One of the happiest CEO’s in the food industry today is Sheldon Lavin, the leader of the McDonald’s franchise’s largest partner OSI Industries. Lavin has been in this business for a long time and is almost 90 years old, but he never seems to lose his passion and energy while on the job because he loves not only knowing that quality foods will be delivered, but loves the interaction he has with the people he works with. The way Lavin described the company was one that has an open door to ideas and values hearing everyone’s input. There are some policies that govern the company because like all other companies, it needs to uphold strong ethics and encourage diversity, but Lavin said it doesn’t have the usual corporate “rule from the top” structure.
OSI Industries currently operates all around the world, but it was only a local company when Sheldon Lavin first came there. Lavin had gotten his bachelor’s degree in finance and was a top-ranking advisor for a large investment bank in his early career. He stepped down from that job and started his own boutique services firm, and it was while running this firm that he became acquainted with the Kolschowsky family who owned Otto & Sons, the original name of OSI Industries. Otto & Sons had had a good reputation in processing meat for local merchants, but a new partnership with McDonald’s meant they were going to have to go grow substantially, and in order to do that they needed to build a big meat processing plant. Lavin was who they asked to help get a bank loan, and it was while doing this that he first came across the offer to become a partial owner of Otto & Sons. Lavin turned this offer down because he was committed to financial career, but he did promise to come on part-time as a consultant at the company.
As Sheldon Lavin spent more time at Otto & Sons, he started understanding more on how the meat supply industry worked and realized the company could become dynamic with the right moves. So he reconsidered the offer to work at the company full-time and at the request of its current owners and their McDonald’s partners, he bought the controlling shares and assumed the title of Chairman and CEO. Over the next several years the company became renamed to OSI Industries and began opening even more plants. By the 1990s it was operating in China, Brazil, Germany and later moved into the UK, Canada and Australia. Lavin not only became interested in growing the company, he also decided to use it to partner with and support community service groups like the Inner City Foundation of Chicago, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Jewish United Fund and several healthcare foundations. In honor of his contributions to community service he was given the Edward C. Jones award from the North American Meat Institute, and the Global Visionary award by Global Vision Academy.
Learn More: www.linkedin.com/in/sheldon-lavin-a325b98