Michael Giannini, known for his tenures at General Cigar Company, Ventura Cigar Company, and El Credito, has joined Quality Importers Trading Company. He has joined the company in the newly created role of Chief of Customer Engagement. In this role, he will be responsible for the Sales, Marketing, and Messaging initiatives of the company.

Giannini’s career in the cigar business goes back to the 1980s. While working on a Master’s Degree in Psychology, teaching and cooking professionally on the weekends, Giannini’s true passion was in the premium cigar business. To pursue this passion, he began working at a local Philadelphia cigar shop as a store manager, and then became co-owner of an independent manufacturer’s representation firm. Later he would leave those roles to join Ernesto Perez-Carrilo Jr’s El Credito Company.

Following General Cigar’s acquisition of El Credito in 1999, Giannini would join General in a similar capacity and would start a long career at General. When Perez-Carrillo departed General, Giannini would emerge as the face of Perez-Carrillo’s brand La Gloria Cubana. With success at La Gloria Cubana, Giannini’s role was expanded in 2012 as he was named Creative Director and Director of Innovation for the whole General Cigar portfolio. Later that year, he became the creative force behind a new boutique-styled subsidiary in General Cigar known as Foundry. In September 2016 Giannini and General Cigar parted ways.

Giannini joined Ventura Cigar Company in 2017 as the company’s Creative Director. In 2018, he was promoted to the position of General Manager. In addition to his creative responsibilities, Giannini would also have control of sales and marketing.

In a press release, Giannini commented, “I am honored to join Quality Importers – the leader of premium cigar accessories in the industry. After two years of relaxing in California, I could not resist the opportunity to work with QI’s iconic portfolio of 10 brands, and our customization house – THE SWAG BUNKER®. Relocating to the company headquarters in Weston, FL to work with the great team that Michael and Marilyn Giordano have assembled is an exciting new chapter for me. Rather than confining my 39 plus years of experience to just one cigar brand or cigar company portfolio, QI gives me the opportunity to have a significant impact industry wide. THE SWAG BUNKER® allows us to personalize any retailer and manufacturer imagery and apply it to a wide portfolio of exciting accessories. The QI portfolio of brands, including Xikar®, Humidor Supreme®, Palió®, Cigar Caddy®, and Hydra® all serve as a primary vehicle to SELL MORE CIGARS to increase the bottom line. It is possible to enjoy a premium cigar without using one of our cutters, lighters, or humidors – but why would you?”

Alex Goldman, Chief Operating Officer for QI stated “I am excited to have Michael join the QI organization. Michael and I combined possess more than 80 years of premium cigar experience, and combined with the rest of our ownership/leadership team QI has over 140 years of tobacco industry expertise to help our customers WIN. This addition allows us to apply Michael’s energy, creativity and brand building experience to start a new chapter for QI and help us help our customers understand what it takes to succeed and be a lever to grow the premium cigar accessory space.”

Giannini will be in attendance at the 2022 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show.