23 Sep 2013
On Saturday, Bill Spann’s tenure as chief executive officer of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) came to an end. Spann resigned his post with the Columbus, Georgia-based organization to spend more time with his family and take a job in his hometown of Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Spann’s two years at the helm of IPCPR witnessed a reversal in a decade-long decline in membership, as well as the two most successful trade shows in the association’s 82-year history. “We are grateful for Bill’s efforts on behalf of the premium cigar and pipe industry,” said IPCPR Board President Finnie Helmuth. “His dedication to the industry, successful trade shows, and new legislative staff in Washington all speak to his stewardship of IPCPR. We wish him and his family a bright future.”
Spann elaborated on his decision: “My staff and many of our members know that I have been apart from my family each week since I took this position in July 2011. We fully intended to move to Columbus, but unfortunately the town’s size did not afford my spouse the career opportunities she required. I have great respect for our dedicated Board of Directors, our Associate Member Advisory Board, and our loyal and dedicated retail members and staff, but after more than two years of nearly constant family separation, the time is right to move on.”
When Spann was hired as CEO, he replaced Joe Rowe, who headed up IPCPR for a decade. Spann’s previous experience included a 20-year career with the Navy, serving as chief of staff of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and several executive roles within Governor Jeb Bush’s administration.
The IPCPR, perhaps best known for its annual trade show where cigar makers showcase their products for retailers and the media, is a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of tobacco retailers and their suppliers. It was founded in 1933.
photo credit: IPCPR