San Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 25, 2010 — Optelec US Inc., a world leader in innovative and life-changing assistive technologies for the blind and visually impaired, announced today that Andre Hardy has been appointed President of Optelec US Inc. Hardy is responsible for spearheading and expanding corporate and product strategy, business development, and overseeing all finance, operations, sales and marketing initiatives. These actions are coupled with his commitment to make positive strides towards amplifying public perception and the industry knowledge of low vision aids.

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. “Instead of sitting behind his desk, he makes the effort to personally visit each marketplace and understand the true needs of customers. His ability to apply effective business strategies based on direct feedback has enabled us to capitalize on current market conditions and align ourselves for sustained growth.”

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. 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, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks. He 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.

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.

For further information on Optelec US and its management team, please visit www.optelec.com or call 800-335-7590.

About Optelec US Inc.
Optelec US Inc. was founded in 1985 and is recognized as the worldwide market leader in providing innovative solutions for the blind, visually impaired and learning disabled. In January 2007, Tieman U.S., Holding Company to Optelec US Inc., spun off ShopLowVision.com as a subsidiary company to provide a one-stop-shop for optical, non-optical and daily living aids for eye care professionals and consumers. For more information visit www.optelec.com and follow on Twitter through @Optelec.

About Optelec Holding Inc.
Optelec is a worldwide market leader in manufacturing and distributing innovative and life-changing assistive technologies for the visually impaired and blind. Solutions range from desktop electronic video magnifiers, USB video magnifiers, to hand-held portable and compact video magnifiers – all designed to improve the quality of life and mobility for its users.

With its global corporate headquarters based in Barendrecht, the Netherlands, Optelec has regional sales headquarters established in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In addition, the company supports a strong distribution network throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East with a multi-tier distribution chain in more than 60 countries to ensure efficient worldwide delivery of its low vision solutions. For more information visit www.optelec.com.