Brad Zambito graduated from Mount Morris Central Schools in 1992 after completing the Criminal Justice Program at the Mount Morris Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center. At a young age, Brad became interested in criminal justice because of his uncle, who was a Sheriff’s Deputy. As a high school junior, he decided to attend the Criminal Justice Program which, at the time, was taught by Chief Charles DiPasquale, the Chief of Police in Mount Morris, New York.
After high school, he earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Finger Lakes Community College. His goal was to obtain a bachelor’s degree before he started working full-time, but his path turned out to be a little different than he anticipated. Zambito had an opportunity to work as a temporary employee at a pharmaceutical company in Henrietta, New York.
He started as a temporary employee in 1996 and was offered a full-time job leader in 1997. In 1998, there was a position posted as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Compliance Specialist. Zambito felt this was interesting as this position would work with DEA Diversion Investigators in Buffalo, New York. After interviewing, the position was offered to him.
While working in his new position, Zambito took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program to pay 100 percent of his remaining tuition to earn his bachelor’s degree from Aspen University. Over the years, his position changed several times, including DEA Compliance Specialist, Sr. DEA Compliance Specialist, Compliance Officer, Manager DEA Compliance and Manager DEA Compliance/Quality Assurance. In 2015, he was contacted by a headhunter and accepted a position as a Director of DEA Compliance at a much larger out-of-state pharmaceutical company. Two years later, he was promoted to Senior Director of DEA Compliance. At this same company, Zambito is now the Head of North America Regulatory Compliance which has allowed him to relocate back home to New York to be close to his family.
Zambito is currently responsible for the primary oversight of all regulatory compliance within all company locations throughout North America. His responsibilities include ensuring compliance with all controlled substance regulations set forth by the Code of Federal Regulations. He also oversees all appropriate regulations and ensures compliance within all states as per state regulations.
One of Zambito’s favorite parts of his job is knowing that the company he works for is making a difference by providing lifesaving medicines to people all over the world. He enjoys working with different departments on key projects to ensure all sites throughout North America remain compliant.
If Zambito could go back and tell his high school self anything it would be that we all experience failure to a certain degree. Experiencing failure and learning from it is an opportunity that enables us to grow.
A lesson Zambito learned while a student at the Mount Morris CTE Center was to not only listen to others but to hear them. Zambito recalls the diverse background within his class and is appreciative of open classroom communications. Growing up, he was always around the same friends and classmates at his home school. While Zambito attended the Mount Morris CTE Center, this was the first time he was around other students from different demographics.
Zambito shared, “It’s important to understand different perspectives. I always welcome input and open discussions with my staff. I believe to be a good leader; one must appreciate and respect different opinions”. Zambito credits this leadership style for helping him throughout his career.
When asked what his advice is for current students, he said, “I would advise students to set goals for themselves, both short-term and long-term. It’s important to not get discouraged along the way. There are so many unexpected occurrences in life that will force you to alter your goals. Things do not happen quickly; you need to make the most of every opportunity along the way.” “Lastly, sometimes you must challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. If I didn’t take a risk and challenge myself in 2015, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” explained Zambito.
Zambito also wants students to know guidance is available at all levels in life. He feels fortunate to have great mentors along the way who guided him when he needed them. To this day, Zambito credits the knowledge that he has gained from his mentors as the key to his success.