Sheldon Lavin next expected to end up in the processed food industry but that’s where he eventually found himself regardless. For the first several years of his career he worked in the banking industry as an executive and investor. He had founded his own financial consulting firm where he helped companies get financing. In the mid-1970’s, though, he became a part owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of OSI Group, LLC, in Aurora, Illinois. At the time this was a relatively small company that mostly just supplied McDonald’s Corporation with fresh beef patties. Sheldon Lavin, though, knew the company could be much more than that.
Today he operates OSI International, Inc. which has a number of subsidiaries like OSI Industries, OSI Group, LLC, and others. His company, which he has wholly owned for years, sells processed food to a wide variety of restaurants as well as to grocery stores who sell it as their own brands. They sell far more than beef as they now sell just about every type of protein there is plus vegetables, sauces, marinades, dressings, and more. Their products are used in restaurants and grocery stores throughout the world including the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Sheldon Lavin has built a company that globally employes almost 20,000 people. Because he has created such a family-like atmosphere most employees stay at his company for their entire career. There are good advancement opportunities because his companies tend to hire from within whenever possible. He has said that the most important part of any company that wants to be successful is the people that are working for it.
How Sheldon Lavin came to own OSI Group is that a company named Otto & Sons had come to him to get financing for a new plant that they needed to build in order to provide what McDonald’s was looking for. McDonald’s had told the executives of Otto & Sons to use him because he had done good work for them in the past. Once that deal was completed it was McDonald’s who asked him to join OSI Group (newly named at the time) as its top executive.
Sheldon Lavin expanded OSI Group beyond America in short order. He then expanded into the rest of North America and Europe in the 1970s. In the 1980’s he expanded into Taiwan and South America. In the 1990’s he focused on the rest of Asia.