The Cigar Rights of America has appointed an executive director. J. Glynn Loope, 45, a cigar-smoking lobbyist from Virginia, became head of the organization in December.
Negotiations between Loope and the CRA's board of directors took place in Las Vegas, during Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke weekend. CRA's goal, said Loope, is "to create a grassroots political network that is second to none in the cigar industry. The key is to become a political force."
To accomplish that, he says the fledgling organization needs to vastly increase its membership—at the time of the interview with Cigar Insider, held in late December, CRA had only 1,978 members. Loope has grand plans to increase that number.
"I believe we need a database of 250,000 cigar enthusiasts. They may not all be members, but we need that many contacts to be the national political force that this industry needs," said Loope. "For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a 'Friends of the Chamber' section, with which they notify pro-business individuals and organizations of federal actions impacting business. You may or may not be a 'member' to be a 'friend,' and yet have the ability to impact the political process. We need that same instrument at our disposal."
To become a member of the CRA, or for more information, go to cigarrights. org.
For more on this story, check out the latest Cigar Insider.