Sheldon Lavin is the chairman and chief operation officer of the global food services giant the OSI Group. Lavin has been involved with the company for almost 50 years. He initially became aware of the OSI Group in the 1970s, when the company was looking for financing to purchase new equipment and facilities to expand the products they offered. The accounting and financial services company Lavin owned was able to provide the OSI Group with the financing they needed to grow. Lavin remained connected to the company ever since. Initially he was simply an investor. However, he bought the company in the 1980s.
For the over 20,000 employees of the OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin is a beloved figure. People love his open and friendly manner. They also like that his door is always open and employees, no matter their role with the company, have a standing invitation to go to Lavin with their ideas, questions and concerns. When the OSI Group was founded in Illinois in 1909, it was a family-owned meat market. Even now that the company has grown into a major global force, Sheldon Lavin has strived to keep the family atmosphere. Employees are encouraged to call him by his first name, he regularly has lunch with them and he has instituted programs to benefit the employees and their families.
Under Lavin’s leadership, the OSI Group has grown from a company providing quality meats to families in the Chicago area, the McDonald’s franchise and supermarket and restaurants in Illinois into an international food services leader. In addition to building food processing facilities throughout the United States, Lavin has led the company to spectacular international expansion. Guided by his vision, the company now has over 70 production facilities in almost two dozens countries and millions of customers in the far-flung corners of the world.
However, even as the company has enjoyed explosive growth, Sheldon Lavin has made a point to ensure it remains a good corporate citizen. He gives generously to charitable causes worldwide and has earned the respect of global business leaders and environmental organizations for the environment-friendly production practices he insists the company follow. The British Safety Council recently gave Sheldon Lavin and the OSI Group their third Globe of Honor for excellent management of environmental risks.
Sheldon Lavin has received countless awards and accolades. He’s also hailed internationally as the perfect role-model for young corporate executives.