Gabriel Alvarez will soon be joining Maya Selva Cigars as the company’s director of sales after spending just over 18 months as the operations director for Kuuts, LLC. Maya Selva Cigars announced that Alvarez will be officially joining the company on Sept. 1.

While the titles are different, it appears that the role will be somewhat similar in that he will be helping a foreign-based cigar company crack the U.S. market. Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos, the parent of Kuuts, LLC, is based in Honduras with Spanish ownership and had been producing cigars for more than 15 years, with production exceeding six million cigars per year, before establishing Kuuts LLC in October 2012 and announcing the opening of a Florida distribution center in April 2013. Alvarez joined the company in December 2012 between those two events.

Maya Selva Cigars was launched in France in 1995 and had focused on the European market before making its formal stateside debut at the 2013 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show. The company opened a sales and distribution center in Hollywood, Fla. prior to the trade show.

In a press release sent by Maya Selva Cigars on Tuesday morning, Alvarez said that it was a hard decision to leave Kuuts but felt that he needed to do “what’s best for my family and myself.” He acknowledged John Gonzalez for his guidance, and that he looks forward to “launching another great company in this incredible industry.”

Company founder Maya Selva said of Alvarez, “few are those who truly understand what a great cigar should be. Gabriel, without question, belongs to this exclusive club. I am sure that those who will have the privilege of working with him will certainly acknowledge his natural talent and vast knowledge of cigars.”

The company says that Alvarez will act as a brand ambassador on the road, “ready to introduce you and all future Maya Selva Cigars aficionados to our great product.”

Alvarez was also the owner of The Neighborhood Humidor in Miami from July 2011 – October 2013.

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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.