Karen Manheimer July 27, 2022
Karen Manheimer joins Ultra International Inc. as the Senior Vice President. She brings with her almost three decades of experience in managing essential oil products, sales, sourcing, and sustainability efforts. She holds a distinguished position on the board of the Fragrance Creators Association. Ultra International Inc. brought in a big motivational boon to the entire group with Karen’s entry.
Karen has grown up in New York City. Coming from a family-owned business in the essential oils industry, even as a child, she was taught the nuances of these elixirs. A fourth-generation essential oils expert, her father, Mr Steve Manheimer was the President of his family-founded company, J. Manheimer Inc. A well-known figure in the essential oils industry, Steve was passionate about the prosperity of the industry. Towards this goal he got involved in creating associations such as IFEAT to deliberate and exchange ideas. During this period he was introduced to Mr Sant Sanganeria, who echoed a similar vision. Karen was a natural in the naturals and essentials space as she was exposed to this drive from childhood.
An anthropology major from the University of Pennsylvania, Karen’s family insisted she gain experience outside the protected domain of the family-owned business. To this end, she worked with a French company dealing in steel sales for a couple of years in New York. It was only in 1993 that she joined J. Manheimer Inc. Her first experience was in managing the spice oil and oleoresin business. During this time, she travelled extensively to the south of India, gathering knowledge about the flavours market.
In 2000, she ventured into her beloved essential oils space. The entire journey from sourcing to distribution, the exploration of cultures and places, all fascinated Karen. She got intimately involved with the process and honed her skills in the trade. In 2004 the future of Karen and J. Manheimer Inc. was transformed, with the big corporate, Kerry, buying the business. From the effortless decision-making of a family business, to a corporate structure, Karen evolved within the organisation with exposure to varied business operations and processes. She took on the responsibilities of sales, sourcing, and developing sustainability projects for the new company till December 2021.
Some 18 years on from joining Kerry, she has decided to take on another challenge. The ethos of the Ultra Group reminded Karen of her roots, and it pulled her towards her latest role. The passion for essential oils runs deep at Ultra, and that intimacy of the business is in sync with Karen’s career goals. At Ultra International Inc. she will be responsible for end-user sales. Overhauling the sourcing activities, Karen will be looking to develop new vendors, and create novel products with existing ones. She has set her sights on expanding the company’s horizon beyond the essential oils space.
An extremely ambitious person, Karen Manheimer is constantly looking to upgrade her skill set. Apart from being an MBA from Michigan Ross School of Business, Karen is a certified level 1 holistic aromatherapist from the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. In 1987 she spent the summer in the south of France cultivating lavender plantations. Along with being a successful professional in the essential oils space, Karen is a fourth-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate and holds the prestigious title of ‘Sensei.’ She is the proud mother of two, equally ambitious, daughters.