Sheldon Lavin had a vision for Otto & Sons when he helped secure financing. The small, local business opened a large processing plant solely to process hamburger patties for McDonald’s. As McDonald’s grew so did Otto & Sons. The company quickly became OSI Group, a leader in processing proteins, vegetable items, sauces and baked goods.
Originally Lavin was only a consultant to the company. In 1975 he became a partner in the company, but it was not until the 1980s that he gained 50% ownership when he bought out an original partner. Lavin saw OSI Group going beyond Illinois, but also beyond the United States.
Over the years Sheldon Lavin grew OSI Group into a multi-million dollar, international business. The growth is just one of the many reasons that Lavin received the Global Visionary Award from India’s World Academy. This award honors visionaries who work hard to turn their ideas into reality. It is intended to show other visionaries that goals can be reached with persistence and hard work. The recipient is intended to be a role model to give hope and drive to other visionaries.
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Today there’s 70 processing plants in 17 countries. Despite the large growth, one thing remains- Lavin’s belief that OSI Group is a family. Since OSI Group began as a small company, Lavin intends for the company’s philosophy to stay that way.
Though all companies have rules and processes, Lavin believes that the company does not run only on the ideas of the top rung of the ladder, but on the ideas of everyone. He believes in an open door policy to all. There no doubt that Lavin respects and appreciates everyone who makes OSI Group a success. Around the office he also goes simply by “Sheldon.”
In over 40 years Lavin went from a financial manager to CEO of a multi-million dollar company. He is proof that you can get what you want if you work hard enough.