We love it when businesswomen rise up through the ranks, leave a lasting mark on their chosen industry, and are recognized for their achievements!

One such leader is Modesta Fondeur, “one of the most powerful women in the premium cigar industry,” so says Cigar Aficionado. Fondeur’s acumen will be missed though, as it has been announced she plans to retire as executive vice president of tobacco and operations at General Cigar at the end of the year. Her last day will be December 31.

According to a statement from General Cigar, Fondeur graduated from the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra of Santiago, and started working in the company’s finance department in 1975. She became the comptroller of General Cigar’s Dominion operations in the ‘80’s, and in the ‘90s, she moved up to an “executive level position within the formerly-male-dominated manufacturing division. Since then, Modesta made a swift ascension to her current role, in which she supervises nearly 6,000 employees in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.”

Referring to Fondeur as an “iconic businesswoman,” Dan Carr, General Cigar’s chief operating officer, expressed gratitude for her three-decade tenure with the company. Even though Fondeur lives in the Dominican Republic, she won’t be too far away; she plans to stay on an advisor to the company.