Sheldon Lavin, the CEO of the internationally known food processing company the OSI Group, is an award-winning business leader. India’s Vision World Academy gave Lavin their 2016 Global Visionary award. This is in recognition of his transformation of a small, Chicago area family meat market into an global food processing giant with more than 70 facilities located in 17 different countries. Lavin first became involved with the company in 1970 when they came to his financial consulting firm for help finding funding to expand. Using connections he developed as a banking industry administrator, Lavin got them the money they needed.
In 1975, Sheldon Lavin, then an experienced investor, began investing in the company known at that time as Otto & Sons. He became a partner in the company in the 1980s and eventually got 100% control of it. Lavin changed the company’s name to the OSI Group and created a comprehensive plan to have it expand overseas. He also put some environmental sustainability policies in place that have resulted in the British Safety Council giving the OSI Group the Globe of Honor Award for the exceptional management of environmental risks three times. The British Council gave the company the International Safety Award 11 times.
Sheldon Lavin’s academic background is in accounting and finance and he was also involved in banking before taking over the OSI Group and becoming involved in the food processing industry. These days he serves as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation director. Lavin is also a Rush University Medical Center general trustee. But Lavin says the achievement he is proudest of is creating family-friendly policies at the OSI Group that have allowed the company’s employees and their loved ones to enjoy a wide range of benefits.
The 81 year old Sheldon Lavin maintains an open-door policy. Employees on all levels are encouraged to stop in and share their ideas, questions and concerns with Lavin. He is on a first name basis with much of the staff and regularly has lunch with staff members. A husband, father and grandfather, Sheldon Lavin believes maintaining a family atmosphere lets the entire staff know they are appreciated as people and as company CEO he cares about them all. He also thinks that type of relationship between management and staff has contributed to the company’s success.
Even at his advanced age, Sheldon Lavin is involved in the company’s daily activities.