Sheldon Lavin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSI Group, LLC, has become a titan in the meat industry over his storied career, which to this day, has lasted over forty years. He has taken OSI Group from small supplier of meat for the fast food giant McDonald’s, into an international supplier of food products to major food service companies around the world. While he is currently at the top of his field, over the span of nearly five decades, his career has transformed considerably. Mr. Lavin’s career in meat industry began in a very different direction. The head of OSI Group was initially a very successful investor and executive in the banking industry, while also heading his own financial consulting firm.
Today, OSI Group employs nearly 20,000 people around the world, and due to the family oriented culture that Mr. Lavin has helped to implement throughout, the company has consistently had a very high retention rate among employees, with many employees staying with the company for a decade or more. Mr. Lavin’s foray into the meat industry began in 1970 when he was asked to secure funding for Otto and Son’s, the precursor to OSI Group. The deal with Otto and Sons would allow them to build a major meat processing facility, and in turn, become the top supplier of hamburgers to McDonald’s Corporation in the midwest. While arranging the deal with Otto and Son’s, Mr. Lavin was asked by the bank to come aboard, taking an ownership position with the company. While Mr. Lavin initially declined to take an ownership position, he was able to negotiate a condition with the heads at Otto and Son’s, that if he were to decide to come aboard at a later date, his financial investment would be on par with the conditions set for Otto family. By the late 70’s, after serving as a consultant at Otto and Son’s, Mr. Lavin was convinced by McDonald’s Corporation to become a full-time partner with the company, soon to be called OSI Group, in order to continue a progressive relationship between both parties.
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