Meet The Team

You're probably here because you want to know a little more about us. Well, here you go! We're here to serve your pipe, pipe tobacco and cigar needs, so here's who's providing that service. We're proud to have a sophisticated, professional and knowledgeable staff and we're here to help you in any way that we can (well, with things tobacco related, at least; our quantum physics skills are frequently found wanting and our plumbing skills are nonexistent).

Here you'll find a list of everyone who works for Smokingpipes.com and what we all do here. Poke around and get to know us a little bit. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at (888) 366 0345 or email us.

Management

Chief Executive OfficerSykes Wilford

Sykes founded Smokingpipes.com in 2000, while completing his undergraduate degree in history at Vanderbilt University. Some might today assume, like Athena was said to have sprung whole from the head of Zeus, that Sykes sprang wholly prepared upon the world of pipes. The truth, however, is that he didn't have any idea what he was getting into. Mostly. He had not then ever written a line of code, and he had no inkling as to how to run a business, even one that was just two guys and a small rented warehouse space in Tennessee. What he did have from his part-time job at a local tobacco shop was an inkling of the sort that in hindsight others would call insight: technology, particularly the World Wide Web, could revolutionize pipe and tobacco retail just as it was transforming so many other industries. Of equal importance was Sykes's growing interest in pipes as works of functional art that deserved critical discussion. This interest was good enough to get things started; the knowledge needed to run a successful business would develop over time as it does for most of us in our 20s: by doing with enthusiasm. So it was with enthusiasm and two convictions--that the pipe business needed technology and that pipes were serious and beautiful things--that Sykes laid the foundation for what Smokingpipes.com would eventually become. This trinity still largely defines his role in the company today where his primary responsibilities include overseeing finances, operations, and software development, as well as vendor relationships and sales, all things that he has learned a little about in the ensuing years. But even as time has carried on and the company has grown, Sykes is still never more passionate than when working directly with, or teaching others about, pipes.

Chief Operating OfficerTed Swearingen

Having studied art and poetry at CalArts in Valencia, California, Ted admits freely that his initial impulse to pick up a pipe had more to do with cultivating his pretentiousness as a blossoming young artist than it had to with his desire to smoke fine tobacco. Fastforward ten years and Ted's thoughts on pipes and tobacco are as sober as his critique of conceptual art. After years in a local rock band in Stockton, California, and six years with Starbucks Coffee, Ted came into the company as Sales Manager. Presently, as Chief Operating Officer, Ted supervises the various divisions that compose Laudisi Enterprises. This means he has a hand in Smokingpipes.com, Laudisi Distribution, Cornell & Diehl, our Marketing department, our Shipping department, and our IT department. He’s a pretty busy guy anymore.

Chief Financial OfficerLisa Mogel

If one were to idly wander through the Smokingpipes offices, your first impression of Lisa might simply be that of a quiet, diminutive, friendly lady sitting behind a contrastingly large desk. The reality is that she sits behind that large desk because she is the rock of Smokingpipes - while Sykes is brainstorming with John or Ted, or trotting off overseas to meet with pipemakers and work out some crazy deal, Lisa's the one making sure we have things like electricity, shelter, fresh coffee beans by the sack-full, and paychecks.

Originally from Reading, PA, Lisa relocated to South Carolina on account of her love of the beach, and ascended to her current senior position (rather literally) from being manager of our first-floor brick & mortar pipe and cigar shop, Low Country Pipe and Cigar.

Aside from her official duties as the Smokingpipes matriarch, Lisa also serves as our resident expert on all matter Disney-related, as evidenced by the hefty dream-vacation itinerary she provided Adam with when he took his wife to Disneyworld. (And which turned out, by all accounts indeed, to be a rousing success.)

Operations CoordinatorJessica Brady

Jessica was born in Pennsylvania and raised an Army Brat, but she's a Southern girl at heart, having lived on the Grand Strand for the last 20 years. After spending years as a Volunteer Firefighter and 911 Dispatcher, she decided to begin a new chapter working with Laudisi. Starting in merchandising then managing in distribution, before taking her current role as Operations Coordinator, Jessica works actively with people across all divisions of the company. She's extremely organized, which helps with all the hats she wears, but it's her positive attitude and smile that we love most. When she isn't hard at work, Jessica and her best friend/husband, TJ, enjoy camping with their two dogs, traveling, trying unique foods, and craft brews.

Operations ManagerMatthew Johnson

Matthew was born and raised in Connecticut, where he received his degree in English from Eastern Connecticut State University. Matthew worked for Big Y Supermarkets and Fed-Ex in a multitude of roles before moving to South Carolina in 2012. He has held several positions at Laudisi, including time in our shipping department and distribution group, as well as organizing the move to our new building in 2014. Matthew's role as Operations Manager has him coordinating the day-to-day efforts of our shipping department, housekeeping, and Cornell and Diehl, as well using his unique experience and decision making skills to improve efficiency all over the company. When not wrangling a myriad of projects for Laudisi, Matthew enjoys baseball, gardening, alternative rock, cult television shows and reading anything he can get his hands on. Weekends will find him working in the yard or watching a movie with his girlfriend and their herd of cats.

Vice Chairman, VP EmeritusAntonio Saintiague

After more than seven years of direct involvement in Laudisi Enterprises, and as VP of Sales for four years and GM of Smokingpipes.com for two years, Tony left at the end of 2009 to continue to pursue his education in Atlanta, GA. Tony managed day-to-day operations at Smokingpipes.com for two years, so we're constantly finding ourselves calling to ask questions, mostly beginning 'where the ____ is...'. He's also involved in strategic planning for the company, and joins us for major company events, such as the Chicago Pipe Show.

Operations

Compliance OfficerTracy Berry

Tracy and her husband Dave set out together to Myrtle Beach when they were both just nineteen and have made a pretty good run of it down here. Dave has owned and operated an income tax and accounting practice since 1994, which Tracy helps out with part-time. (She even ran her own mortgage broker firm from 2003 to 2009.) Her considerable experience in purchasing, accounting, and inventory control has quickly proven valuable here at Smokingpipes, where she thoroughly enjoys being able to utilize her skills—she also thoroughly enjoys our dressed-down environment. Tracy's passion for her work is evident; she's always eager to volunteer with new projects, and encourages Laudisi-spirit through every meeting and event. When they aren't busy with, well, business, Tracy and her husband enjoy getting out and back to nature, camping and hiking with their three children.

Senior ProgrammerGreg Marines

Greg has lived in the Myrtle Beach area since 1988—certainly long enough to be considered a native. With over 13 years of web development and programming experience, Greg's responsible for maintaining all six of our websites (woah!), as well as troubleshooting and developing the kind of real-time software solutions that makes our work possible. From mending code to adding new bits to existing software, Greg works closely with all of our divisions and departments, acting as both the client and the user to provide fixes that best fit everybody's needs. When Greg's not pulling all-nighters in front of his computer he helps his wife Cheryl with her beach wedding business.

Junior DeveloperJohn Sutherland

Originally from Mississippi, John found his way to South Carolina by way of his education—first receiving a bachelors in Fine Art/Photography from Delta State and then his masters at Clemson. John started out in our Marketing department, where he managed many responsibilities in photography and creative direction, but his love for programming (and occasionally breaking the site) just kept tugging at him. Currently, John is our our Junior Developer and spends his time doing everything from writing jQuery files to building database tools for other departments, to pretty much anything in between. John is a movie buff, a cat person, and a mediocre juggler. He also loves the taste of burnt cheese.

Network AdministratorMichael Flanigan

Originally from Langhorne, PA, Mike moved to Myrtle Beach to be closer to his parents. He was an Operations Specialist in the Navy, working with Tactical Data Systems and as a Tactical Air Controller. Having been deployed a number of times to the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, South America, and Baltic Sea, the wealth of knowledge gained from his experience and education in systems and network administration made him a natural fit for our Network Administrator position. Mike currently handles everything from fixing printers and PCs to maintaining "network administration stuff" (only Mike knows what that is). When he isn't on the job, Mike spends his time at the beach, playing video games, or with his family and parents.

New Project ManagerAlyson R. Wilford

Until mid-2011, Alyson was manager of the combined Merchandizing and Marketing departments. Since then, she's taken on a variety of management roles, including setting up our new recruiting and hiring processes in 2013. More recently, she's been involved in early-stage new project development. Although she has lived in the South since 2002 (leaving behind New Jersey), she refuses to eat grits or say "y'all," though she has developed a fondness for sweet tea and fried chicken. She is a self-diagnosed ailurophile, but we secretly think she's just building a cat army.

Operations AssistantJanice Haggie

After serving as a Sales Associate at our store, and then as our Shipping Supervisor in the warehouse for many years, Janice now puts all that experience to work as our Operations Assistant—a position which has her always on her toes with everything from processing customer orders, to coordinating large domestic and international shipments, to handling the dreaded expense reports. She and her husband came to the beach from the northern Chicago suburbs, preferring to experience snow through the magic of television.

Housekeeper/CourierStephanie Smyre

Originally from the mountains of North Carolina, Stephanie found her home here at the beach a few years back. A true people lover, she says she's never met a stranger and always has a smile on her face. Fortunately for us, Stephanie brings that same upbeat and friendly attitude to work everyday where she applies it to her duties as our Housekeeper-Courier, which include running back and forth between our store and offices, tidying and organizing workspaces, and picking up treats for parties (to name just a few of the many things she does for Smokingpipes.com). When she's not at work you can likely find her friendly smile at one of the Grand Strand's various yard sales or on her front porch with her husband and pets.

Smokingpipes.com Management

General ManagerJoshua Burgess

Born in Arley, Alabama (roll tide), Joshua came to South Carolina in 2005 to start graduate school. He taught for seven years while he earned his PhD in early American history. While writing lectures and a dissertation which focused on the religious and cultural history of colonial America, Joshua found pipes to be his constant companions. What free time he had he spent reading about pipes and tobacco and restoring estates that he picked up in antique stores. He came to us having taught on a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina, and with a background in wine sales. His interests include food and wine, cooking, reading and writing history, and a secret love of Victorian ghost stories, which are to be read by the light of an oil lamp and accompanied by a pipe, naturally.

Assistant ManagerBill Lloyd

Bill has been living in the Low Country for over a quarter century, which makes him the closest thing to a "local" that we have. Originally from Ohio, Bill has a Bachelor's degree in Business and over 16 years retail experience. He's a natural math whiz, and as Assistant Manager of Smokingpipes.com, Bill puts those skills to good use, handling all of our tobacco, cigars, and accessories purchasing, and tinkering with the processes that drive our Customer Service, Merchandising, and Estate Restoration teams. A frequent cigar smoker, Bill also owned a beachfront bar for four years. Bill's pride and joy are his wife, his two children and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Marketing

Marketing ManagerCalvin Miller

Calvin Miller, spending most of his time as a country boy of the Carolinas, came to us with 15 years of design and website knowledge. His passion for his work and the work of his team allows him to continually lead and inspire an extremely talented group of creators to stay ahead of marketing trends and produce content that both impresses and informs those that are as much in love with pipes and pipe tobacco as we all are. When he isn’t sitting behind two huge Mac monitors or going to and from meetings, he plays copious amounts of MineCraft and watches terribly low rated B-movie horror on Netflix while eating house special friend rice.

Lead Copywriter & Content SpecialistAndrew Wike

Originally from the foothills of North Carolina, Andy grew up on a tobacco farm where he watched his great grandfather cure and prime Virginias as a boy. Naturally, he soon developed a love for pipes and pipe tobacco. After taking up the hobby full-time during his undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill, Andy searched for a way to consolidate his love for pipes and his ambitions as a writer. Luckily his search led him across state lines to join us here at Smokingpipes.com.

As our lead copywriter & content specialist, Andy's known for wearing many hats, and also for juggling a variety of responsibilities. In addition to overseeing all the copy that goes on the site, Andy works as a liaison between marketing management and our writers to make sure it's all done well before deadlines. Given his appreciation for web design and tech in general, Andy's also responsible for coding up our newsletters and blogs, as well as researching, testing, and implementing cutting-edge marketing trends across a variety of platforms. Andy loves Spanish food, and since his return from Seville, Spain in 2012, has been tirelessly searching for jamón ibérico. When he’s not writing or coding, he enjoys gardening, tea sipping, coffee gulping, traveling, learning new languages, and watching his beard grow.

Senior CopywriterEric Squires

Eric's beginnings with Smokingpipes.com started in 2009 with data entry and quality control, where his appreciation for pipes grew and eventually merged with his creative writing talent. He has since written and edited vast tracts of content for both our website and newsletters, and helped show our younger copywriters the ropes when they've joined us. Eric is another member of our New Jersey faction (he "attended the same high school Lee Van Cleef dropped out of"), and is a fan of Latakia, Semois, strong cigars, and silence. In his own words, "Animals usually adore me, women with any sense of humor giggle school-girlishly at me, and men I grew up with still want to know what I could have possibly been thinking."

CopywriterDaniel Bumgardner

A native of the potent and unforgettable small town of Georgetown in rural South Carolina, Daniel earned his BA in Theatre from the University of South Carolina, where he cultivated passions for directing plays and producing music. In the naive pursuit of artistic independence, he chased one of those dreams to Washington, DC, where he worked as an Assistant Director for several productions at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, as well as a freelance director and sound designer. He draws from his experience in the realms of literature and history to describe a third of the over a thousand pipes that make it through our doors on a weekly basis, as well as writing and editing blog posts, newsletters, and all other forms of content that end up on our website. He continues to produce music for himself and others well into the wee hours of most mornings, usually accompanied by espresso over ice, a few smokes, and a pipe. Daniel has a fondness for Hip Hop and Future Bass, but will excitedly discuss most music and art related topics, preferably over coffee.

Photography Lead & VideographerPeter Kogler

Following in the Smokingpipes tradition of unorthodox career paths, Pete capped off a twenty-six year long run as a touring musician by earning a business degree focusing on marketing and graphic design—lending him a diverse range of skill-sets that make him an invaluable member of our marketing team. Pete serves as both Lead Photographer, where he oversees our Photography Department as they shoot and process well over a thousand pipes a week, and Videographer, where he shoots and edits all the 'white-glove' videos of higher-grade offerings, as well as our blog videos and other promotional media. That's not to say he's stopped playing music, though; along with boating and fishing, it still makes up a healthy chunk of his free time. And as a native of Buffalo, NY, Pete's furthermore added to our other great tradition: that of welcoming into our bosom those who have migrated (fled?) to the Myrtle Beach area from the Northeast.

PhotographerKelly Runyon

Kelly originally hails from Montgomery County, Maryland, and only relocated to South Carolina about a year previous to her joining the Smokingpipes team. Though she and her husband originally moved here to be closer to his grandparents, it's proven fortuitous for Kelly, who puts her keen eye to work photographing and processing hundreds of pipes a week. Moving to South Carolina was certainly an effortless transition for Kelly, someone who loves the color green (which we have plenty of), as well as wearing flip-flops—something she'll do as far into winter (which we have very little of) as she can. In her spare time, she enjoys just about all manner of music, thriller and horror novels and movies alike, cooking, and playing with and caring for her family dogs—all half-dozen of them.

Photo ProcessorKaysie Albecker

Another not-so-recent New Jersey transplant, Kaysie moved down to Myrtle Beach 18 years ago. Though her initial role at SPC as a Shipping & Receiving Associate offered her a unique view of the inner-workings of the company, it was her love of books, coffee, and the arts that made her a natural choice for our Marketing Department. As a Photo Editor, Kaysie draws from the experience she's accrued while pursuing her degree in digital arts, utilizing her skills for graphic design and composition, and making sure each of our photos looks as accurate and realistic as possible. In her spare time, you can likely find this Scorpio in the garden or making hand-crafted jewelry.

Social Media Specialist & Public Happy MakerAdam O'Neill

A survivor of the untamed bushland of rural Australia, Adam escaped for the safety of Sydney the day after he graduated high school—a date that happened to coincide with his eighteenth birthday. As so many young people do though, he fell in with a rough crowd. A sword wielding, armor wearing, pipe smoking gang of medieval-battle reenactors. Soon after he met his wife, Chana, he lost the armor but kept the pipe.

Shortly thereafter, Adam combined his love of the pipe with a new found passion, photography, which is how we found him and dragged him, kicking and screaming through customs, to South Carolina. We're glad we did, too: Adam began his career with us as a copywriter before making the transition to photography, and not long after that he combined the two roles to become our full-time Social Media Specialist.

Merchandizing

Pipe ManagerShane Ireland

Born and raised in San Diego, Shane and his wife, Lisette, plus their Beagle, Bubba (who is a good boy), relocated to South Carolina to join us at Smokingpipes. It was when we asked about his hobbies and he responded with "whiskey, tobacco, writing, moving across the country, and listing my hobbies," that we knew we would all get along just fine. Shane makes special use of his immense knowledge of pipes and pipe culture as our Pipe Manager—overseeing our Merchandising Department, liaising with pipe makers around the world, and hand-selecting a large portion of our inventory, all while spending roughly half the year on the road. He plays several instruments adequately, but maybe none masterfully, and loves the music of David Bowie, Ornette Coleman, and Rachmaninoff. His favorite foods include albacore, espresso, Laphroaig of any variety, McConnell's Scottish Flake, watermelon, rye (both marbled, and distilled), and soft-boiled quail eggs. But especially clam chowder. He proudly supports Chelsea Football Club, and Boba Fett is, hands down, his favorite bounty hunter.

Update SupervisorCyndy Smith

A native of Geneseo of western New York, Cyndy moved down to Georgia following college, working in the restaurant industry for several years before becoming a full-time mom to three (wonderful) children. Later on down the road she would make use of her acquired child-wrangling skills as a school bus driver, then, following that, as a customer service representative. Eventually she decided a change of scenery was in store, and, like so many with a similar urge, she chose South Carolina as her destination. As the SPC Update Supervisor, Cyndy makes good use of her maternal instincts, but doing a different kind of wrangling: namely, wrangling pipes for our biweekly updates, maintaining the organization of both our Pipe and Site libraries, and supervising our Merchandising Department.

Data Entry SpecialistVallin Williams

Born and raised in Longwood, NC, Vallin has got mad merchandising skills having started out in Shipping where he was able to touch hundreds and hundred of pipes as they were prepped to ship all over the world. As a Data Entry Specialist, Vallin performs Quality Control assessments on incoming inventory, inputs measurements for each specific piece, and works with Cyndy and Hadassah to maintain the organization of our ever-growing inventory. Vallin is certainly a kid at heart; he loves watching cartoons, playing video games, and working on cars—especially Hondas. Vallin's first day of work with Smokingpipes also happened to correspond with our monthly birthday and anniversary party. After meeting the entire crew at once, and getting to know us over sandwiches and cake, Vallin determined that he never wants to leave. And we're not ready for him to, either.

Data Entry SpecialistChana O'Neill

Chana's been a part of the Laudisi family since March of 2015, when she made the trek from Australia to meet her husband Adam here in the states. After a year of nagging, we finally got her to join the team full-time as one of our Shipping and Receiving Associates. More recently, she's made the move to our Merchandising team, where she physically handles a large portion of every pipe that comes in, being one of the few responsible for measuring and weighing out the pipes we sell so we can pass along to customers valuable information about them. Chana is an extremely loyal and wonderful person, but push her too far, and she might just give you a "light stabbing."

She's worked for 10 years in Public Relations, Event Management, and Marketing, is currently pursuing a degree in psychology, and has a strong background in photography — her work was even featured in an exhibition back home. Given her experience, she's our jack of all trades here at Laudisi. Whether it's assisting Cyndy with our updates, meticulously performing quality control assessments, helping Marketing with various tasks, or simply making us all laugh with her sharp wit and dark sense of humor, she's an invaluable member of the Laudisi family. When she's not at work, you can find her creating intricate dot-work drawings, cooking up fantastic turkey burgers, playing board games, and reading pretty much anything she can get her hands on.

Sales & Customer Service

Customer Service AssociateKaye Farinelli

Kaye comes to us from an extensive background in the customer service industry. Throughout her three decades of customer service experience, she served 13 years in the Air Force, worked within the restaurant and hospitality industry, and spent her last eight years as a customer service representative and sales coordinator for a newspaper company. This immense experience, coupled with her exuberant personality no doubt made her an excellent fit for the Customer Service team at SPC, where she spends her time helping out all of you: providing helpful assistance over the phone and online, processing orders, and just about anything you would need to fulfill your pipe and tobacco needs. Born in Virginia, Kaye moved to South Carolina in 1977. Basically, she'll do anything to be outside; yes, even yard work. And in what may be the greatest example of yin and yang, she owns both a poodle and a Harley.

Customer Service LiaisonMark Pluta

Comments? Questions? Straightforward, hardcore, no-nonsense customer service? Mark's your guy. His mission is to guarantee your experience with Smokingpipes.com is so good that you’ll want to have another experience with Smokingpipes.com. His genial manner and positive attitude are infectious around the office (which is a great change of pace in this era of bird and swine flu). Mark is yet another member of the New Jersey faction, but we don't hold that against him. Before Mark joined the Smokingpipes team, he worked in the trucking and logistics industry where he was a Safety Director. His hobbies include music, movies, spending time at the beach, friends and family.

Customer Service RepresentativeKeith Toney

Keith Toney was born in Marion in the western NC foothills. A life-long avid reader, he took up pipe smoking around 1990 when he was working as a historian/licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg NMP, thinking it fit the image, and to emulate two of his literary heroes: Mark Twain and Shelby Foote. While the pipe didn’t turn him into a literary giant, it did spur a passion for all things pipe related. By 1995, Keith was working for a tobacconist, and after over nine years at Cornell & Diehl, Inc., he brought his experience and expertise to our Customer Service team, where he shares his pipe and tobacco guidance with an array of customers (including some of us), provides helpful assistance over the phone or online, and processes customer's orders. Seriously, if there's anything you want to know about pipe tobacco, ask Keith. Keith is married and has two children and two grandchildren; when not spending time with them, he enjoys reading, exploring American history, playing golf, and watching UNC Tarheel sports.

Pipe SpecialistChip Kushner

Another Californian transplant, Chip Kushner drove here from San Diego with his two Wheaten Terriers, Zelda and Zero. Chip's journey into pipes began with the aid of dear friends Jeff Gracik of J. Alan Pipes and Neil Hunt of Captain Hunt Tobacco on San Diego Bay. His very first pipe tobacco experience was with Dunhill 965, and, fittingly enough, his first pipe was a 1960 Dunhill 120 Shell Briar. As his collection grew, so did his passion for all things pipe related, eventually founding the San Diego Pipe Club, where he met future coworker Shane Ireland. So if you're looking for that Holy Grail pipe, or if you just need a little assistance curating your collection, you pretty much need to be talking to Chip.

In his free time, Chip enjoys collecting everything from pipes, to animation art, to single malt scotch, to vinyl records and automatic Swiss watches. He also enjoys listening to music (Jazz, Blues, the American songbook, and classic rock are his favorites), attending pipe shows, and driving his 1988 BMW 325i convertible, weather permitting. Given his extremely social nature and knowledge of pipes and tobaccos, he's a natural fit for our Customer Service department, where he waits ready to help you find the right pipe and tobacco to fit your tastes—dressed to the nines in his best smoking attire, of course: a smoking jacket and a fez.

Customer Service AssociateMary Walters

A native Mississippian, Mary moved to the east coast to follow her dream job. Working with pipes on a daily basis is everything she's ever wanted, she tells us, and she looks forward to applying her wealth of knowledge about all things pipe and tobacco related to our Customer Service department, helping you all find the pipe and blend to best suit your own discerning tastes. As an active member of Gentleman's Pipe Smoking Society and best friends with pipe maker Trever Talbert, she was a natural fit for Smokingpipes.com, and she's already charmed and impressed us all with her wit, not to mention her love for Castellos.

When she's not wowing us at work, Mary enjoys drawing realistic portraits and children's book illustrations. She even wrote, illustrated, and published a children's book back home in Mississippi a few years ago. A world traveler, Mary's visited a range of countries and even worked as a French interpreter for some time. She's also a huge fan of all things Halloween — a hobby that's already seen her desk taken over by Jack O'Lanterns and creepy disembodied skulls (which we not only tolerate, but encourage).

Customer Service, JapanRyota Shimizu

Ryota is our man in Tokyo. He handles customer service for our Japanese customers, providing the same service in Japanese that we offer in English from our main offices in South Carolina. An avid pipe man, Ryota fell in love with pipes while attending Keio University in Tokyo. Since then, he's become involved in pipe clubs and shows in Japan. We first met him at the Chicago Pipe Show in 2011 and he joined the team at the beginning of 2012. A California native, Ryota relocated to Japan to attend college, and now resides there helping to bridge the gap between Smokingpipes.com and its Japanese customers and suppliers.

Representative Office ManagerAndrew Zhao

Andrew is a cheerful and honest person with strong communication skills. And with years of pipe smoking experience under his belt, as well as four years of fine arts study, and a few years of experience in the antiques business, he has a natural eye for pipe aesthetics and a firm knowledge of the market. He brings his knowledge and personality to our Smokingpipes.com Chinese Representative Office as Manager, overseeing the processing of orders, providing over-the-phone and online assistance, and always striving to better serve our Chinese customers. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the acoustic guitar and cooking.

Cust. Service- Representative OfficeEric Tan

Eric Tan was born and raised in China. He has two years of professional experience in the mobile internet industry with Blue Focus, which, together with his excellent manners and cool patience, makes him an undeniable asset to our Chinese Representative Office as a Customer Service Associate. He puts his manners (and maybe some of his patience) to good use at SPC, assisting customers online and over the phone, processing orders, translating and assembling our Chinese newsletter, and learning more about pipes and pipe tobacco by the day. Eric keeps an open mind to everything; experiencing new things is a great part of his life. In his time off, he loves watching movies and playing extreme sports with friends.

Estates

Estate ManagerAdam Davidson

Forgive the cliche', but Adam's passion for pipes definitely goes to 11. And you realize that when you ask him a question about pipe bits and his twenty minute answer doesn't include a comma or a breath. Adam's duties here include, but are not limited to, inspecting new and estate pipes for drilling, fit and finish, construction, and cosmetic issues, writing condition statements, and evaluating most of the estate pipes that end up at SPC. He also manages the entire restoration process, which means he spends a lot of time thinking about and then implementing exciting new ways to improve the cleaning of old pipes. Adam is also a celebrated pipe maker, creating and crafting some of our more sought after pipes. He is an industrial design graduate of Purdue University, and has designed pieces such as office products, furniture and cars. Adam's future in pipes was cemented when, as a young child, he refused to watch Frosty the Snowman because he couldn't fathom why a snowman with a magic hat would choose a corncob pipe over a patent sandblast.

Pipe RestorerRomeo Stan

Romeo has called some amazing cities home. Originally from Bucharest, Romania, he has also lived in Sélestat on the German border of France, St. Augustine, Ft. Knox, Anchorage, and Spartanburg, before settling here on the border of Coastal North and South Carolina. Romeo's hobby is not only pipe smoking, but also cleaning and restoring. As our one of our Pipe Restorers, Romeo breathes life back into so many of the estate pipes that come through our door. When he isn't at what he refers to as his dream job, or smoking a pipe, he enjoys taking his daughter, Georgiana, to Ocean Isle Beach for walks and star gazing. Good food is in their genes, he says: the two often cook traditional Romanian food together since nothing tastes better to him than the food he grew up with.

Pipe RestorerErick Eaton

Quite the Renaissance man, Erick came to Smokingpipes fresh off an eight-year stint as a ballet accompanist, after having lived everywhere from Washington to Florida. A talented pianist and composer, music will always hold an important place in his life, but for now he's decided to turn his attention to another one of his passions: pipes. As an integral member of our restoration team, Erick works alongside Romeo to restore estate pipes back to near their original condition. In his free time, he also enjoys baking, not watching TV, drinking gourmet coffee, and spending time at the beach.

Shipping

Shipping Assistant ManagerChris Formo

Though a South Carolina native, Chris Formo spent six years in Los Angeles pursuing a career in music. Seeking a change of pace, he moved back to Myrtle Beach eight years ago, where he eventually found his way to us here at Smokingpipes. As our Shipping Assistant Manager, Chris is a man of many hats on the floor every day to fill a variety of roles so that the entire department runs as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Chris is also our on-site pipe detective; if there's a missing pipe anywhere in the building, you can count on Chris to find it. Chris comes to us from an extensive background in the motorcycle industry, and in his spare time he enjoys football, motorcycles, playing his guitar, and a variety of music.

Operations AssistantAndrew Robison

After growing up in the dry, desert scrubland of San Diego, CA, Andrew desired a change of environment and a more relaxed lifestyle than the typical Californian rush. Lucky for us that change led Andrew here to Smokingpipes.com where he, together with the rest of our shipping department, follows your order from the time you place it all the way to the moment it arrives at your doorstep. He also helps keep track of the orders and packages which keep our offices in operation. When he's not at work you'll likely find him at the beach enjoying the warmer water of the Atlantic or indulging his interests in cheesy comedy films, spy thriller novels, world cultures, and WWII military aircraft.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateAaron Young

Yet another name on our long list of Northeast area expatriates, Aaron comes to us from Piscataway, NJ, and confesses to being a huge TV and movie buff, as well as a huge fanatic for football, and the Raiders in particular. He made the move down here for the Myrtle Beach area's warmer climes and has not regretted it. Seeming perpetually in good spirits, Aaron helps see to it that all your orders are pulled, filled, processed, and shipped out with efficiency.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateAmber Gager

Though born in Detroit, Michigan, Amber grew up in southeastern Ohio but moved down to South Carolina in May of 2016 with the love of her life to seek out better opportunities, while working hard towards accomplishing her goals. And whether it's pulling pipes for your order, packing them neatly and carefully in their respective boxes, or making sure everything leaves the warehouse in a timely fashion, Amber has done just that here at Laudisi as one of our Shipping & Receiving Associates. When she's not at work, she enjoys spending time with family, watching her Detroit Red Wings take to the ice, listening to a variety of music, or brushing up on her favorite comedies. She loves tattoos as well, having many herself — all unique, artistic pieces, and she's working on more. Amber also has a fondness for all things vintage, especially older muscle cars and 30s-50s era Americana.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateSteven Carter

Originally from Ohio, Steven is, naturally, a big fan of Ohio State. He moved to South Carolina in 1999 though, so he's more than adapted to the Myrtle Beach climate. Steven's an indiscriminate animal lover too; he's a friend to many and known for going out of his way to help critters in distress. As one of our Shipping and Receiving Associates, he's responsible for taking your online order all the way from your checkout page to the package that arrives at your door. In his time off he loves movies of most genres, gaming, and enjoying Rocky Patel Cigars.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateDavid McFadden

David and his wife moved to the Little River area from Charlotte, NC, where they lived for 14 years. He is originally from New London, Connecticut, and is a veteran of the US Army having served during the Gulf War. These days his passion is playing golf; if he isn't at home or helping us measure bulk tobacco and fill and ship out your orders you can find him out on the greens. He enjoys smoking pipes and cigars and loves movies and television, particularly action and sci-fi.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateMarijo Berry

Marijo is a Myrtle Beach native and our resident science buff, having attended Socastee High, as well as the Academy for Art, Science, and Technology where she specialized in environmental sciences. When she's not at work she's continuing her studies in pursuit of a degree in psychology at Coastal Carolina University. A lover of all things outdoorsy (she doesn't like to stay still), Marijo's active personality translates well to our Shipping Separtment where she's always on the move making sure your orders are filled and your packages arrive in a timely manner.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateRachel DuBose

Rachel DuBose came to South Carolina from Syracuse, NY after earning a B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Oswego. She eventually made her way to us here at Smokingpipes, and we're glad she did, as she's proven a valuable member of our shipping team. When she's not hard at work pulling pipes and tobacco, processing orders, and making sure your shipments are in order Rachel enjoys diving into one of her favorite hobbies: restoring old cars and motorcycles.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateMatthew Feldman

Matt Feldman was born and raised in Maryland, but moved down to SC, like so many of us, looking for a fresh start. After trying his hand at the timeshare biz, he found his place here at Laudisi as one of our Shipping & Receiving Associates — a role which has him scurrying all over the building, picking and processing orders, packaging them up safe and sound, and getting them out the door as quickly as possible for you all to enjoy. When he's not at work, you'll likely find Matt out on the water — fishing, swimming, or just taking the boat for a spin. He's also an avid sports fan, his favorite teams being the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Redskins.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateIvy Hemingway

Ivy is a North Myrtle Beach native and has lived in the area all her life. As one of our Shipping and Receiving Associates, she works with the rest of the team to make the real magic happen—taking your online order and transforming it, through a bit of paper, into the secure package that arrives on your doorstep. When she's not at work Ivy enjoys traveling and simply spending quality time with her family. She has a warm heart, a congenial demeanor, and she is constantly smiling.

Shipping & Receiving AssociateRichard Vigorito

Another New Jersey transplant, Rich moved down to South Carolina back in 2003. As a Shipping & Receiving Associate, he's one of a handful here responsible for making sure all of your packages leave our doorstep and arrive at your's safe, sound, on time ,and in good order. When he's not at work, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Oh, and also appreciating all things Rock'n Roll.

Low Country Pipe & Cigar

Retail ManagerHadassah Helina Hallman

Hadassah Hallman was born in Panama and raised in both South Carolina and Texas. She comes from a background in hospitality & tourism, experience which she puts to good use as our Retail Store Manager. Having recently moved from our Merchandizing team, Hadassah is now responsible for the day-to-day management of our brick & mortar store, Low Country Pipe & Cigar. From chatting with customers about their favorite smokes and recommending cigars, pipes, and pipe tobacco, to organizing and hosting events for everyone to enjoy down at the shop, she's already done much to cultivate the local pipe and cigar smoking community with contagious enthusiasm, excellent product knowledge, and unwavering passion.

Hadassah is also currently pursuing her degree in the Paralegal field. She has a brilliant daughter and a charming son, and both are just as quirky as their proud mother. Hadassah enjoys reading in the shower, binge bargain-shopping, comedies with happy endings, and horror movies that actually frighten her. Her favorite author is Stephen King, and her favorite girl band is the Spice Girls. Hadassah is also known as HaHa to her friends, and can be easily identified by her gorgeous, warming smile and readily remembered for her caring, cool, and cheerful personality.

Retail Sales AssociateBarry Lyman

A native of Charlotte, NC (where his three beautiful daughters still reside), Barry moved to the Myrtle Beach area seven years ago, thanks in part to the greater opportunity the Grand Strand offered for two of his favorite pleasures: beach music and a good round of golf. He comes to us with decades of experience in outside sales, covering everything from residential renovations, to log homes, to funeral expenses. As our Retail Associate at Low Country Pipe and Cigar, Barry puts that experience to work assisting customers in choosing the right products and accessories for their own discerning tastes, building relationships with locals and tourists alike, as well as assisting Judy in the planning and organization of all of our many events. When he isn't otherwise busy taking care of our customers or working on his game, he also enjoys running, hitting the gym, home cooked meals, or simply relaxing with a cold beer and a quality maduro cigar.