A willingness to embrace change and consider the bigger picture. That’s the driving force behind Anthony (Tony) Joseph’s continued success in the luxury automotive industry.
It’s no wonder he encourages current Broncos to do the same when it comes to their careers.
“Don’t be afraid to change job roles or companies,” said Tony (B.B.A. ‘91, Finance). “If you feel there’s a better long-term opportunity with a different company, then take a step back to go forward longer term.”
Tony grew up in Brighton, Michigan, and was impressed with WMU’s campus and business school. While at Western he studied finance, a subject he’d always enjoyed, held various part-time jobs and joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity during his sophomore year. Like many Broncos, he participated in an experiential-learning activity before he graduated. (According to WMU’s 2021-22 Post-Graduation Activity Report, 91% of undergraduates had one or more resume-worthy learning experiences, including internships, jobs, projects or activities.)
“A professor helped me find an opportunity with a Kalamazoo property manager/developer during the summer of my junior year,” he said. “It was a great experience that gave me hands-on learning outside of the classroom.”
Professors at WMU who stood out to Tony included Dr. Fred Gault, Department of Psychology, and the late Pamela McElroy, who was a part-time instructor for the Department of Finance and Commercial Law in the Haworth College of Business, as well as served as director of corporate foundation relations for the University.
After graduating, Tony tried to get a position in the automotive industry at two of the “Big Three,” but wasn’t successful. Not one to throw in the towel, he relocated to Chicago and took an entry level position with Subaru of America. “Subaru was a smaller niche organization (pre-Outback) at that time,” he said. “The benefit of the niche companies is that the scope of work is broader, as you become exposed to more facets of the overall business.”
From Subaru, he joined Porsche North America, followed by Ferrari/Maserati. “After six years with Ferrari, I received a call from a recruiter asking if I’d be interested in running the North American operations for a start-up automotive company,” Tony said. “I jumped at the opportunity and spent 12 years at McLaren before stepping down in 2022.”
“I’m most proud of my time at McLaren Automotive,” he continued. “I established an office, built a strong team, appointed a dealer network. I utilized the strengths from other companies and avoided the weaknesses. To be part of a new organization is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Tony introduced and launched McLaren in North America, significantly growing its revenues and dealer network to make up more than 40% of the company’s annual global sales. He also led the expansion of the brand’s U.S. operations, including its successful relocation to Dallas, Texas.
Most recently, Tony became the President/CEO of the Americas for Aston Martin. He credits WMU for more than just readying him for his career.
“I was able to meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds and this helped provide communication skills that became crucial later in life,” he said. “Essentially, my time at WMU helped prepare me for life.”
When asked about his favorite memory here, this business savvy alumnus fondly recalled the Battle of the Cannon, aka the Western Michigan University versus Central Michigan University football game. (Go Broncos!)
Do you have an alumni success story you’d like to share? Go to WMUalumni.org/YourStory to share it today!