Sheldon Lavin Leads OSI Group To Sustainable Future, Growth

Sheldon Lavin was a Chicago-area banker and financial consultant in the 1970s when he was approached by a local meat processing company. It had ambitious plans for expansion and growth.

The company was OSI Group, formerly Otto & Sons, the privately-owned meat processing operation which had gained a sterling reputation as most valued supplier of fresh hamburger patties for McDonald’s restaurants.

The relationship between OSI and McDonald’s had been forged with a handshake agreement in the 1950s. The deal had been an extremely successful joint venture ever since. As McDonald’s experienced phenomenal growth, OSI came along for the ride and saw its own business expand enormously.

Sheldon Lavin was brought in to consult on financing to fuel growth. It proved a match made in heaven. The relationship between OSI Group and Mr. Lavin went so well, he eventually became a partner. Before long, Lavin was named CEO, a position he still holds today. That makes Sheldon Lavin one of the longest serving CEO of a major company in America today.

Under the leadership of Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group has expanded to command an international presence. The company operates 70 facilities in 17 countries. It employs more than 20,000 people. Forbes reports that OSI brings in north of $6 billion annually. Forbes also places OSI at No. 58 on its list of largest privately-owned American companies.

Central to Lavin’s operational philosophy is the concept of sustainable operation and extreme attention to environmental management. OSI is widely recognized by industry observers to be among the most innovative and successful world-class food processors in terms of sustainability. The long-term goal of OSI is to become a “zero carbon footprint” company.

To that end, OSI facilities around the world have been leaning heavily on green sources of energy, such as solar power and wind-generated electricity. It has also made great advances in refrigeration techniques, made massive strides in waste reduction strategies and has drastically reduced its use of freshwater resources.

Safety and a positive and healthy work environment for employees is also a hallmark attribute of OSI Group.

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