Jennifer Groh of Metro Cigars in Germantown, Wis. is the new president of the Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd (TAA). Groh’s tenure formally began at the end of last month when she took over for Joe Arundel of Rain City Cigars in Seattle.
The TAA is a group of some of the country’s top tobacconists, about 80 retailers, as well as 40 or so manufacturers. The association gathers annually to discuss issues facing the industry and retailers, as well as to have its annual trade show, a unique event that works on a group buying format in order to secure exclusive deals for these generally high-volume merchants. Its board of directors is made up largely of retail store owners who are also members.
Those who volunteer to serve on the TAA Executive Committee serve 10-year commitments, two years in each position on the committee. The new executive committee is as follows:
- Jennifer Groh (Metro Cigars) — President
- Julie Neumann (Neumann Cigars & More) — First Vice President
- Marvin Holthouser (Harbor Cigars) — Second Vice President
- Steve Castro (Davidus Cigars, Ltd) — Treasurer
- Rich Castiano (World Famous Cigar Bar) — Secretary
Castiano is the newest member of the executive committee and will work his way up the list of positions, while Neumann will replace Groh when her term ends at the conclusion of the 2024 TAA Meeting & Convention.
In addition, TAA has a six-member general board, which is a three-year commitment. Two new members have been added to that board: Jorge Ahued of STOGIES World Class Cigars in Houston and Renee Silverman of Smoker Friendly/Klafters, Inc. in New Castle, Pa.
Finally, Cory Bappert—ceo of Oliva Cigar Co.—has been named an associate advisory member, one of two manufacturer representatives who advise the TAA board.