Written by Staff

Saturday, 05 April 2008

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carlos torano

In December, 2007, the Toraño family announced the appointment of CAO International as the exclusive U.S. distributor for all Carlos Toraño premium cigars. President Charlie Toraño stated, “With CAO distributing our cigars, my father Carlos and I will be able to spend more time on the manufacturing side of our business ... producing world-class tobacco and cigars.” The Toraño family’s Honduran and Nicaraguan cigar factories annually produce an ever-increasing number of top-rated Carlos Toraño, CAO and other private label cigars.

“This agreement was a bold step forward for both companies,” reports Toraño. “Next, the key ingredient in its success was the selection of the best person we could find as Toraño Brand Manager. In early February, we were extremely fortunate to add Bruce M. Lewis to the Toraño/CAO team. Bruce is a seasoned veteran in sales, marketing, and promotion, with virtually his entire career having been in the cigar industry. His broad diversity of experience in key sales and marketing management roles made him the perfect candidate.”

A 38-year old Australian native, now working in CAO’s Nashville headquarters, Lewis relies on the seasoning he acquired at several prestigious cigar companies over the past 17 years. They have afforded him an enviable career in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sides of the premium cigar industry. Havana House, Australia’s first true specialty cigar shop, gave him his initial training at selling prestige products in a prestige setting. Positions at Alfred Dunhill of Australia and mega-giant Swedish Match saw him rise to Director of International Business Development at General Cigar Company.

Lewis remarks, “Following my five-year appointment with General Cigar in New York, I repatriated to Australia at the end of 2005, to start my own sales and marketing consultation business in a different field. But daily, I wondered what was happening in the cigar industry. It was at that point that I came to the realization that I would not be truly content working in any other industry. As they say, ‘When the tobacco bug bites, it bites hard.’ This is the industry I love ... this is my home.”

Toraño adds, “Bruce and I are equally thrilled to be partners working closely with each other to expand the Carlos Toraño brand. In our opinion, his breadth and depth of knowledge and ability, as well as his initiative and love of the business, make him an extraordinary team contributor to CAO and Toraño.”

Bruce M. Lewis, appointed Toraño Brand Manager at CAO, now exclusive U.S. distributor for Carlos Toraño premium cigars

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