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PCA Announces First Ever International Policy Summit

October 2, 2021 By Matthew Tabacco

On October 6, 2021, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) will hold a virtual International Policy Summit, hosted in collaboration with Light “em Up Lounge. This Inaugural Summit will cover a broad range of topics of note for the premium tobacco industry, including tax, trade, commerce and the impacts of the charitable efforts and community of the premium cigar industry at large. 


The Summit will be moderated by Reinhard Pohorec of Light “em Up Lounge, who will serve as master of ceremonies and will be joined by panels of experts, policymakers, and dignitaries who will discuss a global view of the premium cigar industry, in the context of jobs, trade, and as a factor in economic and political stability in the Western Hemisphere.


Premium Tobacco is a global industry and the policies and economics involved affect everyone in the industry. As the longest-running trade association dedicated to preserving and protecting this centuries old industry, the PCA sees this as not only important, but critical for all in the industry to participate in this summit and become aware of local, national and global policies in order to form a more unified worldwide coalition and help bring about changes that will benefit the premium tobacco industry.


“We at the Premium Cigar Association are excited to be the first body, internationally and domestically, to hold a policy summit of this kind. Please join us on October 6th for a half day of international policy discussion, as well as major goal setting for the future of the premium cigar industry” —Scott Pearce Executive Director of the Premium Cigar Association.


Due to the overwhelming response from attendees and participants, the PCA has decided to move the broadcast over from Zoom to Facebook/YouTube Live, which will allow for unlimited audience participation and ease of access. To participate in this important policy summit, tune in to the PCA’s Facebook or YouTubeChannels starting at 1pm EDT on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. To submit questions in advance, please post them in the event on PCA’s Facebook page or email them to


1PM EDT: Welcome to the International Policy Summit:

  • Welcome remarks by: Scott Pearce, Executive Director, Premium Cigar Association; Greg Zimmerman, President, Premium Cigar Association; Reinhard Pohorec, Light “em Up Lounge

  • Keynote Address by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

  • Keynote Address by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)


1:15PM—2:00PM EDT: [Panel 1] Premium Cigars on the International Stage: Commerce and Trade for One of the World’s Oldest Commodities:

  • Moderated by Glynn Loope, Director of State Advocacy, Premium Cigar Association. Special Guest Panelists include:

  • Litto Gomez, representing Pro Cigar and owner of La Flor Dominicana

  • John Oliva, Jr., VP of Oliva Tobacco addressing their role in Ecuador

  • Jeremiah Meerapfel, on their company role in Africa, and Cameroon specifically

  • Ricardo Carioni, COO of Tor Imports and former Deputy Ambassador for Nicaragua to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland.

  • Paul Varakas Director General at European Cigar Manufacturers Association


2:00PM—2:15PM EDT: Panel 2 Introduction & Opening Remarks:

  • Remarks by Joshua Habursky, Head of Government Affairs, Premium Cigar Association; Reinhard Pohorec, Light “em Up Lounge


2:15PM—3PM EDT: [PANEL 2] Serving the Community: the global impact of the cigar industry’s charitable and social contribution:

  • Moderated by Reinhard Pohorec, Light “em Up Lounge. Special Guest Panelists include:

  • Alan Rubin, President and Founder of Alec Bradley Cigars

  • Luciano Meirelles, Co-Founder of ACE Prime & Tabacalera Pichardo

  • Cynthia Fuente Suarez, Vice President of The Fuente Companies


3:00PM—3:30PM EDT Keynote Address: 

  • Keynote Address by the Ambassador to the United States Sonia Guzmán Klang of the Dominican Republic

  • Keynote Address by the Ambassador to the United States Luis Fernando Suazo Barahona of Honduras

3:30PM—3:45PM EDT Closing Remarks:

  • Closing Remarks by Joshua Habursky, Head of Government Affairs, Premium Cigar Association; Reinhard Pohorec, Light “em Up Lounge

Note: Keynote Address will broadcast for the first time as recorded video and panel sessions will be broadcast live. If viewers have questions for the panelists, please post on the PCA or Light em Up Lounge Facebook or YouTube channels. 

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