One thing that is often stressed to business owners is that to be successful long-term, you have to put people above profits because they’re the most important backbone of business. One man that’s taken that to heart is Sheldon Lavin, Chairman and CEO of OSI Industries. Lavin is well past the age many CEOs would have retired at, but he loves what he does and enjoys the people around him so much that he plans to keep going as long as he can. Lavin says what he loves about the company is having it run with an open door policy which gives anyone interested in sharing their opinions with him an avenue to do so because he has always valued employee feedback.
It could be said that Sheldon Lavin is one of the brains behind OSI’s development and buying out of new processing plants over the years. OSI Industries was originally established as Otto & Sons, a name taken from its original founder Otto Kolschowsky who built a butcher shop in Chicago that grew into a local meat wholesale merchant. Lavin had worked in investment banking and was running an independent investment boutique services company when Otto & Sons approached him to help them turn their finances around and match the demands their partner company, McDonalds had for them. Several years later, the Kolschowsky sons asked him to come on full-time because they felt he’d be the best leader at the company. Lavin turned down the offer at first, but he came to understand what the company was about and when told he would have an ownership stake, he changed his mind and became CEO. After the Kolschowsky sons retired, he changed the company name to OSI Industries.
Sheldon Lavin planned to take the company everywhere McDonalds had a plan to grow, and by 1978 the first foreign venture in Germany became reality. But beyond just McDonalds, OSI Industries has served many local supermarket chains in each continent and has also recently bought out Baho Food and a Tyson food plant in south Chicago. Lavin has guided the company from thousands to over $1 billion in valuation, and in commemoration of how he helped grow OSI Industries he won the Global Visionary award from Global Vision Academy. Lavin also has been a well-known philanthropist in the Chicago area as a board member of the Jewish United Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Learn More: inspirery.com/sheldon-lavin/