Kretek Announces Changes to its Sales Leadership Team

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Kretek International, Inc. has announced a trio of appointments to its sales leadership team that the company says will help better align brands and efforts, while increasing the organization’s overall focus.

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The company has promoted Patrick Hurd to the position of chief sales officer, a role in which he will lead the long-term direction and health of the overall business for both Kretek US, and Kretek International, Inc.’s subsidiaries, according to a press release. Hurd has been with Kretek for more than 20 years, having served as general manager for Kretek Canada, general manager for Ventura Cigar Company and most recently, vice president of sales for Kretek US.

“I’m honored to be such an integral part of the Kretek team and legacy,” said Hurd via a press release. “This company has a long history of success and continues to pave the way within our ever-evolving industry. I look forward to driving new business, innovations, partnerships, and efficiencies that will keep Kretek at the top of its game. There’s real opportunity here, and we’re going after it.”

Taking over the title of vice president of sales of Kretek International, Inc. is John Tirpak, who was most recently Kretek International’s director of sales. Additionally, he was the director of sales for Ventura Cigar Company, which is a subsidiary of Kretek. Tirpak has worked in the premium cigar industry for over 23 years, experience he will leverage in working to grow Kretek’s overall sales numbers while providing continued direction to the sales team.

Rounding out the appointments, Sean Teninty has been promoted to vice president of sales strategy from his previous position as senior director of sales strategy at Kretek International, Inc. Teninty has been with the company for over five years, transforming Kretek’s business analytics and business planning, and creating channel-specific strategies. Before joining the company, he spent over 20 years in the consumer packaged goods industry, holding various sales leadership positions at Quaker Oats, Pepsico, Del Monte, and Pharmavite. Teninty will be responsible for developing Kretek’s business strategies while continuing to lead trade marketing and business analytics, as well as overseeing the retail sales operations team.

“We are excited for what these appointments mean for the future of Kretek,” says Mark Cassar, ceo of Kretek International, Inc., via a press release. “We’ve put together a team that offers a well-rounded perspective of our business, and a strong understanding of our customers. We are investing in our people, our products, and our processes, which will position Kretek for continued success in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.”

The three changes are all effective immediately.

Kretek International, Inc. is the parent company to Phillips & King and Ventura Cigar Company, and is America’s number one importer, marketer, and distributor of specialty tobacco products to convenience, mass, and national retailers. It also is known for distributing the Djarum, Cuban Rounds and Djeep brands across the United States and Canada

Images courtesy of Kretek International.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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.

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