Jan 14, 2013 10:11PM
● By Anonymous
The list of accolades that Lou Zagarino has received during his career—from Man of the Year to Humanitarian—is numerous and wall-hanging worthy, but Zagarino has always achieved and created for reasons other than personal recognition. The Arnold resident wants to better the community he loves. To that end, Zagarino has founded numerous businesses, including a restaurant, several hotels, and management/consulting firms, all of which have provided jobs and economic stimulus to the Baltimore-Washington corridor. He has also consistently demonstrated his commitment to regional business and philanthropy by volunteering his time and leadership to multiple organizations—often at the same time. After succeeding in senior management roles within the hospitality industry, Zagarino was driven to venture on his own and, in 1981, he founded the Rose Restaurant; operating the popular Baltimore restaurant for 25 years. During that time, he concurrently developed award-winning hotels in the BWI airport sector (Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn & Suites). And he continues to serve as president of two business firms.
But for all the talent and business savvy within Zagarino, there’s equal heart and compassion. Raised in Buffalo, New York within an extended-family household and infl uenced by parents who “taught me the importance of seeing the best in others and giving back,” he says, Zagarino has continually dedicated his time and energy to “extracurricular” causes including BWI Business Partnership, Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, the University of Maryland Medical Systems, Chesapeake Center for the Performing Arts, SKAL International, and the Hospice of the Chesapeake. Zagarino, now 63, has served as a board member for many of these organizations, among others, and his leadership skills no doubt have served them well.
Zagarino has also completed a circle of giving back by pointing his philanthropic energy toward the Muscular Dystrophy Association, most notably by donating the proceeds from an annual golf tournament he organized to MDA, 25 years running. Zagarino, himself diagnosed early with a neuromuscular disease, says he was blessed with help from the MDA and “the gift of working with so many wonderful doctors in this area.”
To that end, Zagarino is more than happy to “pay back” those that have helped him. “Community comprises all of the wonderful people who truly care about others. Not just lip-service, but working to support, guide, and help others accomplish their goals,” he says. “There are so many individuals in this county and this state doing this every day, year after year, but with no thanks or recognition. I salute the many friends and acquaintances that I have had the good fortune to work with over the years.”