Lou Rossetti Takes Over as AAOC’s New Executive Director
When I asked our new E.D. to name a few people he greatly admired, he threw out three names: Mohammed Ali, Phil Donahue and Ann Romney…
- Ali first and foremost for maintaining the courage of his convictions with respect to his 1960’s anti-war position as he risked everything – fame, fortune, a heavyweight title, potential incarceration and the wrath of his country – and carrying it all off with style and flair;
- Donahue for being a forerunner in developing the talk show format in a credible and entertaining manner that brought important issues of the day into the living rooms of America; and,
- Romney – someone he actually got to know on a personal basis through political campaigns – because her wit, humor and consistent acts of kindness stood out in the day to day combat of electoral politics;
As one might surmise from the above, for Lou Rossetti, 45, who officially became the Executive Director of our Association on November 15th, government affairs and the world of politics are near and dear. That component of his character was particularly attractive to a non-profit trade association like AAOC where legislative affairs are key.
The career path for Rossetti began with a degree in political science from Binghamton University in New York. He also completed post graduate work in accounting and business management.
Interestingly, as a first step in his professional life, the Phil Donahue inspired Rossetti propelled himself toward a career in the broadcast industry. He landed his first job at KBIG-FM in Los Angeles in 1992 and by 1994 was behind the mike four hours a day as a talk radio show host at KNWZ AM in Palm Springs. He talked news, current events and whatever was topical. No easy task. Rossetti also served as the broadcast facility Operations Manager, which developed his general business and management skills.
During his six year stretch doing news talk radio he conducted thousands of interviews. Among the notables: Senator John McCain, Steve Forbes, Governor Mario Como, Suzanne Somers, Governor Pete Wilson, Tipper Gore, then Governor George W. Bush (who mostly talked baseball), Barbara Sinatra (Frank’s wife and a Palm Springs resident), Bill Press and Charles Shah (of “two buck Chuck” wine fame).
The road took a turn in 2000 when Congresswoman Mary Bono, whose district office was in Palm Springs, asked the then 32 year old Rossetti to sign on as her District Director. After four years with the Congresswoman, Rossetti took a position with Congressman Ed Royce before transferring in 2006 to newly elected Congressman John Campbell as his District Director in Irvine.
Rossetti spent seven years with Congressman Campbell where he oversaw an Orange County staff and budget almost identical to that of AAOC. Late this summer the Congressman surprised most everyone by announcing he would not seek re-election and encouraged his staff to look for outside employment opportunities, thus opening the door for the AAOC position.
Before the hire, I spoke at length with Congressman Campbell who praised his District Director’s integrity and strong management and leadership skills and made a point of stating that Lou was the sole employee that had been with him his entire tenure in Congress and that that was a testament to Lou’s value.
And one more MAJOR asset on Rossetti’s resume: He’s been an apartment owner for over ten years, with four rental properties currently held in portfolio.
In summary, the package includes extensive background in rental housing, politics, media and management, which portends a bright future as Executive Director for AAOC.
On a personal note, Rossetti resides with his wife, Amber, and their three boys ages four, three and nine months, in San Clemente.
We wish him all the best for a long and productive tenure at AAOC as his exciting new journey begins.