OSI Industries, which began as Otto & Sons, started as a local butcher shop and has grown into an international power in the food processing and distribution industry. A key figure in the success of this company is Sheldon Lavin.
Mr. Lavin worked for 40 years in banking and financial consulting. He began as an investment consultant for Otto’s in the early 1970’s and one of his first ventures with the company was to secure capital to develop state of the art food processing technology and to expand the business into European markets. He was so successful that the Kolschowsky brothers asked him to partner with them to run the company.
Soon after that development, a major transition occurred within the company as the Kolschowsky brothers retired, the company continued to expand and changed its name to OSI industries, and Sheldon Lavin became its new CEO. Lavin accepted the position not only because he recognized the financial stability and potential but also because he was impressed with the business practices and strategies, he agreed with the company goals, and he appreciated the family-oriented culture. He believed that these aspects were indicators for business longevity.
Sheldon Lavin’s success in banking and finance and his experience as an investor made him the perfect person to lead new global ventures. He served as the catalyst for the next high growth phase of OSI Industries. First, he made sure that OSI remained the exclusive meat provider to the McDonald’s corporation. Then he navigated the acquisition of companies like Baho Foods and Flagship Europe in order to introduce the international food community to the most up to date food processing technology. Today, Sheldon Lavin presides over one of the world’s largest companies with over 60 facilities operating in 17 countries. The company employs about 20,000 people and has annual sales of $6.1 billion.
Even though his corporate activity is very time consuming, Sheldon Lavin has time for numerous philanthropic endeavors. He is involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, participates in Jewish United Fund events, and sponsors scholarships through Boys and Girls clubs. These efforts were recognized with The Global Visionary Award which recognizes business visionaries who are also active in local communities.