SOTL Global Movement: Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi breaking stereotypes
The SOTL Global Movement (SGM) an organization that has emerged from a national movement in
Greece in 2017. The Founder Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi is an expert on ethical and responsible
SOTL GLOBAL MOVEMENT
For the past year, a change has been brewing in the cigar world… An actually very positive change called SOTL Global Movement. What is the SOTL Global Movement? Why and how did it start? Who is responsible for it? What is the vision?
The SOTL Global Movement (SGM) an organization that has emerged from a national movement in Greece in 2017. The Founder Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi is an expert on ethical and responsible entrepreneurship and has long been active in the international arena. Social responsibility and business ethics are in her DNA and is committed to using the SOTL Global Movement to break the stereotypes and create a better world, inspired by love. A love for people and a love for cigars.
As an organization, the SOTL Global Movement aims to empower women in cigar industry by creating a supportive and educational community. SOTL GLOBAL MOVEMENT’s mission is to introduce women to the cigar world, to inspire and lead them to extraversion, to create opportunities for them to raise their voices, to motivate them to create cigar communities, to support female entrepreneurship, and in collaboration with men, to develop a better environment for aficionadas and aficionados.
The movement seeks to educate women and men about the history, culture, and craftsmanship of cigar-making and promote awareness of the health benefits and enjoyment of cigar smoking.
“It is essential to create a more inclusive and diverse community in the cigar industry, and the SGM strives to provide a platform for women to share their experiences and knowledge in the cigar industry. By amplifying their voices and highlighting their achievements, we want and hope to inspire more women to enter the industry and make their mark, one aficionada and aficionado together at a time”. – Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi
So how is SGM hoping to challenge traditional roles in this process? The SOTL Global Movement understands that the cigar industry continues to evolve every day and is working to invite more women to become active participants in cigar culture.
According to the SGM’s Chief Business Development Officer Mr. lefty Karropoulos, “if we create value for aficionadas and aficionados, consumers, retailers, and manufacturers while enhancing relationships, service, professionalism, credibility, and opportunities for the whole industry, they will be committed to preserving the luxury tobacco industry for generations to come. Therefore, let’s lead by example and invite our youth to explore cigars and foster the same sense of community like we do. And let’s all do it together. Remember what the word T.E.A.M stands for… Together Everyone Achieves More”.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE SOTL GLOBAL MOVEMENT
SOTL Global Movement Advisory Board
When they say together… they mean together. The SGM advisory board consists of powerful women such as the Founder herself Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi, Cynthia Fuente (Fuente Companies), Janine Perdomo (Tabacalera Perdomo), Amanda Micallef (Micallef Cigars), Leo Abzaradel (Nova Cigars), Romy Kashouty (Hiram and Solomon Cigars), Temi Kinnard-Bing (Emperor’s Cut Cigars), Ana Lopez (ex Habanos SA), Anna Kontoleon (SOTL Greece), Katja Gnann (Cigar Journal), Patricia Khalaf (Casa aficionado), Karen Berger (KbyKarenBerger, Don KiKi Cigars) and Sarah Saunders (Women’s International Cigar Club).
All of them are working together to shatter the glass ceiling, challenge societal norms, break down barriers, and create positive change for themselves and for future generations. By collaborating, these powerful women understand that by amplifying their voices, they will affect real change in their communities and beyond.
(see the SGM Advisory Board at https://www.sotlglobalmovement.com/advisoryboard )
The SGM Management Team was put together in 2021 and they have been working tirelessly to steer the organization towards success. With their strategic vision, effective communication, and strong decision-making abilities, they have been able to motivate and inspire hundreds of members (men and women) to work towards a common goal, while also fostering a positive environment that encourages creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Women like Cynthia Gonzalez (Puerto Rico – PR Cigar Festival), Eleana Mouskenteri (Greece), Patricia Pineda (Dominican Republic) have offered so much dedication, hard work, and perseverance, and they have achieved impressive results. Their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement is truly admirable and has set a high standard for others to follow.
(see the SGM Management Team at https://www.sotlglobalmovement.com/managementteam)
So what are some of the SGM projects that are currently ongoing?
SGM Maestro School Cigar Sommelier Tobacconist
“Empowering aficionadas & aficionados through education”
Are you interested in cigar education? Then visit the SGM School of Cigar Sommelier Tobacconists. The SOTL Global Movement now offers a training program for individuals interested in becoming experts in the art and science of cigar history, tasting, pairing and everything else in the process. The curriculum used is through a joint collaboration with the Tobacconist University.
The Maestro School of Cigar Sommelier Tobacconist program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the history, production, and sensory evaluation of cigars. The curriculum includes topics such as tobacco varietals, cigar aging and storage, cutting and lighting techniques, pairing of cigars with wine, spirits, and food and a lot more.
Apprentices can study online at their own pace and upon completion of the program, they are required to take a test. When they pass, they are awarded the certificate of "Certified Cigar Sommelier Tobacconist," which is a mark of excellence in the cigar industry.
How amazing it is to use education as part of a broader movement to elevate the enjoyment and appreciation of premium tobacco products to a level of sophistication like that of fine wine or gourmet cuisine? And doing it for all aficionadas and aficionados?
(visit the SGM Maestro Cigar Sommelier Tobacconist School for more info at https://www.sotlglobalmovement.com/sgmmaestroschoolofcigarsommeliers)
Women Friendly Cigar Lounge Certification
“Creating a global destination network”
Using the examples of WEConnect and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the SOTL Global Movement ‘s Women Friendly Certification is a designation given to small enterprises, cigar lounges, businesses, and organizations with a common goal… to treat men and women equally and support women entrepreneurs.
The purpose of a women-friendly certification is to help consumers identify brick & mortars that bring a unique perspective to their business by having women in the spotlight. A woman owned lounge, a woman led lounge or even a lounge that holds aficionadas and aficionados at the same level, will always have more engaged, inspired, and satisfied employees. Also, by adopting the SGM’s MoU, a women-friendly cigar lounge agrees that it will strive to create an inclusive environment that caters to the needs and preferences of aficionada and aficionados which will help attract more female customers and create a loyal following of women who appreciate the welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.
SOTL Global Round Tables
“We love cigar world. We break the stereotypes.”
SOTL Global Movement opened the international dialogue in a world, free from stereotypes, with respect and emphasis on uniqueness by organizing Global Roundtables that included aficionadas and aficionados from across the globe. The goal was to facilitate open and equal discussion amongst aficionadas and aficionados and create a more inclusive and collaborative environment where everyone has an opportunity to speak and be heard, while, at the same time, sharing ideas and encouraging diverse perspectives in the cigar community.
The roundtables were both online or in-person, and gave space to those who embrace the SGM vision to present themselves and their story, as well as to express their opinions and share experiences on specific topics that varied each time, such as stereotypes and professional paths, positive lessons from challenges, the contribution of women to the industry, social health etc.
SGM Roundtables will continue to evolve and will always be an important tool for fostering collaboration and communication, even between members who are geographically dispersed.
SOTL Global Movement Cigar Speakeasy
With Detra Denise
Today’s contemporary lifestyle is characterized by numerous responsibilities, obligations, and interpersonal connections that manifest themselves in various forms. Daily, we encounter new challenges that require our immediate attention, leaving little time for self-reflection and introspection.
To address this concern, SOTL Global Movement and Detra Denise have devised an exclusive online mentorship haven, called the SOTL Global Movement Cigar Speakeasy with Detra Denise. This oasis will offer a concealed and serene environment where individuals can come together and indulge in smoking cigars, allowing the plumes of smoke to dissipate their worries temporarily. It is a space that will promote authenticity, welcoming people from all walks of life, regardless of their current emotional state. Hence, individuals can relax and embrace their true selves, irrespective of their dispositions.
Every session at the Speakeasy will be unique. Every session will have its own theme and topic.
What are the outlets for your creativity? What are your favorite coping skills? Do you usually “love it or leave it?”. Does your job allow you to express your inner passion, or do you feel it is necessary to pay the bills?
Join SOTL Global Movement with Detra and lets discuss it in our monthly online but private meetings. Lets all become each other’s mentor through our experiences and knowledge.
All meetings will be held in a private room, hosted by Cigar Lounge International.
SOTL & BOTL Coalescence Social Series
“A new aficionada inspires elegance”
The SOTL Global Movement has recently unveiled a novel style of cigar event that underscores the similarities and mutual pleasure experienced by both aficionados and aficionadas. The "SOTL and BOTL Collaboration Committee" of the SOTL Global Movement cordially invites you to participate in exciting local events, which will bring together SGM members, SOTLs, BOTLs, as well as prospective aficionados and aficionadas, providing them with a chance to familiarize themselves with the cigar world.
Attendees will be offered a brief introduction to the cigar lifestyle, along with a comprehensive overview of the cigar history, all the way down to fundamental techniques of cutting and lighting a cigar, which will be imparted by a knowledgeable aficionada or aficionado. Additionally, when feasible, the event will feature a special guest, a renowned personality from the cigar industry, who will share their personal experiences with both seasoned and new members of the SOTL Global Movement.
Research in Social Psycology with Panteion University
“The Parallels Collide: the effects of cigar smoking on Social Health’
SGM is officially engaged in a multi subject research, focusing, at first, on searching deep into the social impact of cigar smoking, and its relation to health behavior.
Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi, as an Associate Researcher of the Laboratory of Experimental Social Psychology of the Panteion University, leads the research about the contribution of cigars in Social Health, focusing on the senses, emotions, connectedness, bonding, and the social value of a cigar without even smoking it.
Cigars have a long history of being associated with social gatherings, celebrations, and special occasions.
Here are some ways that cigars can contribute to social health, even without smoking:
1. Sense of smell: Cigars have a distinct aroma that can be enjoyed even without smoking. The scent of a good cigar can be calming and soothing, helping to relieve stress and anxiety. This can help to create a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere for social gatherings.
2. Sense of taste: Cigars can be paired with different beverages, such as wine or whiskey, to enhance the flavor of both. This can be a conversation starter and can help to bring people together over a shared interest in taste and flavor.
3. Emotions: The act of smoking a cigar can be a way to celebrate or mark a special occasion, which can contribute to a positive emotional state. Additionally, the ritual of preparing and cutting a cigar can be meditative and calming, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Connectedness: Smoking a cigar can be a shared experience that brings people together. This can foster a sense of community and connectedness, especially in a world where many people feel isolated and disconnected.
5. Bonding: Sharing a cigar with someone can be a way to bond over a shared interest. This can help to deepen relationships and create a sense of camaraderie.
6. Social value: Cigars have a certain social cachet that can be attractive to people who value tradition, luxury, and refinement. Being knowledgeable about cigars and able to appreciate their qualities can be a way to demonstrate cultural sophistication and social status.
Our academic research is not set out to disprove existing ideas, but it is a crucial part of the scientific process to challenge them. Our goal is to establish a more accurate understanding of the cigar world around us, rather than simply proving or disproving a particular idea. Our scientific method involves formulating hypotheses and testing them through empirical observation. As always. The SOTL Global Movement will be focused on discovering and advancing knowledge.
Meeting and talking with SGM members has provided us at Humo Latino with a comprehensive overview of the organization and its mission. By outlining their values, and goals, they have conveyed their dedication to creating positive change in the cigar community and beyond. As they continue to grow and evolve, they remain committed to staying true to their core principles and working tirelessly to achieve their vision.
“And for all of us at SOTL Global Movement, we all look forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and are grateful for the support of all those who share in our mission.” – Dr. Anastasia Psomiadi