When Luigi Gentile emigrated to the U.S. from Italy in the 1920’s, he would have never imagined that his grandson, Lou Gentile, would one day serve in the Ohio Senate. It’s a legacy Lou carries with him each day—a promise to use the opportunities that others have fought to secure for him to do the same for people today and for future generations.
Lou Gentile is more than a State Senator. He’s someone you can count on, someone who truly cares about the people he serves, and someone you can trust.
Born and raised in Steubenville, Ohio, the ideals of perseverance and giving back were instilled in Lou from an early age. Raised by a schoolteacher and social worker, Lou learned that true satisfaction comes from giving to others. As an adult, Lou has spent his life serving others and working to make this region a better place to live, work and raise a family.
After high school, Lou attended West Virginia University in Morgantown where he graduated with a degree in Political Science. In 2014, Lou married long time girlfriend, Hollie Hinton, who shares his passion for serving others.
Lou served as Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, during which time he managed a $10 million grant program focused on investing in infrastructure, workforce development and job creation programs in the region.
To do this, Lou worked with both the private sector and local governments to grow and attract jobs. Not only was he able to help the people of Appalachia, he was able to draw a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing what is now his senate district.
Lou’s passion for public service would eventually bring him to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010. In 2011, he was appointed to fill the vacant 30th Senate District and, in 2012, he was re-elected. In January of 2014, his colleagues recognized his leadership and elected him to serve as Assistant Minority Whip of the Senate.
During his time in public office, Lou has continued to push for legislation that spurs economic growth and protects and creates new jobs.
A fierce fighter for creating jobs in eastern and southeastern Ohio, in 2012 Lou passed the Ohio Workers First Amendment that promotes the use of local workers and local small businesses on shale energy projects. Lou is especially passionate about creating jobs for Veterans. In fact, Lou authored the Ohio Veterans Opportunity Act to help veterans receive higher education and employment opportunities. The Ohio Legislature passed into law many of the key provisions of this Act. Lou continues to champion a new law that would give tax incentives to small business who hire Ohio’s veterans.
Lou feels strongly about protecting the health and safety of our workers. He fought tirelessly to keep the Mine Safety Training Center in Cadiz open after state regulators announced they would close the facility. After a year of negotiations, Lou was not only able to keep these jobs in eastern Ohio, but also secure continued mine safety training for those who work in one of the most dangerous, but important, jobs in his district. His actions led to the announcement that a new state of the art facility would be built with state capital funds. He supported a Capital Budget Bill that included funding for the new Mine Safety Training Center.
Lou prides himself on being the person you can count on. Whether it’s fighting for economic opportunity and job creation or protecting Ohio’s veterans, Lou doesn’t just understand policy at a deep level, he’s committed to using that understanding to accomplish meaningful change on behalf of working people in his district.
A fierce passion for paying it forward, a genuine interest in connecting with those he serves, an integrity demonstrated each day through his actions: that’s who Lou Gentile is.