OSI Group, LLC is one of the top 100 food businesses in the United States and a global leader in the distribution of processed food to the retail and foodservice industry. The company has processing facilities in 17 countries globally. At the head of this food distribution giant is Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin. He studied at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois in the fields of accounting and finance and later earned a degree in business from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Sheldon has been with OSI Group since 1970 when he was recruited by OSI’s founders the Kolschowsky Family. He had initially become acquainted with the family while he was operating his own financial consulting firm, Sheldon Lavin & Associates. Both parties were equally impressed with each other and Sheldon joined OSI with a vision of how the company could be expanded from a small U.S. food company to a worldwide name in food processing and distribution. Today, OSI Group is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that supplies household names such as McDonald’s and KFC.
OSI Group has dramatically expanded during Sheldon’s tenure with the company. By the end of the 1970s the firm had expanded throughout all of North America and had a strong foothold in Europe. Expansion into South America and Taiwan were major gains made in the 1980s. Following this, the company expanded into the Phillippines, South Africa, China, Japan and Australia. At 85 years old, Sheldon is still going strong and leading the push for OSI to grow even more. This is evidenced by recent acquisitions in Europe of the companies Baho Food and Flagship Europe as well as the recent purchase of the former Tyson Food plant in Chicago.
Sheldon Lavin’s tremendous achievements as the head of OSI Group were recognized on February 20, 2016, when he received India’s Vision World Academy’s prestigious Global Visionary Award. This award is given to individuals who, through great persistence and perseverance, have achieved greatness. It was a heartfelt recognition of the monumental achievements Sheldon has accomplished taking OSI Group from where it was in the 1970s to the global icon in the food industry that it is today.
Interview.net recently spoke with Sheldon about his OSI Group career and the Chairman and CEO opened up about what he feels really made him so successful. He explains that he always saw that there was huge potential with OSI and was impressed by the family atmosphere. In Sheldon’s opinion, the fact that OSI Group operates with a family culture sets it apart from other companies of similar size. Rules and regulations are a part of any major business operation but OSI goes out of its way to treat all of its employees as members of a family. He believes that this culture is so ingrained in the fabric of OSI’s business that it will last long after he is gone.