OSI Group began as a small butcher shop in Chicago. Later on, the business enterprise developed into one of the biggest food providers in the entire world. It was launched by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant who settled in the US back in the day. Since OSI Group’s journey started out as just a small butchery that always served the locals, the business entity has a history that details to OSI Group’s journey to becoming among the world’s largest food providers. For instance, in 1928, the business rebranded to Otto & Sons since Otto’s sons joined the company. This brand name was maintained until 1975 when Sheldon Lavin joined the company and changed it forever.
Sheldon Lavin at OSI Group
Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky were nearing their retirement. However, they wanted the company to forge on to great heights. Sheldon Lavin was then added onto the administration. Lavin had first encountered the brothers when he arranged for the funding that was meant for the construction of a meat processing plant. Thereafter, he continued working with Otto & Sons as a financial consultant. Lavin played a significant role in the global expansion of OSI Group into Asia, Europe and South America and then bought a controlling interest in the 1980s and took over OSI, as CEO and Chairman.
Under Lavin’ leadership, OSI has expanded into 18 countries with more than 60 facilities and 20,000 employees. The corporation has also added Flagship Europe and Baho Foods to their list of acquisitions. OSI Group also boasts of low staff turnover since the company culture encourages employees to be treated like family. Lavin hopes to introduce innovative food processing all over the world.
Sheldon Lavin was born in 1932. He went to both Northwestern University and the University of Illinois where he majored in accounting and finance. He also graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a bachelor of science in business. Lavin then began his career with his own consulting firm in Chicago, Sheldon Lavin and Associates.
Due to his commitment, Lavin has received a number of awards for environmental and health management as well as safety risks. He has won notable awards such as the Global Visionary Award and the 2016 Globe of Honor for the innovations and expansion at OSI Group. Lavin also serves at the Sheba Foundation as president and director, at Rush University Medical Center as a board member, and for the Goodman Theatre as a board member.
Lavin is also a philanthropist at heart and contributes to several charities including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and Jewish United Fund, to mention a few.