SS February 2016

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22 SMOKESHOP February 2016 KLAFTERS_SS June12 5/14/12 10:13 AM Page 1 > Steve Wegert has joined Republic Tobacco LP in the role of key account manager. Previously, Wegert was national chain account manager at cigar maker Commonwealth-Altadis Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he worked for nearly 20 years. Wegert brings more than three decades of tobacco-industry experience to his new position. > A.J. Fernandez Cigars has promoted Enrique "Ricky" Somoza to U.S. director of operations. Previously, Somoza served as production manager at Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua in Estelí, working alongside company founder and master blender Abdel "A.J." Fernandez in the position he held since 2013. Somoza has relocated to Miami, where he was born and raised, and will work alongside Fernandez's sister Yarai and other key family mem- bers to further solidify and strengthen the company's distribution in the U.S. and help innovate new cigar projects for both U.S. and international markets. > Zippo has appointed Richard Finlow to the new position of vice president, global sales, effective the first quarter of 2016. In this role, Finlow will be responsible for worldwide sales and business development for the company's Zippo, Case, and Ronson brands, while also overseeing opera- tions for all Zippo wholly-owned sub- sidiaries overseas. Finlow joined Zippo in 2010, directing European sales. In 2013 he was promoted to managing director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa following Zippo's consolidation of several regional markets into a new division named Zippo Europe, and had been based at the Zippo UK offices near London. Prior to joining Zippo, he worked with Gillette and Suntory Beam in global sales and marketing positions. In his new position, Finlow will be based in Zippo's Bradford, Pa. headquarters. > Davidoff of Geneva U.S.A. has appointed Bob Moreno to the newly-created position of Davidoff-ST Dupont accessories sales manager, responsible for the growth and expansion of both luxury brands. Previously, Moreno served as vice president of sales for La Palina Cigars, a position he held since 2014. Prior to that, he was vice president of sales and marketing at E.P. Carrillo Cigar Company, having joined the company > In its latest restructuring move, Villiger Cigars North America, a unit of private- ly-owned Villiger Söhne Holding AG ,has named Rene Castaneda as the com- pany's new president, a position that's been vacant since the departure of Roy MacLaren in November 2014. In his new role, Castaneda will oversee all aspects of U.S. operations, including sales and marketing, working in tandem with managing director Michael Blumendeller. An industrial engi- neer with extensive knowledge in operations, distribution, logistics, and inventory management, Castaneda previously served as vice president of sales & marketing for Orleans Group International, where he spearheaded the Dram Cigars for Whiskey campaign. Prior to joining Orleans Group, Castanada held the same position at Miami Cigar & Co. "Our plan is to develop brands that connect with the consumers while working alongside retailers, and all partners, providing the best products and service," said Castanada. Added Blumendeller, "Heinrich Villiger is as committed as ever to the U.S. market. We are looking forward to bringing back Villiger Cigars North America headquarters to Miami." The company also plans upcoming changes in its portfolio, including new premium cigar brands. Moreno Wegert Industry NEWS PersonnelMoves Castanada Somoza Finlow

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