NATO Names Tobacco Veteran as Next Executive Director

David Spross comes to the association from Reynolds American Inc.
Logo for the National Association of Tobacco Outlets

MINNEAPOLIS — The board of directors of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) named David Spross executive director. He officially takes on the role Sept. 1.

With more than 23 years working in the tobacco industry, Spross brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. He most recently served as senior vice president of government relations and strategic engagement for Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc.

"NATO is the leading voice for retailers of tobacco and nicotine products, and I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead this organization into the next generation of education, engagement and advocacy. As our industry continues to evolve, I look forward to keeping retailers front and center on these important developments," Spross said.

NATO began a search for a new executive director when long-time leader Tom Briant announced his retirement in May. He helped found NATO 23 years ago and has grown the association to be a leading voice in the tobacco industry. Briant was a featured speaker on tobacco legislation and regulation at numerous industry events, including the Convenience Distribution Association's Convenience Distribution Marketplace and Tobacco Plus Expo, now known as Total Product Expo.

"We are excited for this next chapter at NATO under David's leadership, and we remain incredibly grateful to Tom Briant for founding NATO 23 years ago and for his leadership growing the association to be the premier advocacy organization for tobacco retailers," said NATO Board President Chris Beaulier.

NATO's mission is to enhance the business interests of retailers that sell tobacco and nicotine products, support the legislative and regulatory interest of its members, and encourage the expansion of the retail tobacco and nicotine market in a responsible manner. NATO currently has 66,000 members.