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Cigarette Racing Names New President

Cigarette Racing Team Kurt Bender
Kurt Bender has been announced as the new President of Cigarette Racing Team

Longstanding industry veteran Kurt Bender has been named the new president of Cigarette Racing Team.

The announcement marks another in a series of bold moves by the high-performance manufacturer. After being purchased by Miami-based entrepreneur John H. Ruiz and Lionheart Capital in May 2021, the company has quickly added new products to their lineup, including the all-new 52' Thunder in June 2023 and the addition of the Sunseeker Yachts portfolio in April of this year.

The company has also indicated plans for a 130-foot high-performance superyacht and the addition of electric PWC's.

“Kurt has been a critical part of our leadership and has been one of the leading drivers of the successful growth of our vision. Cigarette has never had better commitment to quality, performance and customer service,” said Alex Ruiz, Cigarette Racing CEO, said in a press release.

“We are very excited to announce Kurt as our President and together we will continue to keep the Cigarette promise to our clients, partners, and fans across the globe.”

With the addition of Bender, who has spent the last three decades with the company in a manufacturing refinement role, his extensive resume undoubtedly adds to the company's legacy. Previous to Cigarette, Bender worked for GG Schmitt & Sons and Viking Yacht Company where he held titles including president, executive vice president, VP of operations, and director of engineering. He is also a member of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the American Boat & Yacht Council.

"We plan on utilizing industry leading technology with the highest quality vendors and dealer partnerships to deliver Cigarette Racing's line of performance and luxury boats worldwide. The future at Cigarette Racing is bright," said Bender in a statement.

As president, Bender will oversee all now oversee production, supply-chain management, quality control and workforce development. Since the move, he has already brought on Seth Holl, who will take on the title of general manager. Holl brings nearly 20 years of experience in the marine industry.

He also brought in Ernesto Martinez as Cigarette’s materials manager who brings more than 17 years of procurement and materials management to the company.

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