More than six months after the announcement that Bill Spann would be leaving his role as CEO of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, the organization continues to search for a new executive, and with the industry’s annual convention and trade show just three and a half months away, there are questions as to whether the position will be filled by the marquee event.

“The IPCPR Board is working towards having a new CEO/Executive Director on board as soon as possible,” said Finnie Helmuth, President of the IPCPR Board of Directors. She said that the IPCPR has retained the service of Korn/Ferry International, a global leadership and talent recruitment firm based in Los Angeles. On March 12, the firm posted a description of the IPCPR CEO position to their website, suggesting that applications are still being accepted and that the announcement of a new CEO could still be a ways off.

While it was not mentioned in the post, several people familiar with the search process have told halfwheel that it is expected that the new CEO will have to be based in Washington, D.C., seemingly to have closer and more active involvement with the legislative aspect of the job. The job description does make specific mention that one of the key goals for the position is to “develop and implement a strategic plan achieving specific results in Washington and around the nation.”

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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.