After a career spanning more than 20 years at General Cigar Co., Rick Rodriguez, blender and CAD brand ambassador, is retiring at the end of April. He is 62 years old.
Rodriguez joined General in January 2000 as a sales representative when the company was still owned by Culbro Corp. by Edgar M. Cullman. Menendez, Daniel Núñez and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo.
The training led him to Team La Gloria in 2008, the group of mixers behind General’s La Gloria Cubana brand.
When General acquired CAO in 2009, Rodriguez stepped into the role of blender and brand ambassador for all CAO lines. For the past 13 years he has been inextricably linked with CAO, working alongside the team in Nicaragua where the CAOs are produced. His concepts for CAD have included Amazon Basin, the Arcana series, CAD Bones, and CAD Flathead, a downright pressed smoke that has been named cigar lover Cigar n°3 of 2015, for size V660 Carb.
“This job has been a dream come true for me and a lot of it feels like fate. From the moment Edgar Cullman Sr. offered me to study with the company’s cigar masters, I knew how lucky I was,” Rodriguez said. “When I write the story of my life, and maybe now I will, my time in the cigar industry will be a big part of that story.”
His last day with the company will be April 29.
General Cigar Co. is owned by parent company Scandinavian Tobacco Group, based in Denmark.