VTA Announces New Leadership Team
Published on January 11, 2024
VTA’s new leadership is dedicated to advancing the independent vapor industry’s efforts to promote sound science-based regulation that will ensure the future of tobacco harm reduction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 11, 2024– The Vapor Technology Association (VTA) today announced the election of new members to its leadership team. The VTA Board of Directors elected Dr. David Johnson, Ph.D, as its new Board President, and elected Charles “Chuck” Melander as its new Treasurer.
“We are proud to welcome both David and Chuck to VTA’s Board and leadership team,” said Tony Abboud, VTA’s Executive Director. “Collectively, David and Chuck bring decades of valuable scientific and regulatory expertise, and bold, visionary leadership to the Vapor Technology Association as we chart the future of tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation alternatives to cigarettes at the federal and state levels. I am excited to work with them as we drive our Association’s goals and our core mission of advocating for e-cigarettes as less harmful alternatives to combustible cigarettes.
Dr. Johnson is president of VTA member e-LiquidTech, Inc., an industry leading e-liquid and flavor manufacturer and major supplier to the tobacco and vaping industries. Dr. Johnson, a Ph.D in chemistry and analytical chemistry, brings to VTA over 30 years of scientific, regulatory, and management experience, including over 20 years in the tobacco and vape industries at Swedish Match – North America and at Turning Points Brands. Dr. Johnson also serves on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) as a small tobacco industry representative. Dr. Johnson’s extensive range of professional experiences and knowledge will support the scientific and regulatory focus and strategy of the Association.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized among my peers at VTA’s member companies, and I look forward to serving in my new role leading the Association and serving on VTA’s Executive Committee,” said Dr. Johnson. “We know that we have a lot of work to do, and I’m proud to be a part of this great team that has been leading and will continue to lead the charge to provide equitable access to vaping products as an important harm reduction and health equity tool.”
Mr. Melander, the Chief Strategy Officer of VTA member Streamline Vape Co., an industry leading e-liquid company, brings an entrepreneurial mindset, with a long record of brand building, driving radical growth, strategic and long-term planning efforts, and regulatory strategy. With a well-tenured career at Swedish Match and Turning Point Brands, where he served on the Executive Teams that drove rapid growth within the companies, Mr. Melander developed strong expertise in less harmful nicotine alternatives to cigarettes. Mr. Melander, a biochemist by training, has also served as an alternate member of TPSAC. Mr. Melander has an acute understanding of the legal and regulatory framework at both the federal and state levels.
“I am excited to take on this new challenge at VTA and move into a role which allows me to bring my experience in the vaping and tobacco industries to advance commonsense policies which support the broad access for responsible adult use of vaping products,” said Mr. Melander. “I thank the VTA Board for this nomination, and I look forward to working with the rest of the Executive Committee and the Board to advance VTA’s critically important mission.”
“On behalf of the VTA Board, I would also like to thank George Cassels-Smith, CEO of Tobacco Technology Inc and e-LiquidTech, Inc., for the steady and thoughtful leadership he has provided to VTA over the past three years and for the sound guidance he has provided me,” said Tony Abboud. Under Mr. Cassels-Smith’s leadership, VTA was able to weather the organizational challenges presented by the pandemic, restore VTA’s footing as a leading voice for rational science-based regulation of less harmful nicotine products, and establish a strong direction for the future. “The vaping industry owes Mr. Cassels-Smith a debt of gratitude for his past and continuing commitment to VTA and our common mission.”
Dr. Johnson and Mr. Melander assumed their new roles in December and, together with Jon Glauser, who also was re-elected by the Board as VTA’s Secretary, will serve on VTA’s Executive Committee.
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About VTA: The Vapor Technology Association is the leading industry trade association in the United States whose members are dedicated to sound science-based regulation and selling innovative high-quality vapor products that provide adult smokers with a better alternative to combustible cigarettes. VTA represents the industry-leading manufacturers of vapor devices, e-liquids, and flavorings, as well as the distributors and retailers, including hardworking American mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar retail store owners.