Monday, January 10, 2011





MIAMI, FL – January 10th 2011 - Studio Tobac today announced the members of it’s Executive Board. The Executive Board are the leaders of Studio Tobac and all decision making must be approved by the this board.

The Chairman of the Executive Board is Oliva Cigar CEO Jose R. Oliva. Oliva commented “I’m thrilled with the talent we have on our E-Board. The members of this board have time and again proven that they are among the most knowledgeable, creative, and visionary people in our industry. I’m expecting a lot out of this board but I know they will exceed even my high expectations.”

The Studio Tobac Executive Board is comprised of:

Dave Wagner- Proud Army veteran and cigar smoker for over 20 years. Dave states“I am the luckiest man in the world in that my family, passion, and career, are all extremely supportive of each other.  The premium cigar industry is built on heritage, relationships, hard work, and pride. These factors drive and inspire me daily.”  He continues “Working with the Oliva family has given me the opportunity to do what I love with people who share the same passion for premium handmade cigars.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Dave Wagner was one of Oliva’s “Original Five” Sales Representatives when Oliva started their in-house sales force in 2005.  In 2007 he moved from Regional Representative to National Sales Manager of the greatest cigar sales force in the industry.  In 2010 Dave was again promoted to Vice President Of Sales. He is most proud to be a part of the Oliva family, Studio Tobac, and both their incredible successes in the premium cigar industry.

Cory Bappert- A St.Louis, MO native, began smoking cigars in his late teens while going on fishing trips with his uncle in Missouri. It quickly became a passion that he brought with him when hired in 2002 with an online cigar retailer based in Chicago. In 2005, Cory became Oliva Cigar’s first sales representative for the upper Midwest. Bappert quickly rose through the ranks; earning accolades such as Salesman of the Year and the “Oliva Familia” award (for outstanding service). As Senior Account Executive, he currently handles Oliva’s national accounts as well as in store promotional programs. He was heavily involved in the creation of Cain as well as upcoming Studio Tobac projects.

Fadi Kerio- Fadi joined the Oliva family in September of 2005 as one of the first five sales representatives covering The West Coast. Recently, Fadi accepted a new position based in Miami as an Oliva account manager. Fadi has been around the cigar industry for 18 years experiencing the changes and challenges to stay on top. His previous background is in the jewelry business, particularly in designing and product development to suit the fashion industry.
Fadi says “I am honored to be a board mem ber of the innovative Studio Tobac, a team responsible for making the smoking experience for our fans more special, different and exciting.”

John Gazerro- John began smoking premium cigars in 1990 while still a student.  He is a 1992 graduate  (BA in Political Science) from Providence College.  John’s professional career began as an undergrad when he became a College Marketing Representative for CBS Records/Sony Music Distribution.  After graduating, John became a Field Marketing Representative for Sony Music and had the privilege of working with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others.  After the record business, John transitioned to broadcasting and was a marketing/promotions director for various radio stations in Providence RI, Greensboro NC, Boston MA, and New York City.  John’s first step in the cigar industry came in 2004 by doing freelance promotional work for The Oliva Family of Cigars.  In 2005, John became the Northeast Representative for Drew Estate Cigars.  2007 saw John return to Oliva Cigar as their Account Executive in New England.  In 2010 he was promoted to Regional Manager covering the East Coast from Maine down through The Carolinas. John presently lives in Providence with his girlfriend.  John has no hobbies worth listing here; except, of course, smoking really good cigars.

Ian Hummel- In January of 2008, Ian was hired as Oliva Cigar’s 10th Sales Representative and started his career covering the states of Michigan and Indiana. In mid-year 2009, Oliva expanded their sales force and Ian switched territories to take over Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Southern Indiana. Ian was recently named Oliva’s “Salesman Of The Year” for 2010 and he was subsequently promoted to Mid-West Regional Manager. He has always been extremely interested in new product development and in the process of bringing new products to market. This side of the business has intrigued him to get more involved in every aspect of the process - from starting out with an idea, building upon it, and eventually seeing it come to life in the market place. Recently, Ian was asked to be a member of the Executive Board for Studio Tobac and he is excited to be a part of something that he is passionate about in so many ways. Ian states “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work so closely with the greatest family in the cigar industry.”

Brian Shapiro- Brian has been around the cigar business almost his entire life. His grandfather, Morris opened Shapiro’s Smoke Shop in New York City in 1932. His father Ron Shapiro took over the family business in 1960 and is still a partner in the family retail store The Cigar Factory Outlet in Norwalk, Connecticut which is also an Oliva Store and Lounge. Brian joined the Oliva Family after a chance meeting with Jose Oliva in 2004. He began the first year by assembling the first in-house U.S. Sales Force, which has now grown to 19 strong.  Brian started moving Oliva into International markets in 2005 exporting cigars into The Netherlands. In 2010 as International Sales Manager, Brian, along with a great international team expanded Oliva exports into nearly 30 countries with a main European office and distribution center in Sliedrecht, Holland. Recently Brian and Jose Oliva celebrated the opening of the 2nd European Oliva Cigar Lounge in Berlin,Germany. The first lounge opened in Den Bosch, Holland nearly 2 years ago. More lounges are planned this coming year in Zurich and Basel Switzerland, Moscow Russia and London, England. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife Gail and his sons Aaron and Eric.

Bryan “The Show” Scholle - Bryan has been enjoying fine cigars since 2006, which started as an occasional hobby but quickly formed into a very strong passion. Bryan started with Oliva family in February 2010 as an account executive covering the West Florida Territory. Bryan began his sales career for Coca-cola, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. He was inducted into the Top Performers Club in 2004 for being Salesman of the year for Florida. Then in 2008 Bryan followed his passion and went to work for Tampa based cigar shop Tampa Humidor, which also has one of two Oliva Lounges in the USA. Bryan’s passion and knowledge for cigars grew exponentially while at Tampa Humidor. Bryan grew up with a very supportive family and group of friends that always told him to “aim for the stars.” With this support he has been able to accomplish many great things in his short life. Bryan is currently the Studio Ambassador for Studio Tobac, in charge of The Studio’s day-to-day operations and promotions. “I can’t wait to get on the road and start doing Studio Tobac promotions” says Scholle. “I want to deliver Studio Tobac’s message to as many cigar smokers as I can.”

Sasja Van Horssen - Sasja’s company is the importer and distributor for all Oliva Cigars in The Netherlands. “It’s important that Studio Tobac be a truly international organization” says Oliva International Sales Manager Brian Shapiro. ”Sasja’s input is more than welcome so we can shape our ideas not only for The United States; but also for Europe, The Far East, and the many other countries where Oliva Cigars are sold.”

Studio Tobac is the research and design group within The Oliva Family Of Cigars. Studio Tobac’s goal is to provide excitement and innovation to premium cigar smokers worldwide.
All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


For more information please go to:

Or contact:
John Gazerro
Oliva Family Of Cigars

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