Kaival Marketing Services (KMS) announced it had hired Dean Simmons to maximize major retail and wholesale accounts for its top-selling, high-margin BIDI Stick. Simmons will join KMS as senior vice president of sales and corporate development effective immediately.
Formerly vice president of sales at Swisher International, Simmons was responsible for leading its national sales department at the company, calling on wholesale and retail accounts throughout the convenience, mass, drug, grocery and tobacco-outlet retail channels. His team deployed the Jacksonville, Fla.-based manufacturer’s flagship brands, including Swisher Sweets, BLK, Optimo and Goodies.
“Adding Dean will allow KMS to maximize its market potential quickly with several new retail customers that have been waiting to sell BIDI Stick,” said Russell Quick, president of KMS. “Dean’s extensive leadership background in other tobacco products (OTP), as well as his connections with top accounts here in the U.S., make him a valuable asset to our growing sales team.”
Before his last position, Simmons was vice president of national accounts for Swisher, managing the strategic partnerships for its largest chain-retail partners and major wholesale accounts.
“I am excited to join the KMS/Kaival Brands team and bring my expertise in this field to expand the market reach of BIDI Stick,” said Simmons. “I will look to further grow what KMS has started by not only introducing BIDI Stick to new accounts but expanding contacts within existing accounts, leveraging the background and relationships I have built up over the years.”
The move comes after a major victory in the courts for Bidi Vapor. As previously reported on Aug. 23, 2022, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) marketing denial order (MDO) related to Bidi Vapor’s non-tobacco-flavored devices. That decision set aside the MDOs, allowing Bidi Vapor’s exclusive U.S. distributor, Kaival Brands Innovations Group, to market all flavor varieties of the BIDI Stick nationwide, subject to FDA discretion. All ENDS product on the market today that do not have marketing authorization from FDA are subject to agency enforcement.
KMS is the independent contractor acting as the marketing and sales division of Kaival Brands.
“The ability of KMS to connect Kaival Brands to new sales and distribution channels is exponentially strengthened with the addition of Dean to the KMS team,” said Eric Mosser, president and chief operating officer of Kaival Brands. “We applaud KMS on securing a top talent in the industry. KMS’ hiring of Mr. Simmons brings Kaival Brands more ability to rapidly grow sales, so we look forward to all that Dean will achieve towards the goals set before KMS and contribute to our overall success.”
Simmons joins a sales team at KMS that includes Todd Wheeler, a former top sales executive for Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), Winston-Salem, N.C. Wheeler was with RAI for 16 years before becoming national sales director for KMS in 2000. While at RAI, Wheeler was senior division manager for trade marketing. In that position, Wheeler oversaw independent and account outlets to deliver both volume and share targets. Successful brand launches included the Camel SNUS, VELO and VUSE Vapor portfolios
Based in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Kaival Marketing Services has served as the primary marketing and sales service provider for Kaival Brands since 2020. In addition to its sales force, KMS brings over 100 contracted employees dedicated to supporting Kaival Brands’ management team through its next stage of growth.
Based in Melbourne, Fla., Bidi Vapor maintains a commitment to responsible marketing, supporting age-verification standards and sustainability through its BIDI Cares recycling program.