Tony Stonis grew up in South Philadelphia in the USA. He went to college at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia where he played football and rowed on the crew team. After graduation with a BS in Chemical Engineering, he went to work for 3M Company. For 15 years at 3M, he had various assignments at 5 different factories in the US and Europe ranging from engineer, line supervisor, planner, and eventually plant manager. In 1984 he organized the leveraged buyout of a 3M business in Newark, New Jersey. He named the new company Cardolite and has remained its president since then.