Gregory J. Anton, CPA, CGMA
Chairman & CEO
Industry: Accounting & Finance
Greg Anton credits his father and his great-grandfather for lighting a fire in his belly to work hard and lead by example. His great-grandfather, an Albanian who settled in the U.S., worked as a logger, taught himself to read and write English and ultimately opened a grocery store. His father also, building on the character and values instilled by his grandfather, stepped away temporarily from a successful career in pharmaceutical sales to launch a business focused on one of his personal loves and interests – high-end cookware for chefs.
“Watching my father take that leap and face extraordinary challenges taught me about risk taking,” said Anton.
He summoned up the courage and took a similar risk eighteen years ago when he and two partners formed Anton Collins Mitchell, LLP, now ACM, an accounting firm headquartered in Denver. They collectively and successfully grew the business to include 26 partners, four offices and approximately 200 employees.
“We evaluated the risk. We evaluated the reward. We took on the risky challenge and thankfully we’ve had a significant amount of success,” said Anton, who serves as the CEO of the company founded in 2002.
The risk has certainly paid off. ACM has been recognized as the 3rd Fastest Growing Public Accounting Firm in the country and has gone from a Top 300 firm ranked by Inside Public Accounting to the Top 140 by 2018. “When we started ACM, our goal was to create a firm that was beneficial and rewarding to both employees and clients,” said Anton. “We wanted to control our own destiny. By having local ownership and decision making, we were able to decide which clients we would serve and how we would grow, which has profoundly benefitted both ACM clients and employees.”
According to his colleagues, Anton is a strong believer that part of being a leader is leading by example. “At ACM, not only does he show that being involved in volunteer work is important, but also having sustainable work/life integration is vital.”
Anton’s volunteer work, much of which is focused on early childhood education initiatives, is fueled by his mother’s efforts as a school social worker, his wife’s work in the school system and his own struggles as a young student overcoming dyslexia.
“I have really tried to reflect on and demonstrate work/life integration, which is different from work/life balance,” said Anton. “How you find creative ways to integrate what people enjoy with their work experience is what work/life integration is all about to me.”
Anton has been recognized for his work with honors such as the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service by the AICPA, being asked to participate in national speaking engagements and holding different officer roles for several accounting organizations.
For his relentless work as a leader for his employees and clients, Anton has been named a Titan of industry.
Greatest Leadership Lesson
If you aren't willing to try and fail, you won't have the opportunity to succeed.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. "
An outdoor enthusiast, Greg once broke the world record for skiing the most vertical feet in 24 hours.