At a young age, I caught the travel bug, visiting 14 countries by the age of 25. In order to fund my travels I would work three jobs through the year and travel in the summer. It was at this time that I was offered an interview for a job in a cigar shop. During this interview the owner of the shop did his best to discourage me from pursuing the position. I wasn't the ideal candidate in his opinion. To prove myself, I offered to take two days off from my three jobs and work for him for free. At that time, knowing nothing about the cigar business, I made him the promise that I would help him grow his company.
Those two days turned into nearly seven years. During those years I became the General Manager of what grew from two retail stores to five. In addition to managing all day to day operations of the retail and wholesale businesses, my responsibilities included working with various cigar factories in developing and importing proprietary cigars. This allowed me the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic. I went on to build an online retail presence which grew into a multimillion-dollar endeavor on its own.
Leaving the cigar business, I moved into the wine and spirits industry. For several years I worked for distributors and brokers in sales and marketing capacities. Most recently, I was fortunate to become part of a small team tasked with creating an entirely new wine company. Our wines gained national distribution and received several medals and accolades, including a 90pt rating in Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
In 2017, I set myself on the path to creating what is now Ultimo LLC, Oklahoma's only licensed manufacturer of premium handcrafted cigars. Ultimo is the culmination of nearly 20 years of experiences, hence the name Ultimo. In spanish "ultimo" can mean "last", or it can also me "ultimate". I like to think that after all these years this is the ultimate culmination of my experiences, allowing me to build something for myself, at last!
I greatly appreciate your interest and support for Ultimo, for my passion and my unfinished story.
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