Principal, Delaware North
Lou Jacobs is a principal of Delaware North, a global leader in hospitality and food service. With $3 billion in annual revenue and 60,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Delaware North is one of the largest privately held companies in the world.
Jacobs is at the helm of Delaware North, the nearly 100-year-old company that was founded by his grandfather. His leadership post has allowed him to guide the rapid growth and prosperity of the company’s diverse businesses and to oversee its long-term strategy and business planning process. Among other things, he is responsible for analyzing opportunities for organic growth and growth as a result of acquisitions.
Jacobs began his career with Delaware North in 1986 when he joined the company’s gaming division. In 1988, he was named vice president and given responsibility for expanding the pari-mutuel operations. He relocated to Sydney, Australia, in 1993 to assume the position of chairman of Delaware North (Australia) Pty Ltd, a division of Delaware North Companies International. In 1994, Jacobs was appointed president of Delaware North Companies International, with overall responsibility for the subsidiary holdings in the Pacific Rim, Middle East and Eastern Europe. He returned to the company’s world headquarters and was appointed to the position of executive vice president of Delaware North Companies in 1995.
Jacobs is an accomplished equestrian who has achieved national and international acclaim. He has competed in horse sports for more than 34 years. As a representative of the United States Equestrian Team, Jacobs has participated in numerous high-profile events, including two World Cup Finals. He is a member of the National Horse Show’s board of directors, where he holds the post of chairman of the finance committee. He also is vice chairman of the Lake Placid Horse Show Board of Directors, and a member of the amateur and audit committees of the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Jacobs was named one of the young leaders in the sports industry by SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40.
An active member of the community, Jacobs is a director of The Martin House Restoration Corporation. He is also a member of the Roswell Park Alliance Board of Directors. In addition, he is an alternate governor for the Boston Bruins National Hockey League franchise.
Jacobs received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1986 and his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University School of Business in 1991. He lives in East Aurora, N.Y., and Wellington, Fla., with his wife, daughter and son.
It was at this time that he began developing his deep knowledge of and experience with Delaware North’s pari-mutuel and global operations.