Cigar News: PCA Announces New Advocacy Initiative

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[Washington, DC, Feb 8, 2022] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) announced today the development and release of its new strategic advocacy plan known as Vision 50: A Decade of Action. The plan focuses on a proactive approach to spearhead policy and legislative advocacy to benefit specialty tobacco retailing and will be synced with the association’s efforts to bolster state associations and retail membership.

“We have been playing defense and only defense for a while now and we have been very successful in keeping tax increases and bans at bay,” said PCA Executive Director Scott Pearce. “Now, after building a very strong and capable advocacy foundation, we are going on the offensive, to proactively work across all realms of advocacy to score policy wins for our members,” Pearce said.

To help facilitate the creation, implementation, and execution of Vision 50, the PCA has reorganized staff to maximize resources and streamline processes while facilitating better staff collaboration. Joshua Habursky has been promoted to Deputy Executive Director, where he will continue as the chief lobbyist for the association overseeing government affairs, but will have added responsibilities in external affairs, corporate relations, fundraising, coalition/stakeholder outreach, and research. PCA’s Director of State Affairs Glynn Loope will now oversee retail membership relations and development working in concert with Erin Holland, PCA’s Director of Membership, Marketing, and Communications.

“Joshua is a terrific asset for PCA and the industry. He is passionate and dedicated and will enthusiastically fulfill his new role. I am looking forward to working with Josh to execute major initiatives and positive changes for the association driven by the needs of our membership and volunteer leadership,” said Pearce.

In the coming weeks, PCA will be releasing additional information on Vision 50, state association resources, membership surveys, and other materials related to the strategic advocacy planning process.

Below you will find the preamble and purpose of Vision 50.

Preamble:

Vision 50: A Decade of Action
The Premium Cigar Association’s (PCA) “Vision 50: A Decade of Action” is a bold new strategy to advance and improve the political landscape for premium tobacconists. Under PCA’s new mission of growing the business of specialty tobacco retailing, this plan seeks to advance positive legislation and policy across the entire country, across all 50 state Capitols and all the way up to Capitol Hill.

As we have battled back against the FDA and achieved victories through both lawsuits and a coordinated advocacy effort that included retailers, manufacturers, and industry allies, we have built an award-winning government affairs and advocacy program. With this foundation, we are embarking on an ambitious decade of action to positively impact the retail business environment for our members. These actions include, but are not limited to, tax caps, tax reductions, cigar bar legislation, and other policies that will allow the industry grow, innovate, and operate under conditions free from government overreach.

Our Vision 50 implementation and execution will include coalition building with stakeholders across the industry as well as building strong relationships with external industries that impact retailing. PCA will continue to protect and defend the industry from the onslaught of attacks by legislators and regulators wishing to restrict the ability for small specialty retail businesses and manufacturers from selling legal products to legal adults. This unwavering advocacy on behalf of the industry will continue and these efforts will remain constant. However, PCA intends to move forward and advance the interests of the industry through this bold new strategy.

The association will embark on a three-month fact-finding mission to identify the priorities of its membership, state associations, and allies seeking to coalesce around a common set of goals that are achievable over the next decade. Throughout this process PCA staff and board members will seek input from cross-sections of the industry through surveys, in-person store visits, town halls, focus groups, and one on one conversations. Vision 50 is not only a present-day battle plan, but a strategic vision for the future of the industry that is sustainable and can be implemented in evolving political environments. This process will be candid, and members are encouraged to give honest opinions and feedback on the most pressing public policy initiatives facing their businesses at both the state and federal levels.

Your participation, input, time, talent, experience, and intellect will be necessary to advance specialty tobacco retailing. Since its inception, RTDA was formed to collectively bring the industry together. PCA continues that tradition in the advocacy space and beyond. Following the initial phase, the PCA will release the tools, resources, and structure that will serve as the roadmap for action over the next decade. The roadmap and findings of this research endeavor will be unveiled at the 2022 PCA Annual Meeting & Trade Show. Shortly after, Vision 50 will be finalized, and the decade of action will begin with you.

Cigar News: PCA Announces New Advocacy Initiative
Aaron LoomisCigar News: PCA Announces New Advocacy Initiative

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