Sheldon Lavin: The OSI Group’s Visonary, Innovative, Beloved Chief Executive

Global food processing company the OSI Group owes its international growth to the vision and business experience of chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin. Lavin has degrees in business, finance and accounting from Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois and DePaul University. He also spent several years in the banking industry. Lavin was also a very successful investor and had a decade and a half experience running his financial consulting company before becoming involved with the OSI Group in the 1970s. By the 1980s he owned the company and was focused on international expansion.

The growth of the OSI Group to its leadership position in the worldwide food services industry is the fulfillment of the vision Sheldon Lavin had for the company ever since he first took control of it. Lavin began by expanding to China with its emerging market of over a billion people. Over the course of 20 years, he built 10 food processing facilities there. Lavin also built facilities or acquired companies in India, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. He did the same thing in Australia, Mexico and Brazil, as part of his plan to give the OSI Group a global presence.

The OSI Group’s expansion in Europe was another important goal for Sheldon Lavin. He began by building new facilities in Hungary, Spain and Poland. Then he dramatically increased the production capacity of the OSI Group’s meat processing facility in Toledo, Spain. Lavin then acquired Baho Foods, this increased the company’s customer base in Holland and Germany. Next, Lavin attained a controlling interest in the food production company Flagship Europe which is based in the United Kingdom. This combination of building production facilities and buying companies gave the OSI Group customers in two dozen European countries.

One of the important keys to the successful international expansion of the OSI Group is attention Sheldon Lavin has placed on producing high quality, nutritious, tasty, innovative food products designed to satisfy the needs of people from diverse cultures. Lavin’s ability to work in harmony with foreign governments and local suppliers and marketing people also helped. Plus, Lavin instituted award-winning environmental management and worker safety policies and procedures, developed and maintained a family atmosphere in the company and created a generous benefits package for workers.

As a result the OSI Group has a happy staff and low worker turnover. And Sheldon Lavin is a much beloved, highly successful, chief executive.

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