On the heels of the 2017 Puro Sabor Cigar Festival, the Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber (CNT) has announced the election of its new board of directors that will serve a term from 2017-2019.

Anielka Esmeralda Ortez Flores, general manager of Agrotabacos, the company that produces Omar Ortez cigars, has been elected president and will replace outgoing president Juan Ignacio Martínez of Joya de Nicaragua. She becomes the first female president in the chamber’s history.


(L-R) Mrs. Indiana Ortez Flores, Mr. Omar Ortez Rodríguez, Mrs. Anielka Ortez Flores (head of CNT) and Mr. Omar Antonio Ortez.

“The CNT will continue promoting and enhancing the image, quality and reputation of Nicaraguan hand-made cigars and we will strengthen our linkage with the communities and local and national governments,” Ortez stated in a press release.

Martinez will become the organizations’s new vice president, while José Leonel Ráudez has been elected alternate vice president; Héctor Vanegas Bojorque was elected secretary; and Eduardo Alberto Sandino elected alternate secretary.

Also elected were Manuel Ernesto Rubio, as treasurer; Néstor Andrés Plasencia, as first member; Gastón Buenaventura Rappaccioli, as alternate first member; Omar Ortez Rodríguez, as second member; Eldher Alexi Graterón, as alternate second member; and Claudio Sgroi, as third member.

The Nicaraguan Tobacco Chamber also announced that four new members are joining the organization: Tabacalera RC, El Galán, Global Premium Cigars/1502 Cigars and Distribuidora Karibe S.A. As a result, the CNT now has 27 members.

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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.