Brands like Subway, KFC, McDonald’s and Papa John’s are household names in the restaurant and fast food industry. They also share another important common factor. All of these long-established and well-known operations are supplied by global food processing giant OSI Group, LLC. The company is over 100 years old and began as a simple and modest family meat market located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. That meat market originally started by the Kolschowsky’s, a family of immigrants from Germany, today is one of the top 100 food companies operating in the U.S.A. and a company with a global footprint spanning 17 countries and 80 plus facilities worldwide. The man behind a huge part of this massive success is OSI Group’s longtime Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Lavin. At over 80 years of age, he is still going strong and is still an inspiration to his family at OSI Group.
Sheldon has a background in finance, accounting and business that he acquired from his studies at Northwestern University, the University of Illinois and Roosevelt Univesity in Chicago. Upon completing his education he put the knowledge he accumulated to work by opening his own financial consulting firm Sheldon Lavin and Associates, LLC. Sheldon wanted to make a difference in the world and felt he could help good companies get the financial backing that they needed in order to do great things. One of these companies was OSI Group’s predecessor, Otto & Sons. The sons of Otto Kolschowsky asked Sheldon to help them finance a planned expansion of operations and with his help, the company had gained a nationwide footprint within a year. Sheldon was asked to join the company on a full-time basis and when the brothers later retired, Sheldon became the full owner of the now renamed OSI Group, LLC. During Sheldon’s 40 plus years with OSI, the company has expanded first across the U.S.A. and then across all of North America. The 80s and 90s saw an expansion on a global level. Much of this has been accomplished due to Sheldon Lavin’s commitment to always treating his customers and employees as family and maintaining the company’s century-old value of providing the best customer service in the industry.
Sheldon Lavin’s massive accomplishments with OSI Group were recently honored in 2016. Sheldon received the prestigious Global Visionary Award from India’s Vision World Academy. The award was recognition of Sheldon’s massive accomplishment of taking OSI to the global level while maintaining a strong commitment to the values that got the company there, to begin with.