Late BWI Business District business owner and philanthropist Lou Zagarino was known for displaying various qualities, such as his trademark patience, persistence and compassion leading to hard-earned success ― but what his legion of friends would tell you what he was positively supreme at was networking.

Friends of Lou Zagarino, an avid golfer, will be swinging away on his behalf and for the Chesapeake Arts Center at Compass Pointe Golf Course on May 15. Photo: Chesapeake Arts Center

Zagarino had a knack for understanding another’s strong points and finding someone it would be beneficial for them to meet. As a born networker would know.
Jim Halusky well knew that drill and today, he’s taking that approach to attract a crew from Zagarino’s various circles of influence to the Chesapeake Arts Center’s 11th annual Chip In For The Arts golf tournament. This year, the event is being presented as a tribute to the BWI Business District icon, on Wednesday, May 15, at Pasadena’s Compass Pointe Golf Course.

Halusky became intertwined in Zagarino’s network web in the mid-’70s when he was a manager at Westinghouse (which was eventually absorbed by Northop Grumman Corp.) and Zagarino was the general manager at the Friendship Hotel (which later became the International Hotel, then the BWI Sheraton Four Points), which was demolished and is now the site of the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport cell lot.

A 50-year friendship means many people crossed both of their paths and a good crowd is expected at the event. While progress is being made, Halusky, the CAC and others are looking to boost the number of sponsors as well as attract additional foursomes to play in the tournament, which will, for the first time, be expanded from 18 to 36 holes.

Halusky remains optimistic that by the time of the shotgun start on May 15 participation will be high, especially since he expects a strong presence from the region’s military organizations that Zagarino supported during his five decades working in the District.

To Halusky and the many supporters of this effort, it’s all about honoring Zagarino simply by doing what he did. “From day one, we were business partners, but by day two we were friends,” he said. “Lou was that way with everybody.”
This year’s tournament will feature special opportunities to honor “Mr. Z” and reminisce about his impact on the lives of his countless number of friends and one-time employees.

“Lou would love to see money raised for the CAC,” Halusky said. “Remember, this is a man who held an annual golf outing in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and raised more than $1 Million in 25 years.

“But this year,” he said, “it’s time for us to repay Lou.” To register, visit www.chesapeakearts.org; the deadline for tee sign copy is April 29. For more information, contact the CAC’s Gena O’Brien at 410-636-6597 and [email protected].

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