January 13, 2012 — On January 10, the Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, participated in a cigar industry roundtable at the J.C. Newman Factory in Tampa, FL.
“Our industry is under attack,” said J.C. Newman President, Eric Newman. “It is important to show politicians that we are not ‘Big Tobacco.’ We are an industry of hard-working family owned businesses.”
Over 50 leaders from around the industry were present to tell their stories and share their concerns for increased government regulation on the cigar industry.
Manufacturers present included, Eric Newman and Bobby Newman (J.C. Newman Cigar Co), Cynthia Fuente-Suarez (A. Fuente Cigars), John Oliva Sr. and John Oliva Jr. (Oliva Tobacco), Arthur Kemper (Perdomo Cigars), Ernesto Carillo (E.P. Carillo Cigar Co), Jorge Padron (Padron Cigars), Alan Rubin (Alec Bradley Cigar Co), Charlie Toraño (Toraño Family Cigar Co), David Bullock (Rocky Patel), Cory Bappert (Oliva Cigar Family) , Alejandro Mantero (Graycliff Cigar Co), Hank Bischoff and Rafael Nodal (Oliveros Cigars), Roberto Alonso and Yadi Vargas (Flor de Gonzalez Cigars), David Blanco (Blanco Cigars), Paul Palmer-Fernandez (Casa Fernandez Cigars) and Eddie Tarazona (Mederos Cigars).
Retailers present included, Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco, GarVino’s, Corona Cigar Co, Thompson Cigar Co, Gaspar’s Cigar Shoppe, Tampa Humidor, Tobacco Depot, Low Ball Louie, Cigar Castle, Smoker Friendly, The Cigar Cave and Tobacco Locker.
Other guests present included, Cigar Dave Zeplowitz, Bill Spann (CEO of I.P.C.P.R.), Florida State Attorney’s Office, Action Label, TECO, Chief Joe Sykes (Retired U.S. Navy) and Suport the Troops, Inc.