Sheldon Lavin, the Chairman and CEO of OSI Group, is credited for converting the food supplier of McDonald’s to a global brand with presence in more than 17 countries. For market watchers, it is a fairy tale how he rebranded the firm into a leader in the food industry. But, Lavin explains his strategy by telling “Rome was not built in a day.” When he was joining the firm more than four decades back, he was an “outsider,” but soon Lavin became the strategist of the company and grew inside the organization with consistent results.
Sheldon Lavin’s life with food industry started when he cooperated with Otto & Sons, the predecessor of OSI Group, to arrange funds in 1970. The plans to build further processing facilities by the firm and the need of funds prompted Sheldon Lavin to work for the company initially as a consultant, and later, he joined the firm full-time. At the same time, the company rebranded as OSI Group, and under the leadership of Lavin, it expanded to new territories such as South American and Taiwan in the early 80s. OSI Group also started supplying the meat and food products to other brands beyond McDonald’s and Lavin gained 100% voting control in the firm. He also helped the company to expand to China, Philippines, Australia, China, Japan, South Africa, and India.
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Sheldon Lavin explains the global force behind the firm’s growth that it keeps like a family association inside the organization and no dictation from the top of the company. The food supplier created a unique culture inside the firm. The firm is very proud of its employees and thankful to them as they made it global through their hard work. Lavin always keeps his door open for his co-workers, and they can walk in and share their thoughts with him. The employees eat together and address each other by their first name. The management even cares about the family members of the employees and truly creating one family culture.
The influential leadership of Lavin in expanding the group across the world is recognized with Global Visionary Award – 2016 by India’s Vision World Academy.
Sheldon Lavin was also honored with Lifetime Achievement Award – 2015 by RSM US LLP for his service to the Chicago business community.