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Cigar Industry Vet Tony Barone Passes Away

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former Commonwealth-Altadis Inc. Vice President of Wholesale Trade Tony Barone passed away after a brief battle with cancer.

Barone retired from Commonwealth-Altadis in May 2013 after more than three decades in the cigar industry.

Born in Tampa's Ybor City — once known as the Cigar Capital of the World — Barone was the fourth generation of his family to work with cigars. He began his career in sales for BIC Corp.

"Tony used to call on me when I was [a buyer] at Revco Drugstores," recalled Rich Ivancic, an account and private label director for Altadis U.S.A.'s premium cigar division. "Little did I know that I would one day be working side by side and then directly for him on National Accounts with the company. He was the same person on both sides of the desk."

Ivancic pointed to character and trust as to why Barone was so successful in selling cigars. "If there were two companies wanting to partner with you, you could always feel comfortable working with Barone," he said. 

Barone's family will hold a life celebration Feb. 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Forest Lawn North in Pompano Beach, Fla.

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