“My job is to make sure that you have an easy life,” said Anthony Lewis from the eighth floor Verizon board room of his Maryland office. Newly named vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Region, Lewis, a native of Norfolk, Va. has big plans for the company he’s been a part of since 1986, known then as the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia.
A veteran member of the business, Lewis worked his way up from his beginnings as a group manager in the operator services department to president of Verizon- Washington, D.C. Holding that position from 2004 to 2008, Lewis oversaw everything from billing and communication planning to distribution and price directing.
With technology reinventing and pushing itself further and further ever day, Lewis will lead the company to even greater heights as cell phones, computers, and tablets integrate themselves even deeper into daily routines.
In 2012, Lewis says Verizon is working on bigger and better communication devices that will better operate everything from the iCloud to a diet by taking a picture of a plate with pendants cleverly blended with clothing. “What’s magnificent about the future is that there is no limit. Whatever you desire, whatever you want to do- there are a ways to get it done.”
As a minority in business, Lewis is a shining example of the hard work ethic and diligent attitude it takes to make it to the top. “It’s a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to represent my community in corporate America,” said Lewis, who believes that showing the world minorities can lead is not a task he takes lightly. “I work every day to make sure that I’m building a bridge for the next person to do these types of jobs,” said Lewis, who says one of the biggest challenges he faced was learning the politics and culture of the corporate world.
“Tony’s demonstrated leadership, customer focus and success in a number of operational assignments have uniquely qualified him for this key responsibility,” said Coleen A. McCloskey in a press release. McCloskey served as Verizon’s senior vice president of state public policy and external affairs at the time of Lewis’ appointment to president of Verizon-Washington D.C.
“You need mentors and people who are willing to help you navigate these seas. None of it happens alone,” said Lewis, who says his father, Matthew Lewis Jr., was an important guide, showing him the basics principles of business. “He instilled in me a work ethic that said ‘it is a privilege to be at any work place.’”
Earning his undergraduate degree in business at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in 1986, Lewis credits the hard working public city school teachers he came in contact with every day as one reason he’s been able to soar. Today, Lewis is glad he often had to do double the work of other children, with assignments from school and at home by his school-teaching mother who pushed him just as hard. “I am where I am today because she instilled in me a love of gaining more knowledge and that really made the difference for me,” said Lewis.
After graduating from ECSU, Lewis went on to complete both the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Leadership Development Program and the Johns Hopkins Leadership Development Program.
Aside from leading one of the world’s top technology organizations, Lewis is also a seasoned jazz musician, donating his time and money to organizations that keep the arts alive in schools and communities such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. As a child, Lewis had dreams of being a drummer, and says his love of music easily translates to the technology business because “your ability to communicate a message to a large group” is the same no matter what the medium.