Sheldon Lavin: Sustainability and Expansion

Sheldon Lavin is the CEO of OSI Group and has been with the company since 1975. Previously, Lavin worked as an investment manager and bank executive. One client he had, Otto & Sons, thought so highly of the work that he did with their finances that they asked him to become part-owner. Although he declined, he stayed on as a consultant and in 1975, Otto & Sons become OSI Group, with Sheldon Lavin finally becoming a partner.

McDonalds is one of OSI’s most important customers and a few years after Lavin made partner, McDonalds insisted that Lavin committed to the OSI Group and he was soon made chairman and CEO.

In the 2000s, when the final partner at OSI retired, Sheldon Lavin was given complete voting control over OSI and all their decisions. He admitted that he would have went back to investment banking if he didn’t believe that OSI could become “something big.”

Sheldon Lavin ensures that OSI continues its research on sustainability and environmental impacts by giving R&D the funding that they need. Keeping track of their supply chain and guaranteeing that best practices are used in each step keeps OSI at the forefront of sustainability improvements.

With many of their suppliers and food processing operations around the globe, Sheldon Lavin appointed Nicole Johnson-Hoffman to be chief sustainability officer in 2017. This role consists of a global oversight and management of sustainability practices to make certain that OSI is doing everything it can to remain at the leading edge of sustainability.

Not only has Lavin been an integral part in OSI’s sustainability practices, but he has also had a major role in their global expansion. In The late 1980s to 1990s, they expanded into Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Austria, Hungary, and the Pacific Rim. They also have many other agreements with China, the Philippines, Japan, India, and Australia. OSI Group opened a beef facility in Japan in 2010 and a poultry facility in China in 2013, among many other expansions.

With OSI becoming “something big,” they have the opportunity to influence how the world obtains and processes their food.