Global food processing giant the OSI Group’s CEO Sheldon Lavin has enjoyed the type of sustained business success many people only dream about. Since earning degrees in accounting and finance, Lavin spent years as a banker, built a successful accounting firm and transformed the Chicago based meat market Otto & Sons into a leader in the global food industry. He has done this while being a loving, attentive husband and father and creating policies and procedures that have led him to win awards for environmental management, worker safety and food quality. Sheldon Lavin has lived an amazing life.
Lavin’s consistent and determined work recently led the World Vision Academy to choose him for their Global Visionary award. He is a fitting choice because few business executives can match the achievements Sheldon Lavin has attained. When he took over at the OSI Group 40 years ago, the company was providing prime cuts of meats for supermarkets and restaurants in the Midwestern United States and processing meat patties for McDonald’s. Under Lavin’s leadership, the OSI Group has expanded its reach and is now serving customers in more than 80 countries around the world.
Growing the OSI Group has required vision, innovation and a deep understanding of the many different markets the company now serves. Sheldon Lavin has been able to work with a vast array of foreign governments, international suppliers and customers each with their unique needs and desires. Plus, he has been able to keep his workforce of over 20,000 happy by creating some of the most thoughtful and generous benefits packages seen in any industry. Add the warm, loving, family atmosphere he has maintained throughout the OSI Group even as they have become a global company and it’s easy to understand why Lavin receives lots of praise, adulation, accolades and awards.
Just as impressive as his work as a business executive is Sheldon Lavin’s activities as a philanthropist. For decades he has supported charitable organizations of all kinds throughout the U.S. and worldwide. His work with Rush University Medical Center, where he serves as general trustee, and the years he spent with the Fish & Wildlife Foundation as its director, are just two examples of his commitment to sharing his time talent and energy. Lavin has also given generously to Ronald McDonald House Charities, the United Negro College Fund, several Jewish organizations and the Boy & Girls Club of Chicago.