Andre Hardy Named President of Optelec US Inc.
January 26, 2010
By Bill Boehlke
Optelec US Inc., a world leader in innovative and life-changing assistive technologies for the blind and visually impaired, has appointed former Seahawks running back Andre Hardy as President of Optelec US Inc. With headquarters in Vista, CA, Hardy will be responsible for spearheading and expanding corporate and product strategy, business development, and overseeing all finance, operations, sales and marketing initiatives.
With more than 20 years of public relations, sales and marketing experience in the traditional business and non-profit sectors, Hardy holds a bachelor degree in communications from St. Mary’s College of California, and is a former NFL running back for the Philadelphia Eagles (1984), Seattle Seahawks (1985), and San Francisco 49ers (1987).
As President of Optelec US Inc., “Andre takes a real hands-on, passionate approach to increasing the awareness of visual impairment and low vision aids,” said Michiel van Schaik, CEO of Optelec Holding, Inc.
Low vision is a significant reduction in visual sharpness/contrast which can not be corrected by normal eyeglasses, contacts, medication or surgery. It results from numerous eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, amongst others.
Since joining Optelec US Inc. in 2007 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Hardy has expertly expanded Optelec’s product sales, distribution channels, and industry relationships. Under Hardy’s direction in 2009, Optelec experienced tremendous growth in its overall business. Increases in the following product sale sectors include, governmental at 200 percent, daily living aids at 178 percent and dealer channel at five percent.
“As the baby boomer population gets older, visual impairment will be a critical health concern in the U.S. and a topic that has previously been understated,” said Hardy. “Not only do I want to position Optelec front and center during this industry shift, but also make our company and our resources easily accessible for those in need. Optelec, literally, changes lives.”
In 2010, Hardy’s proven leadership will allow Optelec to launch its “VisionZONE” concept; which for the first time will tie-in all members, associations and resources available in the eye care and low vision industry.
Hardy enjoys spending time with his wife Jo-Ann Jaffe, Director of Development for Second Chance, and his son Andre Hardy, who is an all-star basketball player for California State University, Fullerton.