Rick Ardito has officially joined Foundation Cigar Company as Brand Manager, for the highly anticipated July 2016 release of Nick Melillo’s exciting new brand, “The Upsetters.” Ardito brings a wealth of knowledge and valuable experience to the project backed by nearly two decades of industry experience beginning with Drew Estate in 1997, retiring in 2010 as both a Partner and Executive Vice President of Public Relations. Ardito also served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for 7-20-4 Cigar Company from 2012-2015. Prior to the cigar industry Ardito served 8 years as a Cryptologist for the United States Marine Corps. Upon leaving the Corps Ardito began a career in comedy performing mainly from NYC to Miami Florida, residing in both cities during the 1980’s and 1990’s, moving back to his home state of CT in 1995 becoming a successful Restaurateur in New Haven.
“I’ve garnered invaluable experience directing and managing sales for Drew Estate during the companies’ first ten years and look forward to integrating this expertise into The Upsetter’s brand and the brand’s distribution arrangement with Miami. My philosophy has never changed and focuses primarily upon ensuring that I’m doing my part to insert excitement and positive regard into the equation. The Upsetters is a highly unique product and I’m certain it will grow legs quickly. I am committed to ensuring that, beginning with Jason Wood, and on down through the Miami sales staff, that I am supremely present and ready to serve the team. Above all I am committed to ensuring that everyone involved is having fun, because if ‘fun’ is ever present, then so will ongoing sales.” Rick Ardito.
“I first met Rick while working at the Calabash Shoppee in 1997 and we instantly became friends.” Says Nicholas Melillo, President of Foundation Cigar Co. “I am beyond excited to have Rick on board and leading The Upsetters with Miami Cigar Company. Rick brings an amazing energy and work ethic which makes him a perfect addition to the Foundation team.”
A practicing Metaphysician, Rick has recently completed a memoir, which is set for publication in October 2017. “I am exceedingly excited to come on board and work with Nick, who I’ve considered a full blown tobacco genius since first meeting him in 1997, and Dave Sather, who’s authenticity as a person and a professional rivals that of Nick’s.” The exotic nature of the Nick’s visionary-enhanced Upsetters brand is right up my alley and my expectations for the brands complete success are very high.