David Ozgo is the new president of the Cigar Association of America (CAA). He will replace Craig Williamson, the longtime president of CAA, who announced his plans to retire last year.
The CAA is one of the cigar industry’s main trade groups. Unlike the other two—the Premium Cigar Association and Cigar Rights of America—CAA has a diverse membership group that contains both premium cigar and mass-market cigar manufacturers along with companies that serve as suppliers to both categories.
Ozgo most recently served as the svp and chief economist at the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS). Prior to that, he worked for PHB Hagler-Bailly, a management consulting firm, and also worked for the Association of American Railroads.
“David has demonstrated the ability at DISCUS to develop data driven solutions to industry issues, to successfully deliver the industry’s message in different forums and mediums, and to work constructively with various segments of an industry whose members vary greatly in size and product portfolio,” said Javier Estades, chairman of the CAA board and president and ceo of Tabacalera USA, in a press release. “These are the skills CAA and the cigar industry need to navigate through current and upcoming regulatory and legislative challenges.”
This is the second of two leadership changes at CAA in the last couple of months. In late September, Estades was reelected chairman of CAA after John Miller’s abrupt departure at Swisher earlier in the month.
Williamson was appointed president of CAA in 2011, prior to that he served as the vice-president of the organization beginning in 1998.
“In almost two decades with CAA, the last 10 years as president, he has been a tireless advocate for the entire cigar industry,” said Estades of Williamson. “Many of our industry’s successes have resulted from his hard work, we are grateful for his dedication, and wish him well in the future.”
Ozgo’s tenure will begin on Dec. 6.