[Washington, DC, Jan 11, 2022] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announced today a new mission statement for the organization as well as an expanded board of directors structure. These changes came as a result of a PCA board strategic planning session that assessed the current state of the industry and the association and how to best leverage the association for greater impact in the years ahead.
“The board worked very hard and dived into some very difficult questions about where we are as an organization and we need to change to do more and evolve to provide more benefit for our members,” said PCA President Greg Zimmerman.
Scott Pearce, PCA Executive Director said the board’s chief priority was determining a direction for the future of the organization. “Every single board member understands we are an organization of and for retailers. As we worked through multiple issues it became clear we needed an updated mission statement that focuses on growth for retailing,” said Pearce. After deep discussions, the PCA board unanimously agreed on the following mission statement: PCA exists to grow the business of specialty tobacco retailing.
Scott Regina, PCA Vice President, said retailing encompasses the totality of the industry, as everyone in this business is in it to sell products to consumers. “While there are many different components that lead to the final product reaching the consumer, the PCA is going to be focused on growing and promoting the retailing sector, helping us all get better at our business, because the growth of retailing means growth for the whole industry,” Regina said.
New Board of Directors
The PCA board also examined the role and relationship the PCA has with manufacturers who are the associate members of the organization. The board decided a new structure is needed to enhance the relationship with associate members and the critical need to get input and guidance from associates at the board level.
Therefore, the decision was made to expand the board from 15 to 19 total members. The makeup of the new board structure will be 14 retail members and 5 associate members, with one associate member serving on the executive committee as a special liaison.
“In order for PCA to successfully realize its mission, it is essential that we have an enhanced partnership with manufacturers,” said Zimmerman.
Pearce echoed Zimmerman, saying, “The new board structure will lead the organization forward to create more and better opportunities for B2B interfacing with more impactful networking, high-quality educational resources, and an even more effective, comprehensive advocacy strategy, to defend and protect retailers across the country.”
The commencement of the new associate board positions begins immediately with three board positions being filled by: Mike Conder of Crowned Heads, who will also serve as the executive committee liaison; Christian Eiroa of CLE: and Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley. The term for these three will be through July 2024. The remaining two open seats will be filled via the open elections process PCA initiated last year and will be for a three-year term, through July 2025.
“This is really exciting to see the change and the progress for PCA as an organization and I am truly excited by the opportunity,” said Conder. “PCA has done a tremendous job over the past several years getting through some of its toughest challenges and I look forward to being a part of the next phase. I really believe it will be a big benefit for the both the PCA and the industry.”
Rubin and Eiroa both expressed their gratitude and excitement for the opportunity. “Having manufacturers’ voices heard is a huge step and going to be a strength for PCA moving forward,” said Rubin. “The changes we have seen over the past couple of years with the elections, more inclusivity and transparency, and now the new board structure shows that PCA is listening and taking the necessary steps.”
“We are all in this together, manufacturers and retailers,” said Eiroa. “I’m humbled to be a part of this group and look forward to working on multiple initiatives to grow and promote retailing.”
The two remaining associate board seats will be filled via the open board election process which PCA initiated last year. The nomination period will open March 1. During this period, retailer members and associates may submit their nominations to the nominating committee for consideration. The final ballot will be announced in April and elections will take place May 1—31. Voting is only available for current PCA retail membes.
PCA will hold a Facebook and YouTube Live show Thursday, January 13 at 10:30 AM EDT to cover these new details. In addition, the PCA will hold a members-only Zoom Town Hall to answer member questions and provide any further details members may need. Details about the Town Hall will be emailed to current PCA members.
For more information about the new board, mission statement, or elections, please visit https://premiumcigars.org/news/faqs-new-pca-mission-statement-and-board-of-directors/ or contact PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce.
Founded in 1933, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) is the oldest, largest, and most active trade association representing and assisting retailers, manufacturers and suppliers of premium tobacco products. PCA is a not-for-profit trade association and is recognized as the “Voice of Authority and Reason” on premium tobacco-related issues.