Nathaniel Ru is one of three CEOs of food and restaurant company that’s been around for about 10 years but is still growing and finding new ways to appeal to millennial customers. The company is Sweetgreen which originated in the Washington D.C. area but as grown across the country and now has headquarters in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles. Ru spoke to Fortune magazine about the factors that made Sweetgreen successful and why he’s excited about its future. Learn more: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/nathaniel-ru
Nathaniel Ru told Fortune that he believes reading a lot of books is essential to becoming a great business leader in any industry. He also said he and his fellow CEOs, Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet have learned that to build a big company and maximize production, you have to be willing to let go of various responsibilities and even invite new team members on board sooner than you’re comfortable doing. He points to Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank as a great influence on him and likes what he’s done with that company and its brand. Learn more: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ekeg45fe/nicolas-jammet-nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-co-founders-sweetgreen-262627/
Nathaniel Ru and his two friends both came to Georgetown University to become entrepreneurs in the footsteps of their parents who were all immigrants who had each founded a business. The reason food interested them the most was that options on the Georgetown campus were limited, especially for those who preferred a more lean diet focused on salads and vegetables. So that prompted the three to start a salad bar restaurant business and it began in a small shop on the Georgetown campus. The three had to get creative to keep it open during the slow times when almost nobody else was there, but as Ru later said that surviving that first winter break when campus was empty was what made them know they could meet any challenge. Learn more: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/sweetgreens-nathaniel-ru-everything-last-longer/
What makes Sweetgreen important is that Ru and his friends do not want its message to be only about eating green food, but rather to be about balance and making healthy diets popular. They’ve also included technology in their business which takes advantage of online and mobile ordering and customizing services for customers who want their food ready when they arrive. Ru also has expressed the importance of not simply running things from the top down, but actually making it about all employees and taking time off to go work at Sweetgreen’s locations. Initially the investments in the company came from friends and family members, but they’ve now had many more venture capital investors come to the company and have raised over $95 million to date.
I work as a corrections officer in our county jail, and my biggest obstacle each day is trying to keep the inmates from getting their hands on illegal contraband. Weapons, drugs, and cell phones, in the hands of the inmates make it very challenging for my team to do our job. We have developed a number of ways that we can put a stop to the problem, some more effective to the others.
The visitor center is where you will find the inmates and the visitors in close contact, and the opportunity to transfer things like drugs or weapons is abundant. My fellow officers have to have eyes in the back of our heads, we have to do a physical search of each visitor coming in and inmate going back to their cells, and we have to run everyone through an x-ray machine.
Securus Technologies is responsible for call monitoring system we use to listen to the inmates on the phone. The new system, or LBS software, allows us to listen in ways we have never done in the past. Now the system is doing the work of several officers, so we can deploy teams to do surprise cell inspections while the software is listening in for chatter about contraband.
On any given day, we hear inmates talking about where they hide their drugs inside the cells, who they are going to meet to gather things they need to sell in the jail, and even what time of day they sneak to their cells to do those drugs. Each call simply helps us to tighten up the loose ends and put a stop to this problem on a number of fronts. Thanks to the team at Securus Technologies, our facility is that much safer and we have had less incidents already.
Sheldon Lavin is the brain behind the success of OSI Group. His contribution to the growth of the company spans for almost 50 years transforming the company from a small business outfit to a global food producer and supplier. Before joining the company, Lavin ran his consulting firm where Otto & Sons (now OSI Group) was in his list of clients.
Sheldon Lavin career with OSI Group started in 1970 following a request by Otto & Sons to arrange for financing. Otto & Sons had secured an opportunity to construct a meat processing facility to cater the rising demand for its products. The funding bank requested Lavin to acquire part of ownership in the company, but he declined the offer choosing to remain a consultant in the deal. He also pegged his acceptance to owning an equal share of the business according to companycheck.co.uk.
Otto & Sons continued seeking the services of Lavin as a consultant for the company’s growing overseas investments. He joined the company in 1975 at the request of McDonald joining the sons to run the business after the retirement of the father changing the business name to OSi Group. The company continued to expand its operations gaining the European and North American markets. In 1980’s, one of the partners in the company sold-out giving Lavin half of the company’s ownership. He gained total control of the business a few years later after the retirement of the remaining partner.
After gaining full control of the company, Lavin decided to grow and expand the company. He extended its operations to over 16 countries with over 55 establishments. The company runs with a workforce of over 2,000 employees with Sheldon Lavin still active as the elder. As the Chairman and CEO of the group, Sheldon Lavin is still pursuing further growth and expansion of the group.
Sheldon Lavin is trained in Finance and Accounting. He runs ISO group on the principle of continued success. The desire to fully satisfy consumers and make more profits continue to drive the company in its growth. His vision for the company is to rank as a leader in the food industry and to remain successful even after his retirement.