20 Under 40: New leaders, classic values

Timothy P. Sweeney, 29
Tunes 92.5 WBLH Radio

Hometown:  Somersworth, N.H.; presently lives in Watertown
Professional position: General Manager
Family: Parents, John and Maryann; older brother, John; younger sister, Courtney; girlfriend, Hillary
Education: Communications and media studies, Penn State University
Community involvement: Member, Watertown Evening Rotary; volunteer, Big Brothers, Big Sisters; member, Black River Valley Club
Last book read: “Breakfast of  Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut

Timothy P. Sweeney doesn’t believe in instant gratification.

Some of the best advice he’s ever followed came from his father, John, a mentor in business and in life whose values he strives to live each day.

“Finish mowing the lawn before getting a glass of water,” Mr. Sweeney said. “Don’t reward yourself before you’re done doing what you have to do. If there’s instant gratification, don’t take it.”

And few could doubt that he’s rewarded himself with less fuss and fanfare than many who’ve climbed the ranks at the pace that this 29-year-old has.

“Becoming a general manager at 26 was a very humbling experience,” Mr. Sweeney said.

His ambition is tempered by an unassuming sincerity that only a handful his age could successfully project. But for Mr. Sweeney, life on and off the court of play — be it work, community, charity or family — isn’t about projections. It’s about living as a man in full who still has room for more, and tasting just enough of the good life to not lose sight of the next right thing.

“I try to leave enough room in my cup to grow,” he said. “If your cup is too full of your own ideas, you’re not growing.”

As for his business sense, like many young leaders, it has been “baptism by fire,” except he has typically been the one holding the matchsticks.

“When I was in high school, I walked into every newspaper, radio and television station around carrying a yellow pad and asked them for anything I could do to prove myself,” he recalled.

-Ken Eysaman
[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Business in print or subscribe.]

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