Sheldon Lavin: taking up the reins of OSI Group

OSI Group’s excellent history spanning over 100 years starts with a German- immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky, who began operating a retail meat market and small butcher shop in 1909, under the name Otto & Sons. The small business started expanding in 1955 when it became McDonald’s exclusive hamburger supplier. It established a plant in 1973 specially dedicated to serving the McDonald’s. Sheldon Lavin joined the business in the 1970s and became a partner of the company operated by Otto’s two sons, in 1975 which is the year that the company also changed from Otto & Sons to OSI Group.

Sheldon Lavin steered the firm into an expansion, following McDonald’s growth, and in the 1980s, OSI Group expanded to Germany, Brazil, Taiwan, Austria, and Spain. OSI opened two more plants in the United States which helped it develop to the Philippines, China, Mexico, and Poland. By the year 2000, OSI had begun poultry business on several continents. In 2002, it entered the fresh produce market by acquiring a firm in China while growing its beef industry through an Australian acquisition. The poultry operation grew to meet the increasing demands, and in 2006, OSI Group purchased a stake in an American company. OSI’s Sheldon Lavin receives Global Visionary Award.

Sheldon Lavin, when he joined the business more than 40 years ago, brought with him a drive to excel along with the experience he had acquired as a banking executive and investor. He has helped the company make many strategic acquisitions and joint ventures including the German Hynek Schlachthof GmbH in 2016 to give OSI more accessibility to raw meat to facilitate broadening its distribution of meat products and fresh meat all over Europe and Germany. Also in 2016, with him at the helm, OSI acquired Tyson production plant for $7.4 million, Baho Food to enable including quick snacks and deli meat in its product offering and Flagship Europe to expand to marinades, food supplies, and other products.

On 20 February 2016, India’s Vision World Academy presented Sheldon Lavin with a Global Visionary Award to recognize his accomplishments of taking OSI Group to the global scene, and for promoting worldwide job creation. Under his leadership, OSI has received many sustainability and environmental awards, and Lavin hopes that the firm’s next corporate leaders’ generation will continue to make it a priority. Sheldon Lavin is committed to the company’s and employees’ welfare, and he wants to inspire the next leaders to do the same.

For details: www.inc.com/profile/osi-group

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