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A Conversation with José Blanco

The gregarious sales director for La Aurora speaks about the cigar industry.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Vegas, Mar/Apr 2006

(continued from page 1)

A: Great Neck, Long Island [in New York].

Q: You may be the only guy from Long Island making cigars. How did you get with León Jimenes? What did you start doing?

A: I started as a salesman in 1981. And in '85 I became a supervisor, then in 1990 I became a sales coordinator, then in 1992, manager of promotion and public relations, and in 1995, sales manager for beer and cigarettes in the northeast part of the Dominican Republic.

Q: You were involved in beer all that time?

A: Beer and cigarettes. But the smoking panel would send me cigars.

Q: So you played a role with cigars, but not officially.

A: Yes, and sometimes they didn't like what I had to say.

Q: What year did you start in the cigar segment?

A: 1999.

Q: Tough year for cigars. Is that one of the reasons you were brought on? What led to that?

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