The stewardship that Sheldon Lavin displays as the CEO of OSI Group is characterized by steady growth and success. He has been instrumental in turning the humble midwestern food processor serving at one location into a global concern that spans 17 different countries. They currently operate more than 70 facilities around the world as they continue to develop strategic partnerships with top food service and retail brands. Lavin’s vision has been their guiding light for decades and he continues his service as their CEO now into his eighties.
The relationship of Sheldon Lavin with OSI Group dates back to the early seventies when they were called Otto & Sons. He ran his own financial consulting firm back then and provided crucial help to the company as they sought to secure additional funding to fulfill an important contract to supply McDonald’s with beef patties. He continued his relationship with them and was able to acquire the company when the remaining original owners retired.
The inspiration for Lavin in owning this company was to build a world-class food processing enterprise. He has nurtured a culture of entrepreneurialism at OSI Group and employees are given significant latitude when accomplishing goals and strategies. He has avoided a typical corporate structure with orders from the top down and workers are encouraged to think creatively and pursue excellence in all they do. OSI Group strives to provide an atmosphere that is challenging and gives their workers room to grow.
OSI Group has been known for cultivating a family-like atmosphere and it helps employees feel connected to the company. Lavin gives a great deal of credit to the employees and believes that without their efforts the success wouldn’t have been as great as it is. He demonstrates his confidence in them with an open door policy to his office where everyone can have a voice.
The people of the corporate office have a nice esprit de corps about them as they all eat lunch together and ideas are freely floated about. They are also on a first name basis which helps foster the feeling of being with family and this includes Sheldon Lavin as well. He is called Sheldon or Shelly and the company also shows concerns for the family members of employees.
The vision for OSI Group in going forward is something that Lavin has considered and he views it as an opportunity to become a world leader in food processing. He feels confident about the future with the leadership that they have in place and will retire someday himself. But, that time hasn’t come yet as he still enjoys the work.
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