Late last year Villiger Cigars North America announced plans to restructure. As a part of this effort, the company announced plans to name a new company President. This week, the North American subsidiary of Villiger announced that premium cigar industry veteran Rene Castenada will be its new President. The company also announced plans to move forward with its restructuring efforts and re-affirmed its commitment to the U.S. market.

In his new role, Castaneda will have oversee all aspects of Villiger North America’s operations, including sales and marketing. He will also work along side Managing Director Michael Blumendeller to execute on Villiger Cigars North America’s restructuring plans.

Castaneda made his mark in the premium cigar industry where he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Miami Cigar and Company. Most recently, he held the same position with Orleans Group International. During his tenure with Orleans Group, he spearheaded the launch of the Dram Cigars for Whiskey brand. Castaneda’s background is in industrial engineering and has a deep background in operations, distribution, inventory management, and logistics.


Rene Castaneda (Photo Credit: Villiger Cigars North America)

In the formal press release announcing his appointment, Castaneda said, “It is truly an honor to be chosen for this position, at a company so rich in history. We plan on being an innovative company while bringing Villiger back to its roots. I have all the confidence that Villiger Cigars North America will soon be the standard. Our plan is to develop brands that connect with the consumers while working alongside retailers, and all partners, providing the best products and service. We want the consumer to know that Villiger Cigars has a deep history, originating in 1888, and represents the ‘original classic’.”

Since 2014, Villiger Cigars North America had not had a President. Late in 2014, the company parted ways with Roy E. MacLaren, who was the previous company President. Last year, Shauna Williams, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Patrick FitzGerald, Chief Financial Officer handled operations for Villiger North America. Both have since departed Villiger North America.

Toward the end of last year, Villiger Cigars North America announced it was restructuring. In addition to plans to name a new leader, the company announced it was transitioning its sales force to a combination of brokers and inside sales. The company also announced it was moving its headquarters from Charlotte, North Carolina to Miami, Florida. Castaneda will be based out of Miami.

In addition to announcing Castaneda’s appointment, Villiger Cigars North America announced plans to make changes to its current portfolio as well as introduce new brands.

” Mr. Heinrich Villiger is as committed as ever to the U.S. market. We are looking forward to bringing back VCNA headquarters to Miami. Rene is a true cigar man and there is no doubt, that he will represent the Villiger Cigar brand with passion, and respect,” commented Blumendeller.