Meet Team Stogie Fresh
David "Doc" Diaz: Owner, Editor, Contributing Author, Reviewer/Rater and Site-designer.
I started this website in April of 2005. At that time, I was concerned that there was not enough comprehensive, accurate cigar information on the internet. Some sites had good information but were boring, some had text, but no photos, and others had simply bad information throughout. As an educator, researcher, writer and cigar smoker, I thought I could contribute something to add to the industry. What has evolved has been a site that is well-researched, well-written and comprehensive. AND, growing every day!
The creation of this website has grown from my passion for collecting, storing and aging fine cigars. The addition of other members of "Team Stogie Fresh" has exponentially improved our content and our ability to educate the cigar community. I hope that what you read in these pages will inspire you to listen, read, and learn more about our mutual cigar hobby. I also hope that if you see something missing in the Stogie Fresh publications, that you will email me and let me know. I am eager to make Stogie Fresh your one-stop-shop for cigar information. Email Doc
Blake Oliver: Contributing Author, Reviewer/Rater.
I’ve always had a fondness for pipes and cigars. I presume that I inherited it from my father and grandfather, both were pipe and cigar smokers. I was so drawn to it that I started at an early age, with some not so great results. My first cigar was a Dutch Masters Panatela, after which I got grounded for a week. Not so much for my choice in cigars, but more for being 13 years old. My tastes have improved with age. Later, after high school, I took a job working in a cigar store to help pay for college and train for my primary vocation. For the time, it was a privilege to sample different, albeit expensive, cigars for my customers. Unfortunately, I had taken a long hiatus from cigars until a few years ago.
It is truly amazing to discover all the avenues in cigar making. Like a fine wine, malt scotch, or bourbon, they pass through different stages and many hands before they are a finished product. It is my desire here at Stogie Fresh, to pass on opinions and lessons learned on the art of aging cigars. I hope you have as much fun reading and learning as I do from the experience. Email Blake.
Eddie DeJong-Vanderburgh, President of Vanderburgh & Co.
I have a deep passion for creating with nature's most intriguing artwork. I find this art in stone, leather, wood and metal. I love the synergy of aircraft aluminum and fine hardwood. The symphony that comes from blending old world techniques and precise machining. Form and function. The classic and the modern. The traditional and the contemporary. Through these contrasts surface beautiful refined creations of uncommon quality.
I am an artist, a dreamer and an industrial designer. Furthermore I am a lover of cigars, wine and fine beer. I hope you enjoy our contributions to StogieFresh on the science of preserving your fine cigars. Email Eddie.
About Vanderburgh & Co.
Vanderburgh & Co was conceived with the concept of building fine and artistic hardwood humidors. Unlike nearly all other humidor brands, a Vanderburgh is built with solid wood and with traditional craftsmanship. Today our humidors can be found in many homes all over the world.
Vanderburgh & Co now has expanded to create fine products for the individual with refined and classic tastes. For the Cigar Smoker who takes pride in his passion. For the Classic Man who chooses to enjoy something fine but not overpriced. For the Confident Woman who knows exactly what she wants. We invite you to enjoy our website at www.VanderburghHumidors.com, or feel free to contact me here.
Skip "Chief Hava" Martin, Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC
I am a retailer. I am a manufacturer. I am a brand owner. I am a blogger. I am a member of the new media cigar community. I am a cigar smoker and proud member of the Brotherhood of the Leaf. I’ve been very fortunate to have had experience in almost every sector of the premium cigar industry. I was raised within a circle of men, in a cloud of cigar smoke. As soon as I became a man myself, I began fostering and nurturing my own passion for premium cigars. One of the few things I find more fulfilling than my ongoing education in this industry, is having the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with others as those who have come before me have generously shared their knowledge with me.
In 2006, I established Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC and opened the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge in Galveston, Texas. After my retail store was lost during Hurricane Ike in 2008, I shifted my focus up the supply-chain to the process of selecting and blending tobaccos. In 2009, in a joint venture with Michael Rosales’ of Adrians Costa Rican Imports, I built a small factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and began manufacturing premium cigars. In 2010, I launched Hava Cigar Online, a direct-to-consumer retail outlet for cigars rolled in/by our Nicaraguan and Costa Rican factories.
I publish the Smoke Signals blog, maintain an active new media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and have been a contributing member of Team Stogie Fresh since 2009.
Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC selects and purchases tobacco, blends, manufacturers, imports and retails the following premium cigar brands: CroMagnon, CroMagnon Aquitaine and Intemperance and operates http://www.havacigarshop.com and http://havacigar.blogspot.com
Other Significant Team Stogie Fresh Contributors (in alphabetical order)
José Blanco, formerly the National Sales Director of La Aurora Cigars, is currently serving as Senior Vice President of Joya de Nicaragua, S.A. He is a man who has a rich cigar legacy and who has an unsurpassed passion for cigars. José served as an expert consultant on several Stogie Fresh articles.
George Edmonson is a cigar enthusiast and retired journalist living in Tarpon Springs, Fla., who also writes for The Stogie Guys.
Rob Gray, Ph.D., is an educator, researcher and writer. Rob conducts research in Human Factors Psychology at University of Birmingham, England.
Tony Hyman, E.D., is founder of the National Cigar Museum. Over more than 56 years, Tony has purchased, sold, traded, photographed and catalogued around 100,000 cigars boxes from every period in cigar history and from many different countries. He has collected cigar accoutrements, memorabilia and historical documents and is one of America’s foremost authorities on cigar history pre-1960.
Hendrik Kelner Jr. is part of the management team at Davidoff. They operate several factories in the Dominican Republic including those that manufacture Davidoff, Avo and The Griffin's, and many other cigars. Hendrik has spent most of his life in the tobacco industry and is an expert in tobacco and cigar science from seed to production.
Ben Rapaport is considered a leading authority on smoking antiques. He has published six highly regarded books on tobacciana and, in 1985, he was designated the U.S. founding member of the Académie Internationale de la Pipe, inducted into the Confrérie des Maîtres-Pipiers de Saint-Claude in 1989, and received the prestigious Doctor of Pipes award from the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club in 2004.
Terry Simpson, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a physician - surgeon, writer, and avid cigar smoker.
Walt White is one of the cofounders of the Stogie Review, a premiere cigar review blog. He can be found on any number of online cigar forums and is constantly pushing the limits of web technology.