Robert J. Bandel
Class of 2010
Robert J. Bandel was born in Jersey City, NJ, on July 6, 1953, to Dorothy and Gilbert. He has two sisters, Lynne and Donna. He attended New Milford High School in the town of the same name before moving on to William Paterson University, in Wayne, NJ, where he attained a B.A. in business administration.
Soon after graduating, Bob began what would become a 31-year career with Mars Chocolate North America working in both field sales and at the national office. Bob started with the company as a retail sales representative in 1979, and retired from as vice-president of trade development in 2009. During tenure with the company, he held a variety of positions, including vice-president of chain drug stores, marketing director for national accounts, as well as various national sales director positions responsible for warehouse clubs, distributors, wholesalers and large retail outlets. He also worked in operations and administration, and strategic alignment for c-stores, distributors, wholesalers, vending and fundraising.
Looking back on his career, Bob says the most memorable moment was being inducted into Mars, Inc.’s Tie Club in 1984. The honor is presented to those who register in the top 10 percent of sales for at least 10 years. He was also presented the company’s Vice President’s Award for Excellence in 2007, acknowledging his outstanding drug store sales results.
Bob has been active in the industry as part of the National Confectioners Association’s Trade Relations, All Candy Expo, State of the Industry Conference, Broker Advisory, and Convenience Retailer and Wholesaler Buyer Advisor committees. He has served on the National Association of Chain Drug Store’s Retail Advisory Board and Industry Issues Committee; the Grocery Manufacturers Association Industry Development and Advisory Committee; the National Automatic Merchandising Association Education Committee; and the Food Marketing Institute’s Associate Member Council.
He says working with John and Forrest Mars on multiple occasions broadened his perspective, as did working with Executive Vice-President of Sales Phil Joyce. Bob says he learned his overall approach to life from Bernie Lee, executive vice-president of sales at Mars, and notes that Vice-President Larry Lupo has been a mentor and friend.
Bob has been married to Betina since August 1999, and has three sons: Robert Jr., Eric and Joshua, and a granddaughter, Lily.