The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) has announced plans to relocate from Columbus, Georgia to Washington, DC.  The association has acquired a three-story commercial townhouse in the Northeast section of Washington DC that will be used to house its new headquarters.  Plans are for the relocation to take place in the Summer of 2015.

The announcement was made by IPCPR President Finnie Helmuth who stated, “To best serve our membership and the entire industry, IPCPR’s leadership decided that a headquarters in our nation’s capitol is the right move, at the right time. We are excited about what this means for our members and the work of the association.”

IPCPR had put plans in place back last August to relocate their headquarters.  Washington DC was selected for strategic reasons as Craig Cass, owner of Tinderbox of Charlotte and Chair of the IPCPR’s Federal Legislative Committee noted, “Having a presence in DC not only gives us greater access to legislators and policy makers, it sends the right message that IPCPR is serious about representing the rights of retailers, consumers and manufacturers. With the location on Capitol Hill, we have a great opportunity to host congressional events and engage lawmakers on behalf of the premium cigar industry.”

“As a manufacturer, I am thrilled that IPCPR is locating its headquarters in Washington, DC. I think we all know that Federal legislative and regulatory challenges will be part of our industry going forward. It’s important for IPCPR to be on the front lines,” said Jim Young, President, Davidoff North America.

The move could be considered one of the first under the Mark Pursell era.  Last summer, Pursell was named the CEO of IPCPR.   As Pursell noted, “The new headquarters will enable IPCPR to house its staff in one location creating a greater focus on all of the services we provide members and the larger industry.”

Most of America’s national trade groups are located in Washington for advocacy reasons. Pursell also pointed out that “It is also important to note the benefits of the concentration of association related services and professional talent in DC. Both are critical to a successful association.”

John Anderson, IPCPR’s Treasurer and a DC area retailer was active in the property search and acquisition. In a statement announcing the property, Anderson said, “It was a long search, but our patience paid off with a great location. A short walk from the Senate office buildings and Union Station, our retailer members and manufacturing partners will soon have a home when they come to DC to fight for our industry.” He added, “Now that we own the property, the next step is an interior remodel that will accommodate our staff and provide great space for association meetings and fundraisers.”

The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) is a trade association representing and assisting premium retail tobacconists and their suppliers.