When people eat out at restaurants they don’t really think about where the food came from. Many think McDonald’s processes its own food, for instance, or the same with any other restaurant. The food actually comes from a food processing company like OSI Group, LLC, which is one of the biggest around. They supply quite a bit of the food you eat at many restaurants including the aforementioned McDonald’s. OSI’s Sheldon Lavin receives Global Visionary Award.
OSI Group has been around for over a century. For most of the first 70 years of its existence it was known as Otto & Sons. It was renamed OSI Group in 1975. It was in that same year that Sheldon Lavin came on board as a partner, part owner, and chief executive officer. He had a background in finance so the food industry was something mostly new to him at the time. As a financier he had helped Otto & Sons a few years before get the financing they needed to build a new food production facility outside of Chicago. This was this company’s first facility to be dedicated wholly to supplying McDonald’s with frozen ground beef patties.
Sheldon Lavin embued OSI Group with a strong desire to grow the company. He expanded OSI Group internationally as McDonald’s opened new locations around the world. He also established partnerships with many other restaurant and grocery chains along the way. His company now has food production facilities in 17 nations and he is always open to expanding into more countries around the world.
In the past few years Sheldon Lavin has expanded OSI Group through the route of acquisition. He bought Flagship Europe from another American food manufacturer in 2016, for instance, and bought a Dutch company named Baho Foods in that year as well. Also in that year he bought a food plant in Illinois from Tyson Foods who were in the process of shutting it down. This latter purchase was for $7.4 million and in making this purchase he saved 500 local jobs.
Sheldon Lavin is a dedicated philanthropist. He supports many charities including ones that are local, national, and international in scope. He has supported Ronald McDonald House for many years and has a seat on its board of directors. He has also established many scholarship funds and other educational causes like the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, he has helped a number of Jewish nonprofits across the United States.
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