Sheldon Lavin | How the Owner of OSI Group Turned the Company Around

Sheldon Lavin is the owner of the OSI Group – a food and meat processing company. He presently heads the company as its Chief Executive Officer. OSI Group is constituted of OSI Industries and the OSI International Foods. Sheldon Lavin entered the food and meat industry as an outsider with a background in finance and banking.

Education and Early Career

Sheldon Lavin has a Finance and Accounting Degree. Before getting involved in the OSI Group, Lavin owned and ran a financial consulting firm. His path into the food and meat processing industry started back in 1970. At the time, he was a finance and banking executive who was involved in the financing of Otto & Sons Company, which later became the OSI Group. Mr. Otto and his sons sought additional finance they needed to expand their operations after they got the opportunity to become the sole hamburgers supplier to the rising McDonald’s Corporation in the entire Midwest region. Therefore, they sought the financial assistance of Sheldon Lavin, a financial consultant.

Lavin was requested by the financing bank to join the management ranks of Otto & Sons Company during the financing process, but he declined. He opted to remain the company’s financial consultant to concentrate on his firm rather than become its business partner. In 1975, Sheldon Lavin increased his involvement with the Otto & Sons Company after the owners started sourcing for overseas investments. He joined the company as a partner just as Otto senior retired. Consequently, the company was renamed the OSI Group. Since then, it has continued its expansion overseas and opened new facilities in North America, Europe, Philippines, South Africa, India, and Japan.

Today, the 81-year-old Lavin is still actively involved in both the management and expansion of the OSI Group. The company is the biggest protein supplier globally. It also has 70 facilities in 17 countries around the world. Sheldon Lavin is a board member of several organizations including Rush University Medical Center, the Goodman Theater, and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMCH). Moreover, he is the Director of Northeast Bank and The Sheba Foundation. He also chairs the board of Drexel National Bank of Chicago.


Sheldon Lavin is the recipient of numerous awards thanks to his business and non-profit activities. An active philanthropist, Lavin has contributed vast resources and personal time to different charities including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, United Negro College Fund, Jewish United Fund, Inner City Foundation, and the Evans Scholarship Fund.

To Learn More : OSI’s Sheldon Lavin Receives Global Visionary Award

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