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Top Management Changes at Tobacco Associates

Kirk Wayne's Retirement Announcement

Kirk Wayne

By Allen Wooten, Chairman, Tobacco Associates, Inc.

After 47 years of service, including 38 years as president, Kirk Wayne announced his retirement effective March 31, 2017.  Under Kirk’s leadership, Tobacco Associates advanced from an information source organization into a dynamic and unique organization providing education, US Leaf Grade Standards instruction, and assistance in product development techniques to utilize the special quality attributes of US produced tobacco.  The programs have benefited hundreds of cigarette manufacturing officials by assisting in the development of new successful products and have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in increased export sales of US leaf.

Instrumental in the success of Tobacco Associates’ programs has been Hank Mozingo’s 27 years of dedicated service.  In addition to Hank’s many duties, he has directed the organization’s international operations, assembled and managed a team of renowned consultants, and secured laboratory facilities necessary to provide highly sophisticated technical assistance for developing successful tobacco products utilizing the unique qualities of US leaf.

Following Kirk’s announcement of retirement, the Board of Directors elected Hank Mozingo president of Tobacco Associates, Inc.

Please join me in wishing Kirk the best in his retirement and success to Hank as he assumes his new leadership responsibilities.



Hank Mozingo Elected President

Hank Mozingo

By Allen Wooten and Kirk Wayne

Hank Mozingo is no stranger to tobacco or the tobacco culture.  Growing up, his maternal grandparents leased their tobacco quota and his paternal grandparents raised tobacco as tenant farmers, both in Greene County, NC.  Hank’s father, Roger, worked for the NC Cooperative Extension Service, NC Department of Agriculture, Tobacco Associates, The Tobacco Institute and ended his career as vice president of State Government Relations at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.  His family still owes farmland near Snow Hill, NC where 125 acres of tobacco is grown.

Hank helped defray his college expenses by working with US Tobacco Company as a part-time retail representative.  When he graduated from college in 1989, he took four months off to play rugby in Wales.  That was Hank’s first experience with overseas travel and little did he know then, that would become his future.  Upon returning from Wales, he applied for a job with Tobacco Associates. After passing the initial interviews, TA asked him to join our vice president and TA’s technical consultants on a trip to Korea as part of the final hiring process.  He passed easily and in September of 1990, TA offered him the position of assistant to the vice president.  A little over a year later, the vice president left TA to work for another company and Hank was called upon to assume much of his responsibilities.  At the young age of 24, we gave Hank the important and challenging responsibility of managing and supervising our technical consultant teams, TA’s product development laboratory, and our ongoing product development projects in Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.  Working with our technical consultants (30-40 years his senior) as team leader and representing them and us in meetings with top executives of the multinational manufacturers we worked with was a great challenge for anyone, especially at that age.  In 1994, as he grew into his role, Hank was promoted to director of international operations and given the responsibility of developing and managing all of TA’s international market development programs and promotions.  In 1996, the Board elected Hank vice president, which added to his overall responsibilities that he maintains today.

Hank will be the first to tell you that it was very challenging during his early years earning the respect, trust, and camaraderie of his colleagues and our international partners while learning the particulars of international business travel, technical product design, and development and team management.  Since his hiring, we have called on Hank to play a major role in our international activities and I’m sure, as he assumes more of the domestic responsibilities of the organization, he will continue to adapt and excel as he always has in his career.  Throughout his time with TA, Hank has established contacts and formed personal relationships with numerous officials representing manufacturers, suppliers, leaf organizations, trade groups, etc., around the world.

Hank has effectively accomplished a great deal during his career with TA. To highlight… Hank lead the development of new brands in Turkey, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Hungary, Israel, Philippines, and multiple brands in Vietnam that resulted in new customers of US leaf.  He secured laboratory space at a major multinational cigarette company giving us access to highly sophisticated product fabrication, testing and analytical services.  He retained the services of an outside marketing firm that greatly expanded our technical assistance capabilities to include expertise in brand name and package design, in-country market research, marketing plan development and brand promotion.  He guided the development and detailed implementation of Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation’s first consumer-oriented “relationship marketing” program.  Hank feels his biggest accomplishment has been the manner in which he and his co-workers have conducted themselves personally and professionally, upholding the excellent reputation and perception of our organization.

Former president Kirk Wayne adds, "After serving as the president of TA for 38 years and working with Hank for more than half of my career, I can’t think of anyone more qualified and proven as Hank to assume the role of president.  I expect, for those in the industry who will get to know him better over time, you will come to appreciate his quiet and humble demeanor as he has spent his entire career traveling and doing all we have requested of him for the benefit of our growers and our organization.  He has sacrificed a great deal, being away from family and friends for extended periods of time, to be where he is today.  I ask you to welcome Hank as TA’s new president and give him all the support that has been given me throughout my time at Tobacco Associates."

Hank now resides in Clemmons, NC, with his wife of 17 years, Leslie, and their two children, daughter Shelby (16) and son Jarrett (14).