When Otto & Sons came to Sheldon Lavin in the 1970s seeking financial help to expand their operations, he realized right away it was an excellent company. One with potential to do great things. As an experienced investor, Lavin saw all the signs he normally looks for in a company in which to invest. They offered quality products, were on a growth trajectory and had a solid stable of clients. Those clients included the expanding McDonald’s franchise which was opening up new branches throughout the United States and a growing number of private brands, restaurants and supermarkets throughout Illinois. So after getting them the needed capital, he began buying stock in the company.
By the time Otto & Sons original owners left in the late 1970s, Sheldon Lavin owned enough shares in the company to take it over. He also had a plan to take the company into the international food production industry. Lavin crafted an effective expansion plan, built a system for maintaining the production of quality food products and began taking the company into lucrative markets all around the world. He built and bought production facilities in Europe, China, India, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. and began serving millions of new customers.
The practices he set up for the company led to them winning awards like the Globe of Honor in the United Kingdom, the Golden Globe, the California Green Business Certificate and the International Safety Award. He built 10 poultry processing facilities in China over a 20 year period to tap into the huge market there. The OSI Group also provides food items to a large number of American casual dining companies with outlets located in China. Sheldon Lavin was also able to negotiate excellent deals with suppliers and foreign governments around the world and the OSI Group began producing products specially designed to meet the needs of people of various cultures.
While building the OSI Group into a successful global food producer, Sheldon Lavin also supported a wide range of charitable causes around the world. Plus, even as the company grew to over 20,000 employees, he still managed to maintain a close-knit family atmosphere within it. The company now has customers in 85 countries worldwide. In 2016, the Vision World Academy gave Sheldon Lavin the Global Visionary award for his ability to build the company he envision over 40 years ago.
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