Sheldon Lavin has quietly been one of the most successful CEOs in the United States of America. He has taken a meat supply company global and now it’s one of the largest food producers in the entire world. And his company, OSI Group, has a very interesting origin story.A German immigrant started a butcher shop in a Chicago neighborhood in the early 20th century. His name was Otto and he worked hard enough to turn his butcher shop into a meat supply company. He eventually became one of hundreds of meat suppliers to the McDonald’s Corporation in its early days in the 1950s. By this time, the German immigrant had opened up a processing facility called Otto and Sons.
The company put all sorts of money towards research in order to come up with new cryogenic freezing techniques. The freezing allowed the company to deliver more meat over a larger geographical area and they eventually became the main supplier for McDonald’s Corporation during its meteoric rise. That meat supply company is now known as OSI Group and it is led by Sheldon Lavin. Lavin has a deep respect for the planet and that is why he directs his company to be as eco-friendly as possible. Under his direction, OSI Group has opened up two different research facilities in the United States and China to further understand how to mitigate any negative effects on the environment. It is this commitment to the environment that COO David McDonald appreciates.
The company’s chief operating officer grew up on a farm in Iowa. He attended Iowa State where he received a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences. He scored an internship under Sheldon Lavin right out of college and he has been working there ever since. David McDonald has a deep appreciation for the origin of OSI Group’s food supply chain. That’s why he directs OSI Group to be as “local” as possible. He empowers his staff to make business decisions as close to the locality as possible. This makes the international conglomerate, with 65 facilities in 17 different countries, feel like the neighborhood food company.