Many people around the world associate the name Sheldon Lavin with the global food processing company the OSI Group. That’s because Lavin has been the owner of the company as well as its CEO for almost 50 years. What many people don’t known is that Lavin’s educational background is in accounting and financial services. He became aware of the OSI Group when they approached the financial services firm he owned looking for funds to purchase equipment and expand into a new facility. Lavin got them the funds and was so impressed with the company he began investing in it.
Lavin took control of the OSI Group in the 1980s and set it on a path that led to its expansion into the global food services market. Lavin not only had the financial acumen to help the company to grow, he also had a clear vision of what was possible for it to become. One reason for the company’s global success is its ability to produce culturally sensitive products designed to satisfy the tastes of people from a variety of cultures. Under Lavin’s guidance, the OSI Group now serves millions of customers throughout the United States, Central and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and Australia.
The thoughtful, caring nature of Sheldon Lavin has also helped to make the OSI Group a leader in the food processing industry. Lavin has instituted award-winning policies for worker and food safety as well as environmental sustainability. He also created programs that provide a wide range of benefits for workers and their loved ones. Plus, he has an open door policy where any worker can go to him with ideas, questions and concerns. Lavin regularly has meals with rank and file staff members, encourages everyone to call him by his first name and has created a family atmosphere in the company.
Although Sheldon Lavin is over 80 years old, the husband, father and grandfather remains active in the OSI Group’s daily activities. He also shares his time, talent, expertise and resources with a number of charitable organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Asked about the keys to his success, Sheldon Lavin said humility has been most important to him. Good business leaders must be humble enough to learn from their workers, colleagues and customers. Lavin also stressed the importance of investing in human capital and surrounding oneself with smart, ethical and moral people.
Sheldon Lavin’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/public/Sheldon-Lavin