How Sheldon Lavin Cornered the Meat Market

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin, is currently one of the top executives across the entire meat and food services industry, providing inspiration to a myriad of young entrepreneurs, as well as to his employees. Despite his massive notoriety within the meat and food services industry today, he entered the business as an outsider, having very little prior knowledge of the inner workings. Prior to his initial foray, Sheldon Lavin had created a very successful career for himself as the head of his own financial investment firm, as well as an investor and executive in the banking industry. Due to his incredible reputation, as well as his intricate knowledge of the banking industry, he was called upon to help secure funding for Otto and Son’s in 1970. Otto and Son’s, the precursor to OSI Group, was a mid-level meat processing company that was interested in building a new meat processing factory in the midwest that would allow them to become the supplier of meats for McDonald’s Corporation. As this was a major deal, Mr. Lavin’s expertise was greatly needed and appreciated, and as the deal came together, he was asked by the bank to join Otto and Son’s full-time under the belief that this would help the deal to run as smoothly as possible. While Mr. Lavin initially declined, he did agree to stay on as a consultant but negotiated terms that would allow him to join the company on a more permanent basis at a later date if he became interested. While acting as a consultant for Otto and Son’s, Mr. Lavin continued to become more involved with the daily overseas operations, and by the time the mid-70’s had arrived, he had become a full partner. While Otto and Son’s had been in operation for a long period before Mr. Lavin’s involvement, by the middle of the 1980’s, he had become an executive with his eye on taking the company to the next level. During the 1980’s, Otto and Son’s, which was then known as OSI Group, saw its first major worldwide expansion, opening offices in Australia, South Africa, Japan, and the Philippines. Today, under the guidance of Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group is operating in over 60 countries, employing nearly 20,000 longtime employees. He continues to be active within the company and has achieved a myriad of awards, including the Global Visionary Award, presented by India’s Vision World Academy.

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