It seems like only yesterday when I walked down the hall and into Gordon Mott’s office here at M. Shanken Communications. I barely knew his name. He looked up, startled. I asked him: “How would you like to work for a cigar magazine?” The year was 1991. His response? “Sure,” not having a clue what I was talking about.

At the time, Gordon was editing a trade magazine of ours called Market Watch, which covered the wine and spirits industry. What caught my eye was an article he wrote in 1986 while living in Paris called “Where a Cigar Becomes More Than a Smoke,” which appeared in the New York Times and described the French appreciation of the three C’s: coffee, Cognac and cigars.

At the time few people believed a magazine centered around fine cigars could succeed. But you know the rest of the story. The magazine flourished. Some of the biggest names in the world appeared on our covers, from Jack Nicholson to Michael Jordan, from Fidel Castro to Usher. Gordon and I have been together for the entire time. We have toured cigar factories in Cuba and throughout the Caribbean, played incredible golf courses and shared conversations with some of the most fascinating personalities in the world. And yes, we’ve smoked plenty of wonderful cigars. It has been a true pleasure.

Today it’s time to wish Gordon bon voyage, as he is moving to Mexico to embark on a new chapter of his life. He is taking a well-deserved retirement from his position as executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine. But this is not goodbye. Gordon will still be a contributing editor of Cigar Aficionado. You will still read his stories in the magazine and see him at cigar events.

Taking over the executive editor position is David Savona, our longtime senior editor. David has worked for Cigar Aficionado for 19 years, first as an editor of Cigar Insider, our cigar industry newsletter, and then as our senior editor for the magazine, where he began by writing feature stories on the cigar industry. Before he worked at Cigar Aficionado, he read Cigar Aficionado, and he is ready to take on this new position and edit the magazine that we all love so dearly.

Our mantra at Cigar Aficionado stays the same: to bring you profiles of fascinating people and unearth the finest things in life. Our cover story of this issue is a perfect example. Check out his captivating smile on the cover! Sports fans know Michael Strahan as one of the greatest defensemen ever to play pro football. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer. Michael has a new career as cohost of “Live! With Kelly and Michael” on ABC, showing a side of him that few knew, not to mention his jobs on “Good Morning America” and as a football analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday.” 

Gordon, thanks for all that you’ve done…