Among the many awards Sheldon Lavin’s has won in his time at OSI Group is the Edward Jones Award for community service in the food industry. Lavin has certainly earned an outstanding reputation for running a company with a family-like atmosphere, but he’s also wanted OSI Group to give back to every community they do business in. Lavin has contributed millions in charity to organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, Inner City Foundation and Boys and Girls Clubs, Jewish United and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Lavin was also honored just this last year by the Global Vision Academy for bringing OSI Group from a small meat wholesale company to now owning distribution centers in 17 countries.
Sheldon Lavin is now over 80 years old, yet most people who have seen him at work note that he shows no signs of slowing down because he loves what he does. He began in the meat wholesale business back in 1970, though oddly enough it was not where he originally intended to go. Lavin was in investment banking at the outset of his career and then was running his own business as a financial consultant to many different companies when OSI, then known as Otto & Sons contacted him. Lavin got involved with the company because they were looking to open new processing centers and wanted to meet the demand that their new partner, the McDonalds restaurant chain had put on them. Lavin helped Otto & Sons restructure their financial department so well that by the time the current owners were ready to retire, he owned a share in the company. Eventually he was sold the rest of the shares, and as he turned his attention overseas the company became known as OSI Industries.
OSI Group is partnered with McDonalds and has also supplied beef and poultry to other chains including KFC, Subway and Pizza Hut over the years. They also ship to local supermarkets and have a way of doing business that includes getting to know the markets they tap into, and having local salesmen operate their outlets. They’ve bought several well-known wholesale groups across Europe including Baho Food and Flagship Europe. Lavin and his fellow owner David McDonald have not only looked to keep workers of every company they acquire, they also have an open door policy so that employees and supervisors can give them feedback on what they think of the company.
OSI Group Info: www.theofficialboard.com/biography/sheldon-lavin-d4824