OSI Industries is one of the largest food producers in the United States, and the world for that matter. From humble beginnings as a small butcher shop in Chicago, Sheldon Lavin, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OSI, squarely places credit for the success of this company on its ability to constantly embrace innovations in the food manufacturing sector.
OSI Industries really had a breakthrough when early on, they became the primary supplier of McDonald’s restaurants. That was a big contract for OSI and they went on to serve McDonald’s needs, as well as the needs of several industries with their commitment to excellence and desire to be the best. Success does not happen by accident, but rather it is the result of making concerted efforts to achieve it and OSI is illustrious of this.
Nearly 50 years ago, when Sheldon Lavin was working in a bank as an investment manager and executive, he met with the officers of then Otto and Sons as they were looking for a bank loan to expand their operations. It was likely not just the expansion that galvanized Mr. Lavin, but was likely the scope of those plans. They were aggressive plans and Mr. Lavin helped them get the funding they sought, then 5 years later, when Mr. Lavin was helping Otto and Sons get more funding for international expansion, he was made a partner in the company.
OSI Industries is a true American success story, made possible by the hard work and diligence of German immigrants. They had been in the United States just 2 years when Otto Kolschowsky started his modest butcher shop in Chicago. We will likely never know if he saw the enormous success he was launching with the start of his butcher shop, but what can be gleaned from his moves is that he was only here 2 years before he started his own business. The short period of time that he was in the states, before starting his own business, was likely an auspicious, leading indicator as to the eventual success he would enjoy.
Sheldon Lavin was likely a linchpin to their success, bringing his knowledge of banking and investing when he joined the company, and going on to help them navigate international waters. OSI Industries now is about as successful as a company could be, employing over 20,000 people and operating in over 17 countries.