to a meeting with the heads of Otto and Sons; a move that would change his life, as well as the trajectory of company forever. At the beginning of the decade, Mr. Lavin was approached by the bank for the securing of finances that would allow Otto and Sons, the precursor to OSI Group, to build a new meat processing factory in the midwest. With the building of this state-of-the-art meat processing facility, Otto and Sons are also be able to secure a contract with McDonald’s Corporation, which would allow them to become the midwest meat supplier to the fast food giant.

Mr. Lavin was successful, playing an integral role in closing the deal, and because of this, he was asked to stay on with Otto and Son’s, joining the company in an executive capacity. Because Mr. Lavin lacked experience in the field, he initially declined but included a caveat that would allow him to join the company at a later date in the same capacity if he chose to do so. During the 1970’s, Mr. Lavin would become increasingly involved at Otto and Sons, and by the 1980’s, he was at the head of the company. It was also during the 1980’s that OSI Group would see its first major expansion, beginning operations in places such as Australia, South Africa, the Philippines, and Japan.
Today Mr. Lavin runs a company that he has seen expand to 60 countries around the world and employs 20,000 people. Many attribute the success of Mr. Lavin and OSI Group to the family-oriented attitude that he practices and spreads throughout the company. Due to his continued success, Mr. Lavin has received a wide array of awards for his services and was recently presented with the Global Visionary Award by India’s Vision World Academy.

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