Sheldon Lavin: Transforming The OSI Group Into A Global Juggernaut

When asked about the secret to the success of his company, Sheldon Lavin, CEO of the global food processing giant the OSI Group, says having the humility to learn from colleagues, workers and customers is important. He also said investing in human capital, as well as choosing to associate with smart people helps. Lavin should know. He helped turn a Chicago-area meat market into a major player in the worldwide food services industry. Under Lavin’s leadership, the OSI Group has gone from selling ground beef patties to McDonalds, to running food processing facilities and serving clients in 80 countries.

Now in his 80s, Sheldon Lavin first started working with the OSI Group in 1975. Back then it was called Otto & Sons. Lavin, who has degrees in accounting and finance and was a bank executive for many years, was running a financial services company asked to provide the capital for Otto & Sons to move into new facilities and purchase equipment. Lavin felt they would succeed, provided them the capital and began buying shares in the company. When the owners retired in the 1980s, Sheldon Lavin took control of Otto & Sons, changed the name to the OSI Group and turned it into a leader in the international food processing and food service industry.

Laving explained that scaling has been a key to the company’s success. Using his vast resources, he turned the company into a large national and international enterprise. He was able to reduce costs, increase profits and attract many shareholders. Sheldon Lavin said a good business plan, along with some good fortune, enabled the OSI Group to prosper. His wide ranging leadership and managerial abilities have enabled the company to create innovative, cost-effective, safe food processing practices and award-winning ethical environmental sustainability practices. Many see Lavin as a role model for millennial entrepreneurs.

Lavin has received many leadership and business performance awards. Plus, his philanthropic activities includes regularly making large donations to charity organization like the Ronald McDonald House Foundation and non-profits helping needy families worldwide. Lavin also donates generously to the Inner City Foundation of Chicago, United Negro College Fund, Jewish United Fund, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Evans Scholarship Fund and many others. Sheldon Lavin, who has been married for over 55 years and has three children and numerous grandchildren, considers OSI Group employees part of his extended family.

 

Feb
2