PetDine, a private label pet product company, has named Jay Sokolowski to be its new senior operations manager. The company also recently expanded operations, opening a 10,000 sq. ft. facility near its headquarters in Fort Collins, Colo. The plant joins its 2220,000 sq. ft. facility in Harvard, Ill.
The latest plant will increase the company’s speed to market for PetDine clients. The company is a leader in private brand pet product supplements like pet chews, powder supplements and liquid food toppers, which the company said is one of the fastest growing segments of the pet health and wellness market.
The Fort Collins facility will soon hold the same Safe Quality Food (SQF) code as the Harvard facility, and it will be run under the guidance of the newly hired Sokolowski, who has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing. He has a unique aerospace engineering background that had him recruited as a nuclear submarine officer for the U.S. Navy, the company said. He’ll oversee all of the production-related operations for the company’s Colorado facilities, including the new Fort Collins facility, Greeley and Lovelace-based plants.
The Fort Collins facility will utilize the company’s access to more than 300 high-quality ingredients to increase output of pet product formulations unique to each store brand client. Unlike most pet product manufacturers, PetDine’s distinctive production process uses no water, which can produce mold, and no heat, which can change the integrity, viability and structure of the product or chew, according to the company. Products are manufactured without corn, wheat, sugars, salts, artificial colors and gumming agents.
“Whether it is liquid pet food toppers, natural animal chews or powders, we want to provide the best health benefits to our four-legged friends and outstanding results at a faster pace for our clients,” said Sokolowski said.
“The pet products industry is a fast-paced, ever-growing industry,” said Preston Munsch, PetDine CEO. “Increasing production capacity and staying on the cutting edge of manufacturing will help us speed up our clients’ go-to-market timeline and maintain leadership within the industry.”
Before joining PetDine, Sokolowski was director of operations at Droplet Measurement Technologies, and, prior to that, he worked at Hexcel, where he helped increase the advanced composite manufacturer's overall plant capacity by 250%. Sokolowski also held several roles, including product line manager, for a high-end optics company and worked in Silicon Valley for a capital equipment company.
“It is exciting to join a fast-growing, dynamic company that is committed to leading the private label pet products industry through manufacturing innovation,” said Sokolowski. “I plan to draw on my wealth of experiences from many different industries to benefit our clients’ custom pet supplement products.”