When Sheldon Lavin took over the food processing company the OSI Group in the early 1980s, he had no experience in the industry. His background was in banking, accounting, business and investing. Through his unmatched vision, innovation and skill as a business executive, Lavin was quickly able to take the now 109-year old company to a global audience and make it into a leader in the food processing industry. The company that once was a Chicago area meat market and butcher shop now produces a host of unique, nutritious, delicious food products for the global market.
Under the leadership of Sheldon Lavin, the OSI Group has earned a reputation for creating foods specially designed to satisfy the unique tastes of people from a variety of cultures. His ability to work in harmony with governmental agencies, suppliers and marketing agents from a wide array of countries has helped the company serve customers in over 80 nations. Lavin has also built more than 65 production facilities in 17 countries. Over the past 20 years, they have become China’s largest poultry supplier and constructed 10 poultry processing plants there.
The expansion plans of Sheldon Lavin have included a major push into Europe. Lavin has led the company to create facilities in Spain, Poland, Hungary and Germany. He has also increased the OSI Group’s customer base in dozens of other European countries by purchasing Dutch owned Baho Food and Flagship Europe, which is based in the United Kingdom. Through it all Lavin has maintained high production and environmental stewardship standards that have garnered both him and the company numerous awards and accolades including the British Safety Council’s Globe of Honor.
Even at age 86, Sheldon Lavin remains intimately involved in the company’s day-to-day activities. Married for more than 50 years, family is near and dear to the heart of the father and grandfather. He says one of the things of which he’s proudest is the family atmosphere he has cultivated and maintained in the company, even though it has 20,000 workers on 5 continents. He does that by having an open door policy, listening to the ideas, questions and concerns of everyone from the cleaning staff to junior executives and regularly having meals with the staff. He also encourages everyone to call him by his first name. OSI’s Sheldon Lavin receives Global Visionary Award.
A warm, caring person, Sheldon Lavin regularly donates to a wide array of charities around the world.
About Sheldon Lavin: www.rmhc.org/board-of-trustees