Alumni Merit Award: Frank A. Anton (GJ74)

"Medill allowed me to escape a career my father considered predestined for me: the law," says Frank Anton of his Northwestern education. "I ended up doing what I really love: running a media company."

Anton is now the CEO of Hanley Wood, a construction publishing company. Managing expositions, conferences, magazines, web sites, and trade journals, the firm is a major center of information for businesses in the commercial and residential construction industry.

This intersection of media and industry offers Anton "the chance to be both creative and business-like." Demonstrating his creativity and his business savvy, Anton jump-started Hanley Wood's web initiatives and relaunched BuildTV, an online video channel for the construction industry. These successful web-based projects provide up-to-date industry news, marketing tips, skill presentations, and everything in between.

A variety of channels and a large archive of episodes offer relevant resources for many sectors of the construction industry.

Thanks in part to Anton's efforts to build the company's web presence, Hanley Wood's revenue has increased 50 percent in the past year. He explains that he is proud of "building a small business-to-business media company into a large media company that exerts real, positive influence on an important industry—housing." Having served Hanley Wood in several capacities, Anton has watched its growth from many angles; before attaining the position of CEO, he was a publisher, then editor, and then president.

Under Anton's direction, Hanley Wood also recently acquired eco-structure and metalmag, two print magazines focusing on specific corners of the commercial construction industry. Expanding on current construction trends, the publishing company has also launched EcoHome magazine, which has established itself as a valuable resource for the sustainable construction movement.

Recognizing the key role Anton played in his company's successful online initiatives, BtoB Media Business, a magazine for business executives, named the CEO one of 2008's top innovators in business. In 2003, he was awarded a McAllister fellowship, which is meant to promote the study of business media. As a fellow, he was an advisor on the Medill Magazine Project.

Anton served as chairperson of American Business Media and is currently a member of the board of this association of business information providers. He is also on the executive committee of the Policy Advisory Board of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, a forum for housing industry research and development.

Anton currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Georgine. He has two grown children, Emily and Margaret.