After five years serving as the chairman of the Cigar Association of America (CAA), Javier Estades has stepped down. In his final annual meeting as chairman, October 6, 2020, Javier outlined the association’s accomplishments during his tenure and discussed the future.
The association stated that Javier will be succeeded by John Miller, president of Swisher International.
Estades noted during the annual meeting:
“I believe I am passing a financially sound and strong association to my successor, John Miller. During my tenure, we faced a perfect storm of unprecedented regulatory intervention by the FDA, increases in taxes at state and federal level, a divided industry, the COVID-19 pandemic and more. Despite it all, here we are–alive and kicking and very proud of what we have accomplished.
This is due to our focus on building outside relationships with organizations that value partnering with us to fight for you–our members–and the industry. CAA also expanded and diversified as reflected by creating leadership roles for industry partners in the mail order, distributor and importer segments which shows that we value these industry segments and also gives these industry members a voice.”
One of the biggest achievements realized during his tenure has been the ongoing battle with the FDA and he remains optimistic that the industry as a whole will prevail in the battle.
In his owns words he stated:
“These include having health warnings thrown out, any product testing put off for the foreseeable future (or longer) and eliminating the recent SE deadline for premium cigars. We still have challenges ahead, and CAA stands ready to continue fighting against improper, overreaching efforts by FDA.
Over the last five years, CAA has had a more than 90+ percent winning track record on fighting issues that would have negatively impacted our members and the industry.”
Craig Williamson, president of CAA, commented on Javier’s tenure:
“On behalf of CAA, we are grateful for Javier’s friendship and leadership over the past five years. Whether it was his relentless promotion of CAA, the fierce advocacy work on Capitol Hill, or his commitment to leading us through challenging times, Javier has been a natural leader in so many ways. For that, we are thankful.
While his time as Chairman may be ending, I know he will never stop fighting for our industry. Javier served as our chairman during a rough and tumble time for our industry, while simultaneously running one of the most successful premium cigar companies in the world. His affable demeanor and steady hand have been critical to our continued efforts. As his time as chairman comes to a close, we owe him a great deal of gratitude.”
In response, Javier noted:
“Sometimes you get change right, and some other times you fail, yet what matters most is to have a clear vision, to build a powerful team to keep on trying and to take calculated risks.
As a Spaniard who arrived in this great country with my wife nine years ago, with many ideas and much energy, being the first non-American to serve as chairman of the largest cigar association in the U.S. has been truly amazing.
I’ve had great support from CAA’s president, from the CAA staff and from my fellow board of directors. My family and I feel very proud. Again, it has been an honor.”
About The Cigar Association of America
The Cigar Association of America was founded in 1937 and is one of the oldest advocates in the cigar industry. CAA represents and fights on behalf of its members including cigar manufacturers, importers, distributors, and major suppliers of the cigar industry.