Sheldon Lavin isn’t usually mentioned in the same conversations as Warren Buffet and maybe not even the same conversations as one of his counterparts Steve Easterbrook. But what he’s done over the last 40 years with his company OSI Group has been nothing short of amazing. While OSI Group had a lot of promise as a meat supply company in its first few decades of operation, Lavin saw the potential for it to become a player on the international stage for many years to come. He’s helped the company generate billions of dollars in sales throughout the years, and its commitment to friendliness and maintaining a positive work environment has led to employees staying with them for the long run.
Sheldon Lavin has known finances for many years. He actually started out as a manager for a big bank but later left to run a financial advisory firm. OSI Group, then known as Otto & Sons contacted him to run their financial department part time as they were in the middle of an expansion period. Lavin wanted to remain retired from the corporate world, but as he started seeing more of the Otto & Sons values and the way that McDonalds, the company’s largest partner did business, he decided to accept the position as CEO of the company. Soon he was given the majority of shares in Otto & Sons and when the time came to open more plants overseas he renamed it OSI Group.
Lavin began pushing OSI Group into new markets and today the company has over 50 operations in 17 different countries. He’s even brought the company to the rescue of several food plants that came close to being shutdown including Tyson Food Plant, a meat processing center that was faced with laying off employees until OSI Group bought their shares and offered every employee new jobs with them. Lavin is also involved in several charities including serving as Chairman for Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, Inner City Foundation and several other healthcare groups.
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