Villiger Cigars said yesterday that Hector J. Pires (pictured, right) had been promoted to national sales manager for Villiger Cigars North America, with immediate effect.

Pires was previously south eastern territory manager, a position now filled by new-hire Roger Peña.

Pires, who was born and educated in Caracas, Venezuela, holds a degree in international trade. After rising through the ranks of his family’s restaurant group in Caracas, he moved to Miami to open a restaurant serving international cuisine, which he ran for 10 years.

At this point, he decided to sell the restaurant and follow his passion for tobacco, which had been with him since his early 20s.

“Hector has been a great asset to Villiger Cigars over the past year-and-a-half, and has proven that he can be an effective leader for our sales staff,” said Rene Castañeda (pictured, left), president of Villiger North America. “I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to spread the Villager message to our retailers and consumers.”

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