Sheldon Lavin is the owner and chairman of one of the world’s top food processing companies, OSI Group which he has played a big role in growing to the billion-dollar enterprise with a presence in 17 countries. He attended a ceremony at a university in India hosted by the leaders of Global Vision Academy, a non-profit group that celebrates the accomplishments of entrepreneurs and other global leaders who’ve thought outside the box to make their dreams become reality. Lavin used company planning strategies and financial leverage that had never been tried before at OSI Group, and through many global acquisitions OSI Group became one of the most reputable meat food suppliers. Lavin was honored to receive the award and has taken pride in the story of his time at OSI Group.
Sheldon Lavin comes from a Jewish-American background and got his bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. He was a commercial banking advisor for many years before deciding to start his own consulting firm for small and large businesses. OSI Group was known as Otto & Sons at that time and it was only a local Chicago meat market. But because McDonald’s had offered them a deal to provide most of the meat for their restaurants, Otto & Sons needed to build large processing plants to accommodate those needs. After the first plant was built, Lavin started taking on more of an advisory role for Otto & Sons and making plans to take them into new countries. Otto & Sons was changed to OSI Industries as the parent company and OSI Group as its collective name for all subsidiaries. The original owners decided after seeing Lavin’s body of work as an advisor that he was most fit to become CEO, and by the mid 1980s he had also become majority owner.
Sheldon Lavin first took OSI into Germany, then opened a plant in Spain, Brazil, China and later the Philippines. He started forming new partnerships with fast food and convenience restaurants like Subway, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut and even KFC for a few years and by the mid-2000s OSI Group was competing with companies like Tyson Foods and Perdue. But even though he had taken OSI Group to the international stage, Lavin has wanted it to stay close to a family type of business where everyone’s opinions are valued, and a culture of mentoring and leadership is embraced. In addition to the Global Vision Academy award, Lavin has also won the Edward Jones award for community service.
Sheldon Lavin info: www.theofficialboard.com/biography/sheldon-lavin-d4824