Sergio Montolfo, an admired leader, colleague and friend who was recently promoted to executive vice president of operations at Phillips & King, passed suddenly on Jan. 28, according to Tobacco Business Magazine.
Montolfo was a beloved leader and industry icon for over 25 years at Phillips & King, a company founded by his wife’s family in 1906. Believing in the importance of character, honesty and the strength of relationships, Montolfo championed the company’s growth and dominant presence in the industry over the past three decades, said a company press release to Tobacco Business Magazine. It states how he deftly navigated new product categories, a changing regulatory environment and emerging technologies, while ensuring that customer service, people and partnerships were always at the core of the company values and its decision-making.
“Sergio Montolfo was the voice and heart of Phillips & King and he was my friend,” said Sean Cassar, president of parent company Kretek International, in the statement. “He’s the guy you wanted steering the ship while simultaneously acting as your right hand. He was a giant among men. And he will be greatly missed within the company and by his friends in the industry. We are committed to continuing the legacy of Sergio Montolfo’s dedication to Phillips & King and the industry and will be working hard to ensure a seamless transition for our customers, vendors and colleagues during this difficult time.”
Sergio Montolfo is survived by his wife of 30 years, Laurel, and his children, sons Mateo and Maddox and daughter Madison.
Funeral information will be announced later with letters of condolences requested be sent to care of Phillips & King at 5449 Endeavour Court, Moorpark, CA 93021.
Phillips & King, a subsidiary of Kretek International Inc., is a distributor of specialty tobacco, alternative smoking products and accessories in the United States. Since 1906, the company has built a strong reputation by focusing on independent and small chain convenience, tobacco and liquor retailers.