NEW YORK — Optimeal, a super-premium dog and cat food brand that officially entered the United States market in September, recently hired Gregory Mandel as regional sales manager for the eastern United States.

Mandel offers more than 15 years of pet industry experience. In his new role with Optimeal, he will support the company as it is introduced in the independent pet retail space and help grow the brand’s market share in the eastern United States.

Gregory Mandel, regional sales for OptimealGregory Mandel, regional sales manager for the eastern United States at Optimeal. (Source: Optimeal)

He will be tasked with engaging retail store employees to educate them about the Optimeal brand, as well as managing Optimeal’s relationship with its exclusive distributor partner, Phillips Pet Food & Supplies.

“We’re excited to welcome Gregory to the Optimeal family,” said Yuliana Volk, director of new business development, North America, at Kormotech, parent company of Optimeal. “Having just launched our products in the US market, we understand the importance of having the proper sales team supporting us. Gregory is an accomplished individual who knows the ins and outs of the pet industry very well. We’re confident that his experience will prove to be advantageous in helping us grow our presence among independent retailers.”

Mandel most recently served as director of sales at Blue Buffalo, where he managed eight territory sales managers operating for the company in the eastern United States. During his tenure with Blue Buffalo, he oversaw sales exceeding annual targets by 75% on average, according to Optimeal. As a top performer at Blue Buffalo, Mandel was recognized with the Blue Buffalo Hall of Fame Award.

Previous career experience includes serving as district sales manager within Mars, Incorporated’s pet division, where he managed Petco and PetSmart accounts and other large-volume retail chains for the company’s many pet brands. Mandel was also awarded for top performance in sales and public speaking while at Mars, as well as for training the most national retail store employees and garnering the most widespread retail distribution gains for the company.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.