Business Journal names Anza D’Antonio in their 40 under 40 list


Anza D'AntonioMilwaukee, Wis. —Through her passion of serving the Greater Milwaukee community, raising a family, and having great pride in her professional role and company, it is no surprise A. O. Smith Assistant General Counsel, Anza D’ Antonio, has made the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list for 2015.

“The 40 Under 40 awards is a list of accomplished and interesting people within Milwaukee. So being included in this group is an honor,” said D’ Antonio.

The Milwaukee Business Journal recognizes 40 individuals in the business community under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the community and within their company. This list has been published for 22 years and is seen as a barometer of future leadership.

D’Antonio began her career with A. O. Smith as assistant general counsel in November 2011. She is responsible for managing A. O. Smith’s extensive intellectual property (IP) portfolio, consisting of trademarks and patents, along with overseeing all things related to contracts and transactional matters for the Americas, Europe, and emerging markets like Vietnam.

“What I really enjoy about my role is that I am given the opportunity to work with a variety of people on a variety of tasks. Like my legal department colleagues, I am a bit of a utility player.  While contracts and intellectual property demand most of my time, social media, bankruptcy, business development, and compliance issues also cross my desk.” 

“I like to think of myself as a problem solver for A. O. Smith. I give practical advice focused on finding solutions. I work with my business clients to identify creative ways to overcome business roadblocks,” D'Antonio continues .

Since the Milwaukee Business Journal recognizes individuals who have contributed to the success of their company, D’Antonio is a great example of accomplishing many initiatives for A. O. Smith. One of her most meaningful accomplishments while working at A. O. Smith has been leading an initiative to identify critical suppliers and providing the business with a road map to improve contracts, which, in turn, has reduced risk for the company. 

“A. O. Smith’s tagline is ‘Innovation Has a Name.’ Most people take this to mean product innovation, but the legal department is in the unique position to collaborate on cross-functional process innovations. My work in stopping trademark infringers and using contracts to shift risk away from A. O. Smith have led to some pretty impressive results; immediate reduction in organizational risk and increased value of one of our greatest assets – our brand. These are the types of results that shareholders look for and employees take pride in.”

In addition to the success she has had at A. O. Smith, D’Antonio has also experienced personal success. She is the mother of four children, has been a foster parent to 10 children, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Red Cross’ Tiffany Circle (women’s philanthropy group) and the Menomonee Falls Food Pantry. In her spare time she can be found driving the children to the Milwaukee School of Ballet, Boys/Girls Scouts, and piano lessons.  

“I see myself as a juggler with three balls – God/service work, family, and A. O. Smith. I have a clear sense of what the priority should be – God, family, A. O. Smith – but in all honesty, it doesn't always work out that way. While the balls do not vary, the ball on top varies. There is never ‘balance,’ it is a constant state of shifting, but by making good choices, personally and professionally, the ball hasn't dropped,” D’Antonio concluded. 

The 40 Under 40 Award will be presented to Anza on February 23 at the Pfister Hotel, downtown Milwaukee, Wisc. To read Anza D’Antonio’s profile please visit the Milwaukee Business Journal