Phillips & King has announced that Sergio Montolfo, its executive vice president of operations, passed away early on Saturday, January 28.

Montolfo spent 25 years with Phillips & King and was just recently promoted to his most recent role. In a press release issued by the company, Montolfo was recognized for championing the company’s growth and dominant presence, as well navigating new product categories, evolving regulatory environments and emerging technologies, all while ensuring that customer service, people, and partnerships were always at the core of the company values and its decision-making.

“Sergio Montolfo was the voice and heart of Phillips & King and he was my friend,” said Sean Cassar, president of Phillips & King’s parent company, Kretek International. “He’s the guy you wanted steering the ship while simultaneously acting as your right hand. He was a giant among men. And he will be greatly missed within the company and by his friends in the industry. We are committed to continuing the legacy of Sergio Montolfo’s dedication to Phillips & King and the industry, and will be working hard to ensure a seamless transition for our customers, vendors, and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Sergio Montolfo is survived by his wife of 30 years, Laurel, and his children, sons, Mateo and Maddox, and daughter, Madison.

Funeral information is yet to be announced, while the company asks that letters of condolences be sent to its Moorpark, Calif. headquarters.

Image courtesy of Phillips & King.

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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, 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.