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OSI Group Struck Gold Once Again with CEO Sheldon Lavin

When OSI Group was originally founded most people on the planet weren’t even born yet. The company was founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. Back then it was just a small butcher shop with high aspirations. Now it is a leading multinational food provider. It is far from the small shop it once was. It employs more than 20,000 people and has well over 50 operational facilities on multiple continents. It has been able to adapt and thrive throughout every major change in the food industry for the last century. That in itself is worthy of being considered a significant slice of American history. What’s more is the company still continues to grow and expand its reach.

OSI was just a successful local business for decades until it partnered with one of the most historical fast food restaurants in world history. In 1955 the first McDonald’s was established. Though the first McDonald’s wasn’t built until nearly 50 years after OSI was founded the two, at the time, local businesses formed an alliance. This alliance would greatly change the trajectory of OSI. It became McDonald’s first supplier of fresh ground beef.

In the span of 20 years OSI became a global corporation. McDonald’s business model of providing a consistent product put a lot of pressure on OSI to keep up with the demand. Then the process of flash freezing was introduced to the food industry. This allowed OSI to transport beef and other food products over long distances a lot more easy. Thus, greatly reducing cost and allowing for rapid expansion.

In the 1970’s OSI went through tremendous periods of growth. By 1980 it was a multinational corporation. Because the company had grown so rapidly it needed a leader that could handle the added strain on operations. Sheldon Lavin became CEO of the company in the early 1980’s. Instead of slowing growth, Sheldon led the company into another huge growth phase. With Sheldon Lavin at the helm the company ventured into other sectors of the food industry though McDonald’s remained it main customer. Under Sheldon Lavin OSI landed on the 2016 Forbes list of largest companies in the nation.

Sheldon Lavin has received many accolades for his leadership at OSI.

About Sheldon Lavin :

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Sheldon Lavin Expanding OSI Group

The OSI Group has facilities in over 17 countries and employs roughly 20,000 people. However, the company started from humble beginnings. It all started in 1909 when a small butcher and meat shop was opend in Chicago by Otto Kolschowsky. He conducted a quality business and because of that by the end of WWI he was able to expand into the world of wholesale. The OSI Group has continued to be an example of success ever since.

The opening of the first McDonalds by Ray Krok adds to the rich history of the OSI Group. Krok and Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky, Otto’s sons, agreed that the OSI Group would supply the first McDonalds with ground beef. As McDonalds took off, it became the top priority for OSI Group to adequately supply quality ground beef for the ever-increasing number of McDonalds restaurants.

With the development of flash freezing in the 1960’s, the relationship between OSI Group and McDonalds became even closer. This process allowed the ground beef to be frozen almost immediately with the use of liquid nitrogen. This process not only keeps the meat fresh, but also reduces the costs associate with meat production. Nearly a decade later, OSI Group determined that it was necessary for them to build a plant solely dedicated to producing for McDonalds. The plant had the latest technologies that allowed flash freezing to easily take place.

As Harry and Arthur Kolschowsky reached retirement years they asked Sheldon Lavin to join the company as a partner. Prior to becoming a partner Sheldon Lavin played a key role as an investment consultant for the company. As McDonalds continued to grow, so did the OSI group. This massive expansion of the company internationally required knowledge in capitalization and negotiating; because of this, Sheldon Lavin was named the chairman and CEO of the company.

As it stands, OSI is one of the biggest food providers in the world and was built, in part, by joint ventures. A joint venture with K&K Foods in Taiwan was the start of OSI Asia-Pacific; and the joint venture with GenOSI established the company in the Philippines. Shortly after, the company expanded to China when it entered a joint venture with Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise in 1992. While all this international expansion was happening, growth was continued in the United States.

To this day, the OSI group continues to expand and grow on an international level. In 2016, the OSI Group opened a regional office in Germany. Additionally, the OSI Group opened two Culinary Innovation Centers, one in Illinois, the other in China. The company has seen growth since it was created in 1909 and will continue to see growth for years to come.

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