Sheldon Lavin: Steering OSI Group into the Global Market

Leadership is an essential element in the growth of any entity. The role of leadership is epitomized by the expansion of OSI Group into a global brand. Sheldon Lavin is the man credited with the growth of the company from a small meat supplier in Illinois to a worldwide conglomerate. Before joining OSI, Lavin was worked as an investor and executive in the banking industry for more than fifteen years.

Lavin initially facilitated the financing of the company, which was by then known as Otto & Sons. It had been established in 1909 by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant. It was a family meat market in Oak Park, Illinois before moving to Maywood as a wholesale meat trade. Lavin was instrumental in transforming the enterprise from revolving around meat supply to McDonald to the national and international markets.

Mr. Lavin studies accounting and finance at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. Also, he holds a BS in Business from Roosevelt University. Lavin gained immense experience in finance having run a financial consulting firm for about fifteen years. Although he had initially rejected a suggestion by the lender (bank) to take an ownership position in the business, he agreed to McDonald’s request to join the company full time. He became more involved in the group around the 1970s and gained half of controlling interest. The early stages of expansion saw the company open units in South America and Taiwan.

Lavin’s unique approach towards success is anchored in promoting a family-like culture. He is undoubtedly committed towards the needs of the employees across the globe and their role in expansion and growth. He has also endeavored to ensure that the company responds to consumer needs in different parts of the world. One way has been through maintaining local management teams in all its facilities to allow for an understanding of local cultures, preferences, and tastes.

More than forty years at the helm of the business, Lavin still has the vigor to steer the company to greater heights. The company currently boasts of presence in more than seventeen countries across sixty-five facilities. He has notably led the OSI Group in Europe with the acquisition of brands such as Baho Foods. The brand operates in over eighteen countries in Europe. Besides running OSI Group, Lavin has been involved in charities for over twenty-five years. His leadership style has placed OSI Group in its current position in the international scene.

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