Espinosa Premium Cigars has announced a pair of personnel changes that the company says will help streamline its operations in preparation for 2017.

Erik Espinosa, Jr., the son of company founder Erik Espinosa, Sr., has been promoted to vice president of the company, while Hector Alfonso, Sr. has been promoted to director of operations.

The younger Espinosa will spend much of 2017 traveling the country in support of the company’s brands, according to a press release issued on Tuesday. He began working in the cigar industry as a retail clerk before joining his father’s company in the shipping department and as part of the creative team. Erik Espinosa, Sr. said that his son’s focus will be on visiting brick-and-mortar retailers as well as cigar festivals and other events, while Alfonso praised his younger perspective, knowledge of the portfolio and ability to keep the company’s message mainstream.

Alfonso will be expanding his role at the company after serving as the head of factory operations, overseeing a large portion of the blends made at La Zona Cigar Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. While he will continue in that role, he will now oversee the day-to-day operations of the company.

“Hector has been here since day one,” said Erik Espinosa, Sr., adding that “he is a no-nonsense guy and takes the future of this company very seriously. He has earned my trust and there is no doubt that this company means as much to him as it does to my son and I.”

Both of the changes take effect immediately.

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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.