Hometown Journey

The Key Roles That Sheldon Lavin Had In OSI Group’s Expansion

Sheldon Lavin is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of OSI Food Solutions. He has collaborated with the company since 1970, back when the company was known as Otto & Sons. Nowadays, OSI is one of the largest food processing companies in the world, with 65 facilities in 17 countries.

In 1970, Sheldon Lavin was still a bank executive and investment manager, and played an important role in arranging the financing for OSI’s plans to expand. After the deal was struck he came on as a consultant. By 1975 his role grew and he was made a partner when the company was seeking international investment funds in order to expand overseas.

A few years down the road, Sheldon Lavin was asked by OSI’s main client, McDonald’s, to make a commitment to OSI, as they wanted someone trustworthy to guide one of its more important suppliers while McDonald’s was making plans to expand internationally. He quickly became both CEO and Chairman, and by the early 200s he was the last remaining partner, and as a result he gained complete voting control of OSI.

Talking about the culture at OSI, Sheldon Lavin noted that it is very family-oriented and that there is very little turnover, having a great amount of longevity in their workforce. OSI currently focuses on efforts to create sustainability in its operations, as a result, Lavin made sure over the past decade that they support their sustainability strategies with research and development. Thus, they have created an R&D Center in Chicago, and two Culinary Innovation Centers, in China and in the United States.

Besides his work with OSI, he is also heavily involved in charity work with organizations such as National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He is also been active with a number of organizations in the Chicago-area, such as the Jewish United Fund, Sheba Foundation, Rush University Medical Center, and many others.

He earned, from RSM US LLP, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, which recognizes Chicago business leaders who have shown a commitment to civic involvement. He also received an award from NAMI as a result of his dedication to Chicago-based charitable organizations and his active participation. His work with OSI also resulted in many awards, due to his incorporation of sustainability efforts in daily operations. The list of companies that are part of OSI Group and have one accolades includes GenOSI (Philippine-based) and K&K Foods (Taiwan-based).

 

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