Sheldon Lavin is Chairman and CEO of the world’s 10th largest meat processing and wholesale company OSI Industries, and also one of the oldest CEOs running a billion-dollar company. Even though he may be over 80, he is as excited as ever to keep growing the company and have new ideas and technology introduced to it. Lavin once said he would have never became the main owner of the company if he didn’t feel he could make it very big. And indeed today OSI Industries is open in 17 countries with over 50 operating plants. One of the most important investments Lavin has made is in enhanced safety equipment and training which has made OSI Industries one of the top safety practicing meat processing companies.
OSI Industries was only a local meat supply store in Chicago known as Otto & Sons when Sheldon Lavin first heard of it, and they asked him to obtain a bank loan on their behalf so they could build an additional large plant and open more locations. Lavin was originally an account manager and investment advisor at a large bank, and by the time Otto & Sons became a client of his he had started his own consulting business. During the first few years as their consultant, Lavin had been presented with the idea of becoming an owner in the company but didn’t want it at the time since he wanted to stay in the financial industry. But he kept working with Otto & Sons on more deals, and by the late 1970s he was nominated CEO. The owners retired in the early 1980s and sold Lavin the rest of their stakes in the company, and at that point Otto & Sons was changed to OSI Industries with its main company known as OSI Group.
OSI Industries and McDonald’s have have had a solid partnership over the years and Lavin has kept it strong by opening up prime locations advantageous to McDonald’s opening up franchises in China, Europe and other new places across Asia. Lavin also led the recent acquisitions of Baho Food and Flagship Europe to not only grow OSI’s product distribution, but in keeping the products and brand of those companies they’re now included in the overall inventory. Lavin is also a community activist and philanthropist who is a board leader at the Ronald McDonald House Charities and a donor to the Chicago Jewish United Fund which helps the homeless and needy in the city.
Read More: www.forbes.com/companies/osi-group/