Sometimes the companies that do best in today’s business climate are those who adhere to traditional values of family businesses and making a difference in the lives of customers and the local community. That is what Sheldon Lavin has been doing over the years as CEO of OSI Food Group, one of the world’s largest meat processing and distribution companies. Lavin has owned this company for over 40 years and has tried to make sure that he and President David McDonald stay close to the foundation they built it on. Lavin would tell you he doesn’t prefer to run the company as simply a higher-up in an office, but actually likes to go out into the field and hear what his employees have to say.
Sheldon Lavin joined OSI Group back in the early 1970s when the company was still known as Otto & Sons. His background was actually in banking and finance, and he managed the wealth of many high profile investors for years and then was running his own consulting company by the time the Otto & Sons owners contacted him. His expertise helped Chicago-based company to grow to new levels, and soon the owners wanted him to take over as CEO. At first he declined because he preferred banking, but then he saw the potential to do even more with the company and acquired ownership shares in it. After opening Otto & Sons first plant outside the US, he renamed the company OSI Industries and from then on the company became a terrific success now operating in 15 different countries.
In honor of Sheldon Lavin’s vision that he’s pursued to build the company, he was awarded the Global Visionary award by India’s Global Vision Academy. He was also awarded the Edward Jones Community Service award at a gathering at the North American Meat Institute for his contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Foundation and service at Jewish United Fund and Chicago Inner City Foundation. Lavin has also made sure OSI Group upheld top safety regulations and was the British Safety Council’s honorary recipient of the Globe of Honour.
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