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Cigarette brand launched

South Boston News
LAUNCHING A NEW PRODUCT — Seminole Tribe leaders yesterday joined South Boston Mayor Carroll Thackston in announcing a new Cherokee Brands line of cigarettes. Shown above are business partner Tom Henry with Joe Dan Osceola, former president of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Charles F. Fuller, president and CEO of Cherokee and Seminole Brands, Richard Bowers, current Tribe president, Paul Bowers, Seminole Tribe board member and South Boston Mayor Carroll Thackston. (Blakely Swanson photo) / March 10, 2011
A direct descendant of Chief Osceola, Joe Dan Osceola of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, is familiar with “firsts.” He was the first Seminole to graduate from high school and college, and was a football star of the first class. He was the youngest person to be named president of the Seminole Tribe of Florida at the age of 30.

As president, he was the first to unite all the southeastern tribes as the United Southeastern Tribes, including Seminole, Miccosukee, Cherokee and Choctaw Tribes.

Yesterday, Osceola, accompanied by current Seminole President Richard Bowers Jr., other tribe leaders and business partner Tom Henry, stepped off the plane for the first time to be greeted by South Boston’s finest for another big first.

In the heart of tobacco country, he joined newly appointed Seminole Brands’ CEO, Charles F. Fuller, in launching the first run of Seminole Cigarettes. The celebration of the new brand — attended by South Boston town officials including South Boston Mayor Carroll Thackston — took place at the Firebird Manufacturing facility in South Boston, home of Cherokee Brands LLC.

“Our tribe is called the ‘Unconquered Tribe’ because — out of all other Indian nations throughout America, only the Seminole remained unconquered by the United States government,” explained Osceola, “so we desired to create a bold new product that reflects our spirit, and that will show the pride we have in our heritage and our homeland.”

In all of their pursuits, the Seminole have proven themselves to be unstoppable. Osceola embodies the spirit of this Tribe and it is clear that this new brand has the potential to be as large as the Great Tribe itself. South Boston hopes that his first visit to tobacco country won’t be his last.

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