In a ceremony that took place in Havana on Friday night (3rd March), the Habanos Man of the Year in the communications category was named as Gordon Mott, a 27-year veteran of M. Shanken Communications Inc., the publisher of Cigar Aficionado magazine.
Mott accepted the trophy, Cuban cigar in hand, in front of some 1,200 cigar retailers, distributors, executives and aficionados from around the world. Habanos S.A. co-presidents Luis Sánchez-Harguindey Pardo de Vera and Inocente Núñez announced him as the winner at the PabExpo Convention Hall in Havana.
Mott was formerly the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado, and was there at the beginning, acting as an assistant to editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken on creating the magazine. He also follows in Shanken’s footsteps, who was the first person to be named Habanos Man of the Year in 1995.
Mott ran Cigar Aficionado from its humble beginnings in autumn 1992 until 2014, when he moved to Mexico and took on the new role of senior contributing editor. He has travelled to Cuba more than 20 times, covering the island for the magazine. His work reviewing Cuba’s top hotels, restaurants and music clubs for the cover stories on Havana published by the magazine between December 2011 and June 2015 has been among the more popular features published in the magazine’s recent history.
Speaking of his award, Mott said the following: “I’m deeply honoured to have won this award, and to join some of the greatest men in the cigar business who have received it before me. After 25 years reporting and writing about cigars, I know the special nature of the people in the industry, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
Habanos have three categories of Man of the Year at their festival; business, production and communications. The business award went to London retailer Edward Sahakian, the owner of the Davidoff shop on St. James Street for many years and is one of the world’s most experienced and learned tobacco retailers. Meanwhile, the production award was given to factory worker Josefa Acosta Ramos.