Craft in the City

Sheldon Lavin’s Latest OSI Group Plant Opening

Sheldon Lavin has been leading the opening of new meat processing plants for years, and even today he is still making new proposals happen at OSI Group. The latest plant he helped open was a large one located at GenOSI in the Philippines which replaced an older one that had been there since 1990. This new plant puts out over 25,000 metric tons of meat and has upgraded much of its processing infrastructure. The CEO of GenOSI, Fred Uytengsu was delighted at the speed at which the plant was finished and thanked Lavin for the funding and support he provided. Lavin also remarked that this new plant would greatly strengthen OSI’s presence in the region.

Sheldon Lavin’s most important work has been taking a company from small operations to international sales, and he knew the company before it was renamed to OSI Group. It was previously named Otto & Sons as a family name to Otto Kolschowsky who founded the company as a meat supply store and whose sons had now taken over. They were in need of financial assistance because they were now partners with McDonald’s and it meant opening big plants so the bulk meat orders could be met.

Sheldon Lavin was the perfect person to help Otto & Sons get a loan because he had a background as a funds manager at an investment bank. He was now running a consultant business and knew how to win over loan officers to get the loan. He even was asked by the bank if he would consider getting an ownership stake in Otto & Sons which at that time he said he wouldn’t. But he did promise to come to the company to do more financial work and help it grow with McDonald’s.

Sheldon Lavin helped raise more funds to open plants in Iowa, Wisconsin, California and then over in Germany. By the 1980s Otto & Sons had become renamed to OSI Group. The company continued growing and Lavin then accepted the offer to buy the ownership stakes because he was told he could follow his own vision to grow the company. And that’s just what he did bringing it into 17 countries and now owning 55 plants. Lavin also is a philanthropist who serves as president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Global Vision Academy honored Sheldon Lavin for his leadership and charity with their Global Visionary award.


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