Richie “Riot” Otero has announced that he has resigned from his role of director of sales for PDR Cigars.

“My departure is not a negative one,” Otero said via a statement. “My decision to leave is solely about me venturing to other realms,” he added, saying that he is considering his next move but wants to remain within the luxury goods segment. Whether or not that means the cigar industry remains undecided, he noted.

Otero joined the company in Oct. 2017 as PDR’s sales representative for the Florida territory, and was promoted to director of sales in June 2018. He worked on a number of notable projects for PDR Cigars, including a rebranding of the company’s portfolio as well as the Union Star by A&R line, a collection of cigars that had been aging in PDR’s aging rooms, and Jose Rey, a three-cigar line notable for their sweetened tips.

“I am super grateful for the team I had, and even more grateful to Abe Flores,” Otero said. “Abe saw things in me that others didn’t. Making this move is not a bad one. It’s part of my personal development in this industry, and also the luxury goods industry. I want to thank my PDR Family for an amazing experience. And thank you all for having my back.”

Otero told halfwheel that he submitted his resignation at the beginning of October, and has since spent time completing ongoing duties and preparing the sales team for the transition.

“Richie’s loyalty, determination and work ethic throughout his time with PDR Cigars USA made him an asset to our team,” said Stephanie Martinez, director of operations for PDR Cigars, via a press release. “Unfortunately, at this time, Richie felt he was better suited following his dreams in another direction. We respect his wishes and appreciate that he has worked hard alongside our team through the very end. Richie has worked with the PDR Cigars team to facilitate a smooth transition where the service our consumers receive is not compromised.“

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, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.