OSI Industries has remained a strong partner of the McDonald’s franchise for over 60 years and has followed them practically everywhere their restaurants have opened, and much of it is thanks to OSI Industries Chairman Sheldon Lavin who for more than 40 years has never stopped bringing new growth investment ideas to the company. OSI Industries has several international branches of the company including GenOSI that Lavin helped launch back in the early 1990s in the Philippines, and GenOSI will be opening a brand new plant in the Philippines that will multiply its meat production and shipping output. Lavin congratulated his GenOSI partner Fred Uytengsu upon the completion of the plant in Calamba province and is pleased with how the plant will increase the distribution of quality meats to customers in the Philippines and surrounding Asian nations. The new plant has about 23,000 metric tons in meat that can be outputted annually.
Sheldon Lavin can be credited for building partnerships across the globe with companies like GenOSI and Flagship Europe which was acquired by OSI in 2016. But he actually was quite new to food processing when he first came to the company. OSI Industries was known as Otto & Sons, a Chicago-based meat store that was owned by the Kolschowsky family and had just been chosen by McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc to be their sole meat supplier in 1955. But McDonald’s was becoming so popular that it grew nationwide and began to start heading to new countries, and Otto & Sons needed to be able to supply their products to its locations. That led them to go to Sheldon Lavin’s consulting firm, the business he was running at the time after spending his early career days in banking. Lavin became a part-time financial advisor to Otto & Sons and helped them get financing to open the first high-volume plants in Chicago. But he also showed the capability of leading the company and as the Kolschowsky’s started reaching retirement, they made Lavin CEO and eventually sold their shares to him.
Sheldon Lavin didn’t just want to lead OSI Industries like any CEO; he wanted to turn the company into something that had a global impact and could go as far as he wanted it to. Lavin started financing the opening of factories in Spain, India, Brazil, the UK and many other countries and today OSI ships its products to over 60 countries. Lavin also espouses treating everyone at OSI and its partner companies like family and wants OSI to be known as a not-so-typical corporation that listens to what employees have to say. Lavin was honored at the North American Meat Institute gathering with the Edward C. Jones award for community service, and also given the Global Visionary award in 2016 for 40 plus years of growth leadership.
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