Sheldon Lavin was not well known in meat manufacturing before joining the industry in the early 70s. He began his career as a banker and financial advisor. Lavin had his own firm. He was introduced to the Kolschowsky family when they had an opportunity to build a plant for McDonald’s Corporation. The Kolschowsky family’s company was then known as Otto and Sons. It had started as a meat market in the early 1900s and grew into a major Midwestern meat manufacturing supplier. The Kolschowsky’s relationship with McDonald’s had put them in a very advantageous position. However, they did not have the funding to build the plant that McDonald’s requested. The bank suggested that Sheldon Lavin come in as a chief advisor and partner.

Lavin initially declined the opportunity to be a partner with Otto and Sons. However, he did sign on to be a direct consultant. He informed the family that if he were to ever come on as a partner that it would be under the condition he have equal decision-making abilities as the other partners. Over time Sheldon Lavin became more and more involved in the daily operations of Otto and Sons. Eventually the McDonald’s Corporation suggested that he become directly involved as partner. Lavin’s relationship with McDonald’s convinced him to become a partner with Otto and Sons. After one of the original partners sold out of the business arrangement. Sheldon Lavin became 50% owner of the meat manufacturer. Around this time the company became known as OSI Group.

Sheldon Lavin’s business model pushed OSI Group to national and international levels. There are currently plants operating throughout the United States and areas such as Riverside and Oakland California, Wisconsin, Utah and Chicago. OSI maintains operating interest in the Philippines, Australia, Japan, and South Africa. The company is working hard to establish its presence in Europe. OSI made acquisitions to improve its standing in the area. Baho Foods and Flagship Food Group were added to the OSI team in order to ensure that they have a flexible business plan while pushing their influence in the region.

Sheldon Lavin is very active in philanthropy. He is a regular contributor to the Ronald McDonald House charities. Lavin is also currently chairman of the Capital Campaign. He supports the Inner City Foundation of Chicago, Jewish United Fund, United Negro College Fund, Evans Scholarship Fund, Boys & Girls Club of Chicago and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Learn More: angel.co/sheldon-lavin