Claudio Sgroi has been named president of Mombacho Cigars, a title that he will add to his existing roles as partner and master blender.

Both Sgroi and Markus Raty, co-founder and former president of Mombacho Cigars, confirmed the news to halfwheel on Monday afternoon. While a formal announcement is forthcoming, Raty  will be changing his title to co-founder and director of marketing, a role that will include overseeing all public relations, branding, marketing collateral and new products and packaging, “and whatever else needs to be done,” he said.

Mombacho Cigars - Claudio Sgroi - Photo_by_Corbin_Smith

Sgroi joined Mombacho Cigars in January 2012 as both master blender and director of operations. Among his first tasks was to revitalize the company’s existing portfolio, which included a reblend of Mombacho’s core line cigar, which is sold under the Tierra Volcan name in the United States. Soon after, he blended Liga Maestro, a cigar created in collaboration with Stefano Bertini of B.L.S. Sigari in Milan, Italy.

He also oversaw the acquisition, remodeling and launch of Casa Favilli, the company’s factory in Granada, Nicaragua, which opened in the fall of 2014.

More recently, he has been developing the company’s 10th anniversary blend that will be released this year, a limited edition cigar called Magnifico. A new regular production line blended by Sgroi is also expected later this year.

Sgroi’s previous title of director of operations will not be passed on, as Raty told halfwheel that it will evolve into a new role under the title of general manager, with an internal promotion to be announced soon.

(Photo by Corbin Smith)

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.