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Sheldon Lavin: CEO of OSI Group, LLC

From a very humble beginning to now being a global leader in the food processing industry, the story of the OSI Group is an inspiring tale of a business which has developed over one century making progress at every step of the journey. The growth of the OSI Group is tied to the good leadership which has been provided by Sheldon Lavin, the CEO of the company.

OSI Group was started over 100 years ago by a German immigrant living in Chicago, Illinois named Otto Kolschowsky. It started as a butcher shop before it developed to become a leading firm in the world. It was initially known as Otto &Sons. Otto managed it with the assistance of his two sons, who played a significant role in the development of the company before Sheldon Lavin was brought in. Currently, OSI Group has over 65 facilities all over the world and a presence in over 17 countries in different continents. Sheldon Lavin has been instrumental in the development of the firm since he joined in 1975. He has taken the company from one level to a higher one even after the exit of the two sons of Otto Kolschowsky.

The current CEO has invested in sustainability, green practices and food safety as the key driving factors of the company’s growth. The recent expansion of OSI plants has seen a great reduction in energy consumption. Sheldon continues to grow the company by focusing on the important aspects of the food industry. He follows up on the eating habits of the people so that he can align the company’s goals with those trends. In recent years, the company has made key acquisitions in different continents as it aims to expand its market presence more, especially in Europe.

The big deal for OSI Group came in 1955 when it was hired by McDonald’s, which had just been opened in Illinois, to supply hamburgers. This became a perfect opportunity for the firm, then known as Otto & Sons to make a big step in development. OSI group was even forced to open up its first plant in Chicago purposely for supplying hamburgers to McDonald’s which was also growing at a rapid speed. It was in 1975 when Sheldon Lavin was brought on board to assist with management of the firm which was by then in dire need of professional management from an experienced corporate executive. As McDonald’s hit the global market, OSI Group was forced to build more plants in different countries so that they could meet the high demand that was coming from large food chain supply businesses.