Sheldon Lavin is a businessman and philanthropist located in Aurora, Illinois. His career started in the banking industry where he owned and operated a financial consulting business. There was a company called Otto & Sons that needed another facility in order to meet the demands of being a fresh beef supplier for the fast food company McDonald’s. They needed financing for this and an executive at McDonald’s sent them to Sheldon Lavin to have him handle the matter. As it turns out this was the most fateful meeting in his life.
Sheldon Lavin completed the deal for OSI Group. McDonald’s was already pleased with his work and thought that he would make a great top executive for Otto & Sons, which had been recently renamed as OSI Group, LLC. He agreed and he was soon a part owner of the company and, as the chief executive officer and chairman, was the new leader of the company. He knew that he could build the company into something far greater than just a McDonald’s beef supplier so he set about signing contracts with other restaurants as well as grocery stores who would use his company’s products as their private label brands.
At OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin first started to expand internationally by focusing on being a supplier of food processing throughout North America. He also quickly expanded his company into Europe. All during this time he was also expanding what his company processed to include all of the other proteins as well as things like vegetables, sauces, gravies, and more. He next tackled South America and the nation of Taiwan. This was during the 1980s and he was able to buy out the remaining Otto & Sons owners so that he could own the entire company. In the 1990s he expanded into Asia such as in China, Japan, India and more. He also expanded into South Africa.
Sheldon Lavin has used his great success philanthropically. He donates money to many causes such as Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, the National Multiple Sceloris Society, the United Negro College Fund, and many others. He has also been a board member of the Goodman Theatre and Rush University Medical Center among others. He has a family charitable foundation called The Sheba Foundation and he is its director and president, plus he serves Ronald McDonald House Charities as a trustee.
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