Sheldon Lavin was an unlikely candidate for being a food manufacturing visionary. He began his career in the banking industry and had his own consulting firm. Lavin was offered an opportunity to work with a local Chicago-based meat processing company early in his career. Sheldon immediately saw the potential within the industry and applied his vision to the situation. He is now an award winning executive in food manufacturing.
Sheldon Lavin began his relationship with OSI Group when the company was only a local family-run business. It was a meat supplier known as Otto and Sons that had began operation in the 1900’s. The company operated for decades as a family organization and eventually developed a relationship with McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc. Otto and Sons evolved with the Mcdonald’s Corporation over the years. It eventually became the number one meat supplier to McDonald’s, with an opportunity to build its own plant. However, Otto and Sons did not have the income or resources to build such a facility. Sheldon Lavin was brought in to oversee the process.
Otto and Sons introduced several innovative concepts to meat manufacturing that set them apart from others in the industry. Ideas such as the meat patty cutting machine and cryogenic freezing chambers put the manufacturer in a different standing than its competitors. Sheldon was requested by the leaders of McDonald’s to come into the organization full time. Lavin agreed only if he would have equal decision-making capabilities as the other partners.
By the 1960s the original partners of Otto and Sons had settled into retirement. Sheldon took full control and the company became known as OSI Group. Sheldon Lavin immediately began to push the corporation’s interest into an international forum. OSI Group now operates in countries throughout the world with plants in the Asia-Pacific, North and South America and Europe.
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