Cigar Aficionado

IPCPR Chief Bill Spann Resigns

After overseeing the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association for a little more than two years, chief executive officer Bill Spann has resigned. The decision went into effect on Saturday.

"I have great respect for our dedicated board of directors, our associate member advisory board, and our loyal and dedicated retail members and staff, but after more than two years of nearly constant family separation, the time is right to move on," Spann said.

In a press release, Spann indicated that he was taking a job in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, to be closer to this family. The IPCPR is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

Before joining the IPCPR, Spann, who attended Kenyon College, spent 20 years with the United States Navy from which he retired in 2003. He then worked for Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida during his second term, but it was while he sailed the seas that he developed an appreciation for premium cigars.

"It's always been a naval officer thing," said Spann in a Cigar Insider interview. "In 1984, I got to my first ship. Premium cigars have just been part of the culture. In the service, people get together and relax for the few minutes they have. They can't drink, so one of the things they can enjoy is a good cigar. I've been doing it for 25-plus years. I'm the average cigar smoker; I like to smoke one or two a week."

Finnie Helmuth, president of the IPCPR, said "We are grateful for Bill's efforts on behalf of the premium cigar and pipe industry. His dedication to the industry, successful trade shows, and the new legislative staff in Washington, D. C. all speak to his stewardship of IPCPR. We wish him and his family a bright future."