Over the last four decades, Sheldon Lavin has transformed OSI into a powerhouse of innovation that processes value-added food products such as hamburgers and meat patties. OSI Group won a reputation for producing safe and high-quality food products in an industry that has had negative headlines over the years.
Sheldon Lavin, a renowned banker, and investor sits at the helm of a company that has become a household name for producing innovative fast food products. In early 1970, Sheldon Lavin quit his job as a financial consultant to become a partner at OSI Industries. His journey in the food industry began when he arranged to finance for Otto & Sons which rebranded to OSI industries.
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Otto & Sons wanted to build a processing plant in Chicago to supply hamburgers to McDonald’s. The company had landed a contract to supply hamburgers for McDonald’s outlets in the US Midwest, but their processing facility could not meet McDonald’s demand. Sheldon Lavin agreed to arrange to finance for Otto & Sons Ltd on the condition that he would become an equal partner as the founders.
Lavin’s involvement with OSI industries deepened when Otto Kolchowsky retired in the late 1970s. Sheldon Lavin began working fulltime for OSI Group at the request of McDonald’s. One of Otto’s sons sold his stake to Lavin, giving him half of the voting power. During this time, OSI Industries were expanding in Taiwan and South America. After becoming a full-time manager, Sheldon locked his eye on China which provided a vast market for OSI’s products.
Sheldon succeeded in taking over the Chinese fast-food market by becoming the biggest supplier of food products for the McDonald’s, Starbucks, Yum, and other Chinese restaurant chains. OSI’s success in the last 40 years was a big reason the Vision World Academy recognized Sheldon Lavin for turning a family business into multi-million-dollar food company.
Besides being a successful investor, Sheldon Lavin is a renowned philanthropist. He contributes to many charities including the Inner-City Foundation of Chicago, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Jewish United Fund, Evans Scholarship Fund, among others. At 85 years, Sheldon continues to lead innovation at OSI Industries.