Anthony S. Manna, Chairman

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Innovative & Relentless: Tony’s Unwavering Passion for Big Picture Success

Tony epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit. Tony is the founder of both M7 and Signet, LLC and now serves both organizations as lead strategist. Tony has spent 25+ years creating collaborative partnerships that relentlessly advance initiatives and ventures in diversified manufacturing, distribution, health and wellness, technology, startups, investment banking and finance. Tony has also developed over $5 billion in real estate development and property management projects. As a direct result of his steadfast leadership and inspirational vision, M7 has developed an unconventional approach to global investment that uniquely engages customized resources to orchestrate long-term growth and positive impact across many business sectors.

How It Started: The Driving Force Behind the Aeros Coming to Akron

A consummate champion for the growth and development of the City of Akron, and an admitted baseball nut, Tony is responsible for bringing the Akron Aeros (now the Rubber Ducks) and Canal Park Stadium to Akron. As a young lawyer, Tony read an article in the Beacon Journal about the possibility of a team coming to Akron and set out to make it happen.

“It was Manna who, as former Mayor Don Plusquellic acknowledged, ‘almost single-handedly delivered this team to the city.’” - The Indomitable Don Plusquellic, Steve Love (2016, Ringtaw Books)

Tony tracked down the Northeastern League team owner who was looking at three possible cities to bring a team. He made it his mission to ensure that the winner was Akron, Ohio. With only a short 30 days to respond to the owner’s requests, Tony was able to negotiate the deal and secure the right for his company, Akron Stadium Corp., to develop the stadium. The development and opening of Canal Park in 1997 spurred more than 20 years of continued economic growth in downtown Akron.

Dedication & Commitment: Tony’s Focus on his Family and His Business Family

While studying at The Ohio State University in the early 1980s, Tony’s business class studied a 1980 Scientific Survey where men ages 65 and older were asked what they would do differently if they could live their lives again. The study showed that the top two answers were the only ones that mattered. Answer number 2 was "I wish I spent more time with my family." And answer number 1 was "I wish I had taken more risk in my life.” Tony swore then that he would never answer that way when asked the same question when he was 65.

Tony then attended a presentation by John H. McConnell, founder of Worthington Industries. Mr. McConnell said he was going to show the audience what they needed to do in order to accomplish all the civic, charitable and community activities and donations that he had already done. He told them, in summary, “If you want to do the most for your community, your church, your civic activities, then start a business and make money. As your business grows, your employees have money for their families and their civic, charitable and community activities. Nothing influences a community like starting a growing business.” That presentation sparked Tony’s entrepreneurial interest.

Tony’s hard work and consistency has resulted in a diverse portfolio of investments, ventures, and developments. But his hard work and consistency has also resulted in stability for his family and consistent job creation for people in his community. Tony understands the importance of family and how it motivates individuals.

“People occasionally ask me why I use the phrase “business family” versus just “family” when referring to M7, Signet or BMD. In business, we need to make money. If my kids screw up, we don’t kick them out of our family; but if someone makes a disastrous decision or becomes lazy in business, he or she hurts others in the business from being able to put food on the table for their family. Hence, I use the term business family to help describe our business culture. We still treat everyone with trust, respect and value, but we need to make money. People are motivated to work hard when they are trusted, respected, and valued, and, in turn, can help support their family.” – Tony Manna

Tony is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Emory University School of Law. He is also the Chairman and co-founder of the business law firm of Brennan, Manna and Diamond, LLC, which specializes in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, healthcare and real estate.