Lou Capozzi currently teaches in the master's degree program in Strategic Communication at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Portland, Oregon.
Capozzi has a broad background in public relations and corporate communications, with more than 40 years' experience in both major public relations firms and with large multinational corporations. He started his career in public relations as a financial writer, writing and producing dozens of corporate annual reports, acting as a speechwriter for CEOs and handling financial and investor communications and crisis management for dozens of companies from small, newly listed businesses to Fortune 50 global corporations.
Capozzi is often interviewed and featured in the global communications and business media, frequently contributes to communications industry publications, and acts a spokesman for the industry in global media and as a speaker at industry events.
Hill & Knowlton
He began his public relations career at Hill & Knowlton in 1968 as an intern and the firm's first graduate trainee.
Capozzi was director of Communications and Investor Relations at AutEx, Inc., operators of the Block Trading Information System for financial institutions and brokers.
He joined Ketchum Inc. in public relations as an account supervisor in the firm's Pittsburgh headquarters and later served as managing director of the New York office.
Aetna Life & Casualty
Capozzi was chief communications officer of Aetna Life & Casualty, at that time the nation's largest publicly owned insurance company. He managed a 150-person corporate communications department with a budget of more than $80 million, and was responsible for advertising, corporate public relations, financial and shareholder communications, marketing communications, employee communications and investor relations support.
He was chairman of the MSL Group, now the world's fourth-largest public relations firm, from 1999 until his retirement at the end of 2008. There he managed operations in more than 30 cities around the world. The firm is part of Publicis Groupe, the world's 3rd-largest communications group.
Philanthropy and volunteerism
In the public relations profession
Capozzi was awarded the PRSA Gold Anvil for lifetime achievement in 2017. The Gold Anvil is the society's highest individual Award, presented to a public relations practitioner whose accomplishments have made a major contribution to the profession.
He served for three years as president of the PRSA Foundation. In that role, he worked to drive diversity in the public relations profession. The foundation partners with universities and other professional and academic organizations to build programs to attract more African American and Hispanic students to careers in PR, and to make them better prepared to contribute to the profession, and to society, when they arrive.
He is a member of the Arthur Page Society, a former chairman of the Council of Public Relations Firms and the International Communications Consultants Organisation, as well as an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of its College of Fellows.
In the community
Capozzi served on the board of Bend 2030, a non-profit working on affordable housing, transportation and livability in Bend, Oregon. He also formerly served on the board of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), focusing on public transit. He has been active in several environmental groups, serving on the board of American Rivers for ten years and on the board of the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy. He also served on the New York advisory board of the National Parks Conservation Association, and acted as a marketing advisor to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Capozzi grew up near Trenton, New Jersey. He attended New York University Stern School of Business, where he graduated with a degree in marketing and journalism. He also earned an MBA from the Bernard Baruch School of Business at City College of New York. He and his wife, Betty, were married in 1969 and live in Bend, Oregon. Their oldest son, Matt, works as a product designer and lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife, Leigh and their two daughters. His younger son, Joe, is married to Amanda Lisboa and is the executive chef at the Bloom Street Hospitality Group, which includes The East Pole, Eastfields, Cafe Americano and Pizza Beach restaurants in New York City.