Hometown Journey

Sheldon Lavin: Overseeing 40 Years of Growth at OSI Group

Sheldon Lavin is an ex-investment banker turned meat mogul who currently heads OSI Group, a global food supplier. Over 40 years ago, Lavin entered the industry and has since overseen the growth of OSI Group from a small burger supplier into a global conglomerate that employs over 20,000 people.

OSI took off in the 1970’s and and 1980’s as it became a key supplier to McDonald’s amidst its rapid growth. Lavin presided over expansions into Europe, South America, and much of East Asia over this time. Additionally, Lavin’s business partners either retired or sold their stakes in the business, leaving him with 100% control. The business remains to be a privately-held company, one of the largest 150 such businesses according to Forbes in 2016. Being privately-held helps the company maintain a family feel throughout the organization, according to Lavin.

Currently, Lavin is seeking further growth for OSI Group in Asia and Europe, while the company remains as the largest protein supplier to McDonalds. This continued expansion is largely facilitated through acquisitions, buying food suppliers in both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in 2016. The company relies on its extensive supply chain and large scale production abilities as its competitive advantage in serving clients across 17 countries.The CEO’s charity work includes being a trustee for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. He also sits on the board of the Goodman Theater and the Rush University Medical Center. In 2016, Lavin was awarded the Global Visionary Award from India’s Vision World Academy, for his success in turning a vision into reality over his time at OSI Group.

 

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