Mark Pursell Departs as IPCPR CEO

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The International Premium Cigars and Pipe Retailers Association will soon be looking for a new chief executive officer, as today the organization announced that Mark Pursell will be departing as of Oct. 15.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity IPCPR provided me,” Pursell said in a press release. “It has been a challenging period for the entire industry and I’m proud of the organization’s work to lead the way forward. There are many challenges remaining. IPCPR has the right leadership and staff to face the future.”

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Pursell was hired as IPCPR’s ceo in June 2014 after serving as the senior vice-president of the National Association of Home Builders, a role in which he oversaw both legislative staff and the International Builders’ Show, which drew over 75,000 attendees. Prior to that, Pursell held similar positions at the Associated General Contractors of America and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

In addition to helping lead the fight against the legal and regulatory challenges that the premium cigar industry has faced in recent years, Pursell was also tasked with reinvigorating the group’s annual trade show, which has faced perceptions of decreasing attendance and relevance. Under his leadership the trade show took several steps to increase attendance, including lunchtime learning seminars and a concert, while also modifying the layout of the floor and the booth pricing structure. He also navigated a move of the show from the Sands Expo & Convention Center to the Las Vegas Convention Center, a change forced when the former cancelled the show’s contract.

During his tenure, the IPCPR also moved to a new headquarters in Washington, D.C.,

No timeline has yet been established for a new ceo to be in place.

Photo courtesy of IPCPR.

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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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