SIEDC Member of the Month

Louis R. Tobacco



Lou Tobacco began honing his leadership skills and refining his moral compass at a very young age, earning the rank of Eagle Scout at fourteen.

He graduated from Monsignor Farrell High School, where he served as student body President. Lou credits his time at the school with teaching him to be a faithful man, productive citizen and loyal husband.

He received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Political Science and minor in Communications and Rhetoric from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany SUNY. The college is among the top public affairs schools in the country with nationally recognized faculty experts in politics, governance, policy and public management.

While at the University, he was chosen to serve as a Legislative Intern in the New York State Assembly Intern Program. He served in the Office of Assemblyman Robert Straniere, and would 14 years later serve the people of Staten Island as their Assemblyman from the same district.

Lou served as Philanthropy Chairman and President of his fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Upon graduation, he was awarded with the University President’s Undergraduate Leadership Award.

Lou Tobacco began his career in public service at the Staten Island Borough President’s Office in 1994. Serving as Assistant Director of Contract Oversight then as Director of Community Relations.

Lou started his pharmaceutical career in 1997, when he joined Novartis briefly before being recruited by G.D. Searle and Company. During his tenure at Searle, the company merged with Pharmacia Upjohn before eventually being acquired by Pfizer. In between his service at Pfizer Lou worked briefly with Sanofi Aventis as an Institutional representative in major medical centers.

Lou has over thirteen successful years in sales, where he was responsible for marketing, strategic planning, account prospecting and territory management. He consistently exceeded sales goals and achievements in multiple specialty areas including ophthalmology, cardiology, rheumatology, orthopedics, pain management and primary care.

Lou has extensive experience in new product launches, formulary approvals, co-promotes, training, convention activities and speaker programs. He is the winner of numerous achievement awards and recognitions including Pfizer’s top sales honor The Vice President’s Cabinet Award.

A proud and passionate advocate, Lou was instrumental in organizing and serving as a Congressional District Captain for Pfizer’s Field Force In Action, a grassroots volunteer lobbying program. Lou was able to connect high ranking corporate leaders with high ranking government leaders, with successful outcomes. He also took the lead in educating his fellow colleagues on political and policy issues related to the health care industry.

In 2007, Lou was elected to serve as a Member of The New York State Assembly, and served for three consecutive terms. During his eventful tenure he had significant appointments, including the powerful Ways and Means committee, Higher Education, Government Employees, Social Services, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, Cities, Corporations Authorities and Commissions, and Codes.

Lou has served with distinction as the Ranking Member on the Health Committee, was a member of the Medicaid Waste, Fraud and Abuse Task Force, as well as serving on the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Health. Lou also had the honor of representing his conference on Governor Cuomo’s historic Medicaid Redesign Team.

Throughout his career in the Assembly he worked tirelessly to reduce smoking rates by passionately educating the youth about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke through his program called Tobacco against tobacco, and was a fierce advocate for smoking cessation funding during budget negotiations.

Lou has worked to increase awareness of autism and other developmental disabilities. He held the first ever Autism Awareness Forum on Staten Island. As a result of the forum, he sponsored and helped to pass several bills to promote developmental disability awareness and provide support for families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities.


Lou has successfully fought for the remediation of the Brookfield Landfill and helped to implement a long term plan for the site’s cleanup and future use as a park.
He choose not to run for a fourth term to be closer to home and to devote more time to his young growing family.

Lou has established strong relationships at all levels of government across party lines.

Lou was hired by Staten Island University Hospital, Northwell Health in 2012 as the Director of Surgical Business Development, and was eventually promoted to Senior Director of External Affairs. He currently serves as Associate Executive Director for Government Affairs. Additionally, he assists the Hospital in matters dealing with Development, Marketing, Public Relations and Community Affairs. Lou was instrumental in securing 40 million dollars from State and City FEMA funding for Staten Island University Hospital to mitigate their power plant from vulnerabilities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Lou proclaims himself the modern day father of bocce on Staten Island. Four years ago he hosted a fundraiser for Staten Island University Hospital which hosted 40 teams and 160 players in the island’s first bocce tournament of this size. As a result, the winner, Vincent Malerba of Angelina’s Ristorante in Tottenville added bocce courts to their grounds which has become a main attraction at the venue. Lou also believes this sparked the addition of bocce courts to the Richmond County Country Club and many other bocce tournaments throughout Staten Island.

He serves on the following boards; the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, the Seton Foundation, POPPA (Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance), Joseph Maffeo Foundation, the Staten Island Not For Profit Association and the proposed Bridge Prep Charter School. Lou is the Chairman of the Monsignor Farrell High School Alumni Associations Annual Bocce Fall Classic.

Lou resides in the Tottenville section of Staten Island with his wife Jennifer, and children Madison, Christian and twins Ella and Luke.

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