The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announced today a new mission statement as well as an expansion of its Board of Directors from 15 to 19. The four new seats will be made available to associate members, expanding the number of associate members on the board from one to tive. Associate members include members from the manufacturing community.

According to PCA, these changes came as a result of a PCA board strategic planning session that was held to assess the current state of the industry and PCA itself, and how to leverage the association greater impact in the years ahead.

Two of the new board spots will be filled by Christian Eiroa of CLE Cigar Company and Alan Rubin of Alec Bradley. Eiroa and Rubin join Mike Condor of Crowned Heads, who is the current associate board member. The term for these three seats will be through July 2024. The remaining two open seats will be filled via the open elections process PCA initiated last year and will be for a three-year term, through July 2025. The makeup of the new board structure will be 14 retail members and five associate members, with one associate member serving on the executive committee as a special liaison.

As for the mission statement, the PCA board unanimously agreed on the following mission statement: PCA exists to grow the business of specialty tobacco retailing. The mission statement was changed to be more concise.

The PCA Executive Team and its new board members echoed the importance of this mission and how the new board structure will support this.

“The board worked very hard and dived into some very difficult questions about where we are as an organization and we need to change to do more and evolve to provide more benefit for our members,” said PCA President Greg Zimmerman in a statement.

“Every single board member understands we are an organization of and for retailers. As we worked through multiple issues it became clear we needed an updated mission statement that focuses on growth for retailing,” said Scott Pearce, Executive Director of the PCA.

Scott Regina, PCA Vice President, said retailing encompasses the totality of the industry, as everyone in this business is in it to sell products to consumers. “While there are many different components that lead to the final product reaching the consumer, the PCA is going to be focused on growing and promoting the retailing sector, helping us all get better at our business, because the growth of retailing means growth for the whole industry,” Regina said.

“In order for PCA to successfully realize its mission, it is essential that we have an enhanced partnership with manufacturers,” said Zimmerman.

Pearce added, “The new board structure will lead the organization forward to create more and better opportunities for B2B interfacing with more impactful networking, high-quality educational resources, and an even more effective, comprehensive advocacy strategy, to defend and protect retailers across the country.”

“This is really exciting to see the change and the progress for PCA as an organization and I am truly excited by the opportunity,” said Conder. “PCA has done a tremendous job over the past several years getting through some of its toughest challenges and I look forward to being a part of the next phase. I really believe it will be a big benefit for the both the PCA and the industry.”

“Having manufacturers’ voices heard is a huge step and going to be a strength for PCA moving forward,” said Rubin. “The changes we have seen over the past couple of years with the elections, more inclusivity and transparency, and now the new board structure shows that PCA is listening and taking the necessary steps.”

“We are all in this together, manufacturers and retailers,” said Eiroa. “I’m humbled to be a part of this group and look forward to working on multiple initiatives to grow and promote retailing.”

The two remaining board seats will be filled using the open board election process which PCA initiated last year. The nomination period will open March 1. During this period, retailer members and associates may submit their nominations to the nominating committee for consideration. The final ballot will be announced in April and elections will take place May 1—31. Voting is only available for current PCA retail members.

The PCA is planning to host a Facebook and YouTube Live show Thursday, January 13 at 10:30 AM EDT to cover these new details. In addition, the PCA will hold a members-only Zoom Town Hall to answer member questions and provide any further details members may need. Details about the Town Hall will be emailed to current PCA members.