Sheldon Lavin is always known for being cheerful and positive in the workplace, and while he is a CEO of one of the world’s top meat processing and distribution companies at OSI Industries, he’s very down to earth in nature and even prefers being called by his first name as opposed to Mr. Lavin. While very much a personable man, he certainly has no shortage of innovation in his veins, and the way he’s invested in up-to-date technology in meat processing as well as kept OSI Industries financially sound in financial management. But there’s two awards he’s won, one honoring how he built OSI Industries at Global Vision Academy, and the other for his philanthropy at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI).
The Global Visionary award commemorates how Lavin came into the meat processing industry with no background in it. What we had accomplished a great deal in was accounting and finance originally as a manager in investment banking, and then as an independent consultant who ran his own firm. OSI Industries was known as Otto & Sons back when they approached him to help them finance construction of a new facility and help them with investments that would meet the growth demands of the McDonalds franchise, their chief partner. Lavin did a remarkable job as part-time consultant at Otto & Sons, and the current owners started asking him to consider being full-time CEO there. He didn’t want the job initially because he had planned to retire when he deemed necessary from financial consulting, but he was then presented with the opportunity to become an owner, and after considering how he could build the company, he agreed. He started financing the company’s expansion into Europe and Asia, and before long it was renamed as OSI Group.
Lavin’s mission has been to make OSI Industries unlike any other corporation because even though he holds the title of CEO, he says the company runs better with input from everyone as opposed to simply from the top down. But he also believes it’s important for OSI to give back to their communities, and that’s why he was honored with the Edward C. Jones award for community service at a NAMI gathering. He’s been a member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities first and foremost, but also supports the Jewish United Fund, Inner City Foundation of Chicago and various health research and wildlife park foundations.
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