Sheldon Lavin’s patience with business decision-making proved to be to his advantage when entering the meat manufacturing industry. Lavin took an unorthodox route into his meat industry career. It began more than 43 years ago. Sheldon Lavin was a banking industry expert and financial advisor when he was offered the opportunity to work with Otto and Sons. At this time Otto and Sons was primarily focused on its business relationship with McDonald’s. Lavin would eventually take the company to an international level.
OSI Group currently has a roster of over 20,000 employees internationally. Sheldon Lavin believes that the company is still family-oriented despite its tremendous worldwide success. The proof is in the longevity of every employee’s commitment. The turnover rate that OSI is very low. This dynamic provides the type of work environment that made the company special from the beginning.
Lavin entered the meat industry in 1970. He arranged the financing for Otto and Sons to secure their business relationship as the exclusive meat provider to the McDonald’s Corporation. At this point Otto and Sons had merely been there Midwest service provider. They had a chance to build a meat processing plant that would cater to the specific needs of McDonald’s and put them in an exclusive category with the fast food organization. Lavin was recommended by the bank to have a direct role in this process. He initially signed on as a consultant. His stipulation was that if he ever came in as a partner that he would have the same leverage in decision-making as the other partners within the company.
Lavin eventually became heavily involved in the operations at Otto and Sons. The company grew simultaneously with the McDonald’s Corporation. Leaders at McDonald’s recommended that Sheldon Lavin be a full time partner at OSI. Levin agreed due to his tremendous respect for the culture and business practices at McDonald’s. He pioneered the expansion throughout North America and Europe. Growth continued through the 1970s and 80s which included South America and Taiwan. Eventually Sheldon Lavin gained controlling interest of Otto and Sons once to the original owners sold their interest. Around this time Otto and Sons became known as OSI Group. Roughly 13 years ago the last remaining partner retired. This gave Sheldon Lavin 100% control of the decision-making at OSI.
OSI expansion has reached Australia, China, India, Philippines, and South Africa. There is a growing presence in Brazil and Europe as well. Lavin is currently in his 80s and actively involved in pushing OSI Group to even higher successes.
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