This week’s Weekly News starts on a sad note, as we share the passing of Jill Hoffman of Hoffman Sales. Jill was the sales representative for a number of cigar and accessory companies in the southwestern U.S, including Drew Estate, Alec Bradley, Rocky Patel, and many more. She was beloved by the cigar communities of Phoenix and many other cities for her dedication to the industry and her customers.

Jill was one of my earliest friends in the cigar industry after I moved to Phoenix, and was always happy to have me pick her brain at cigar events about the products she had on offer that day. I count the numerous conversations I had with her as part of the base of my cigar knowledge, and a reason I quickly grew so passionate about the cigar industry.

The halfwheel staff sends our condolences to her friends and family. —Patrick Lagreid

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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.