When Sheldon Lavin was growing up, the furthest thing from his mind was the idea that he would one day be working in a meat packing plant. He Lavin certainly didn’t think that he would be the owner of said plant, and that he would grow it into one of the largest meat packing businesses in not only North America, but the world. He started his career as an outsider, having already worked successfully in the financial management industry. It was a chance encounter with the original owner of OSI, then known as Otto & Sons Meat Packing, in his role as a financial planner that set him on the path toward becoming the CEO of OSI today.
When OSI started out it was a meat supplier to McDonalds, one of the key burger suppliers for the signature quarter pounder, and Big Mac patties. Otto & Sons had a chance to build a new larger facility to help them meet the increased demand of McDonalds for their meat. They turned to an investment and finance firm, where Lavin was working, to secure financing for the build. As the project continued, Lavin and Otto became friends and with time he found himself invested in the business, and later becoming the principal shareholder.
Over the years, Lavin has grown OSI into one of the largest meat providers in the world. The company, now known as the OSI group, providing an ever-expanding line of meat products to the food industry as well as a growing number of non-meat food based products for specialized environments such as is real and India. OSI is now the single greatest supplier of meat alternative products in India as well as one of the nation’s largest employers outside of the tech and outsourced customer care industries.
In his personal life, Lavin has found time to give back through his support of Ronald McDonald house, as well as serving as the chairman of the current capital funds campaign. He is a widower, having survived his wife of more than 50 years. He is active with his three grown children as well as his many grandchildren. He considers the employees of OSI to be part of his extended family, especially those who he has worked with on his direct staff for decades. Sheldon Lavin is a prime example of someone who may find success in a place that they never thought to look. He is a great example of someone who uses their success to help others.
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