America Out of Doors

Step outside sometime

May 19, 2018

How Sheldon Lavin made a sharp turn from a financial consultancy to become the CEO of OSI Group

After graduating with a degree in Accounting and Finance, Sheldon Lavin never thought that he could step a foot in the food industry, and if he did so, he would be working in the finance department. However, the path that he took right from his graduation led him to the doors of one of the biggest food industries in the world not as a financial consultant, but as the CEO of OSI Group.

Currently, Sheldon Lavin is tasked with overseeing the operations of OSI Industries, a premier food company dealing in the production and distribution of value-added products. The company started over a century ago by providing high-quality meat but it has now evolved to include other products such as pizza, beef patties, sausage links, pork, poultry products, and fish.

OSI Group is a large food company with operations in more than seventeen countries and more than sixty processing facilities in North America, Asia, Europe, and Canada. In 2011, OSI Industries had grown immensely and it was making over $3 billion in annual revenues. However, these figures were just pocket change considering that the company doubled the annual revenues in just four years to hit the $6 billion market. It is no wonder OSI Group was ranked among the top hundred largest private companies by the Forbes.

Where did Sheldon start?

In 1975, the sons of Otto Kolschowsky, the founder of OSI Industries had thought of expanding the company but had no access to capital. They approached Sheldon Lavin who owned a financial consultancy firm that helped food companies to access funds from lenders. Sheldon did not only help the company access funds from the lenders, but he also became a partner in the business by acquiring 50 percent stake. After accessing the funds, OSI Group managed to penetrate into new markets in Europe, Asia, and South America.

A string of acquisitions

Under Sheldon’s reign, OSI Group penetrated the lucrative Chinese market and built several food processing facilities. OSI Group also purchased other outlets such as Flagship Europe, Baho Food, and the former Tyson Food plant.

Winning awards

Besides helping OSI in winning, Sheldon has also bagged several accolades. Among them include awards for environmental and health management, safety and the recently awarded Global Visionary Awards which is given to top leaders who have managed to turn their dreams to reality.

Sheldon Lavin participates in numerous charitable and philanthropic causes. Some of the notable charities that Sheldon supports include the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, Jewish United Fund, Ronald McDonald House of Charities and Inner City Foundation of Chicago among others.

Contact Sheldon Lavin: