OSI Group CEO Sheldon Lavin has a degree in accounting and finance and has worked in banking and ran his own accounting and financial services consulting company. He is also an active investor. In 1970, he was contacted by the food services company Otto & Sons. They were looking for the financial resources to expand the company. Lavin was able was able to get the money for them. The bank wanted him to become part owner of the company as a condition of the loan. Instead, he invested in the company and the owners promised to give him a more active role as the company grew.
In the 1980s Sheldon Lavin bought the company and changed its name to the OSI Group. He then drew up an ambitious plan for making it a major player in the international food services industry. Today, the company has a presence in North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It also has 70 food processing facilities spread out over 17 countries, is China’s largest poultry processor and provides meat, fish, vegetable and dough products for Western fast food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway and Starbucks doing business in China.
Since he took over the company, both Sheldon Lavin and the OSI Group have won many prestigious awards. The OSI Group has received the Globe of Honor from the British Safety Council three times for the effective environmental sustainability practices Lavin put it place. The company has also won almost a dozen international safety awards for its production practices. The OSI Group’s resources conservation and pollution prevention policies resulted in it being awarded the 2016 California Green Business Certificate. Sheldon Lavin’s visionary leadership was recognized by the Vison World Academy in 2016 and he was given the Global Visionary Award.
Sheldon Lavin is also very active in philanthropy and gives generously to countless charitable organizations worldwide. He also serves as general trustee for Rush University Medical Center and is the director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. One of the accomplishment of which Sheldon Lavin is proudest is the programs he created which benefits the company’s more than 20,000 employees and their relatives. Lavin has also managed to maintain a family atmosphere even as the 109 year old company has become a global entity.
A loving husband and grandfather, Sheldon Lavin’s impact and accomplishments will be celebrated for years to come.