During its meeting today, the Tobacconists’ Association of America announced that Joe Arundel would become the organization’s new president.

Arundel is the owner of Rain City Cigars in Seattle, Wash. He has previously served as the TAA’s second vice-president, and just recently announced that he would be stepping down as president of the Cigar Association of Washington, an organization he helped create in order to obtain more rights and liberties for cigar smokers in Washington state.

The TAA also announced changes to its board of directors, which has three of its current board members being replaced.

The following individuals have been added to the board:

  • Rich Castiano (World Famous Cigar Bar, Fort Myers, Fla.)
  • Veronica Fenner (Stag Tobacconist, Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  • Harris Saunders (Cigars & More, Birmingham, Ala.)

And the following board members are departing the board:

  • James George (Fogue & Bates in Tulsa, Okla.)
  • Todd Naifeh (ZT Cigars, Oklahoma City, Okla.)
  • Scott Regina (Emerson’s Cigars in Virginia Beach, Va.)

Finally, the organization announced that its 2021 meeting will be held from April 11-15 at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Update (March 26, 2020) — This story originally listed the dates as April 9-16, 2020, it is actually April 11-15, 2020.

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