Sheldon Lavin is the chairman and CEO of OSI Group. Also, he serves as the president of OSI International Foods Ltd. The Rush University Medical Centre’s general trustee has in the past served as the director of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
A privately owned company, OSI Group has its headquarters in Aurora, Illinois. The meat processor serves the retail and the food service industry in general. Sheldon’s journey in the meat and food industry can be traced 47 years back. At the time, he was offering financial consultation services to Otto & Sons Company (which later became OSI Group). Mr. Otto and his two sons had landed a contract to supply hamburgers to the McDonald’s Corporation but lacked enough funds to go through with it. The bank that Mr. Sheldon Lavin was working with, requested him to take up an ownership position at Otto & Son’s. In the beginning, he was against the idea but eventually accepted with the condition that he gets similar leverage as Otto and his sons.
By 1975, Sheldon Lavin had immersed himself into the operations of the company and even began looking for overseas opportunities. This was the beginning of OSI Group. It expanded its product offerings to North America, South Africa, Taiwan and Europe. During the 1980s, one of the partners sold out his shares giving Mr. Sheldon 50% controlling interest. After some time, the remaining partner retired leaving Sheldon Lavin as the sole owner of the firm.
Upon taking over the full control, he was thrilled at the thought of making the Group big. Over the years, he has not given up on this dream. Under his leadership, OSI Group grew from a small domestic food processing firm to a global multi-billion dollar meat and food processor. OSI Group enjoys a massive presence across the world. It has over 70 facilities in 16 countries including Australia, China, India, Philippines, and Japan.
The 81-year-old entrepreneur is still pursuing further growth and expansion of the Group, and his efforts have not gone unrecognized. In 2016, Sheldon received the Global Visionary Award. The award from the Vision World Academy, India honors visionaries in varying fields who have actualized their dreams through demonstrated persistence and perseverance. He has received many other awards from both business and non-profit activities. An active philanthropist, Sheldon has made financial donations to several charities including Inner City Foundation, Evans Scholarship Fund, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Negro College Fund and the Jewish United Fund.