Tony Svanascini (Young Leader 2010)
Chief Executive Officer, AmericanEagle.com
What can Americans learn from the Swiss?
The biggest surprise to most Americans is that the Swiss form of government is based largely on the US Constitution. When most Americans think of Europe, they think of socialism and big government. Switzerland, arguably Europe’s strongest economy in terms of GDP per capita, unemployment, low taxes, and high standard of living, turns this belief on its head. It is living proof that lower taxes and smaller government can produce the best results in terms of education, wealth, and overall standard of living.
What can the Swiss learn from the Americans?
I think America's biggest asset in both business and in personal life is that Americans are generally very trusting people. When doing business in the US, especially with small to medium-sized businesses, there is a tremendous amount of trust given to both parties. It is almost the default. I think this is probably America's greatest quality and the reason for so much growth and entrepreneurship during the 20th century.
What defines your leadership style?
Trying to identify the best people for a particular job and put them in charge. As General Patton said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
What qualities do you most admire?
Staying true to their word (promise), no matter what happens.
What are your greatest strengths?
Staying true to my word.
What is your greatest weakness?
Not saying “No” enough, especially when it comes to great food and wine!
Where do you live?
Park Ridge, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago.
Where are you from?
What is your goal in life?
To leave the world better than I found it, and most importantly to raise my 4 sons to do the same.
About Tony Svanascini
Anthony is CEO of Chicago-based web design and Internet service company, Americaneagle.com, with offices in Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Washington, DC. Anthony became CEO in 1991, transforming the business into one of the nation's largest web design firms, offering strategies for online marketing and outreach for companies and non-profits. Since 1995, the company has developed more than 3,000 Internet sites, Intranets, or online applications for virtually all types of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, small-and medium-sized businesses, governments, and associations. Major clients include The White House, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Stuart Weitzman, Beretta, Ron Jon, Nascar and several non-profit associations. Anthony works with several charitable organizations, including Misericordia, Urban Prep Schools, and the Catholic Church. A Chicago native, Anthony graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Finance in 1994. He resides in Park Ridge, Illinois, with his wife and four sons.