It’s pretty doubtful that Sheldon Lavin ever expected he would end up the owner of a multibillion-dollar food company which he would lead as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors. He was a financier and consultant who helped companies untangle situations involving their finances and helping them obtain business loans. That all changed, though, after he became acquainted with Otto & Sons of the greater Chicago area.
It was in 1970 that most of Otto & Sons business was all about supplying beef to McDonald’s. They had a huge opportunity to grow that partnership but McDonald’s told them they needed to build another food processing facility to deepen the relationship. They were put in touch with Sheldon Lavin by McDonald’s who would help them get the money to build the facility.
He so impressed both the McDonald’s brass and Otto & Son’s management that they both asked him to join the company as its senior executive and one of the owners. McDonald’s wanted a steady hand at the wheel to drive the company and keep delivering them high-quality, reliable beef. He resisted for a while but came around and decided that he could really do something with the company, recently renamed OSI Group. Check out this article of Sheldon Lavin at provisioneronline.com
He has more than delivered on that ambition since that time. Sheldon Lavin expanded OSI Group across North America and then into Latin America before going overseas. It is now active across the globe and is one of the largest privately held companies in the world, food industry and otherwise.
OSI Group now owns multiple brands around the world that they have acquired over the years. One of these is Amick Farms of Batesburg, South Carolina. This represented Sheldon Lavin’s first foray into processing chicken which now makes up a pretty significant share of his company’s revenues.
Sheldon Lavin is now 85 years old but he is still passionate about leading OSI Group. He says he has put a great executive team in place and knows that once he needs to he will pass the company along into the steady hands of a new generation.