Looking back at his entrepreneurial journey, all that 81 years old Sheldon Lavin can do is admire his determination and impressive record.
The founder, Chairman, and current CEO of OSI Group started off in the banking and financial industry. He served in executive positions, made investments, and even established his firm that operated within the industry. When he threw his hat in the food industry ring 47 years ago, most critics dismissed him as an outsider. Of course, they were wrong.
Sheldon’s Entrance in the Food Industry
Sheldon Lavin announced his presence in the food industry when he arranged to finance for Otto & Sons in 1970. At that time, Otto & Sons was on the verge of securing a contract with McDonald’s Corporation to be its supplier of hamburgers but had insufficient funds to buy a meat processing plant. Lavin arranged financing for the firm on the terms that he would become an equal partner to Otto and his two sons. A half a decade later, a lot had changed in the company’s structure and operations; Mr. Otto had retired from active entrepreneurship, and the company had started going international. Sheldon was brought on board by the Otto Brothers, with the recommendation of McDonald’s Corporation to help in the administration of the business and eventually became a key figure in the company.
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Otto & Sons rebranded to OSI Group shortly after Sheldon went full-time. He was given the CEO role and also doubled up as the firm’s president. Under the stewardship of Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group started making inroads in the overseas market, taking the global market by a storm. Going to the 80s, Sheldon had already proved his critics wrong- the company had conquered the North American and South American markets.
Securing the Ownership of OSI Group
Sheldon Lavin purchased half of OSI Group from one of the controlling partners in the early 1980s. The company continued with its accelerated growth and ventured into new markets in Asian and African countries, such as China, Japan, Philippians, South Africa, and India. About 13 years ago, Sheldon’s partner retired and left Sheldon as the sole owner of the company. Today, OSI Group is the leading proteins manufacturing and distribution firm globally, with a presence in 16 countries and over 55 food processing facilities. Even at his old age, Sheldon is still committed to helping the firm grow even further.