Dublin-Worthington News Stories

Membership Spotlight: Tim Shear

Sunday, October 31, 2021 By: Paul J. Cynkar
Advancing the Leadership Mindset
Finding Success in the Success of Others
Paul Cynkar, October, 2021
This is another in a series of member profiles based on discovery interview questions that were designed to get an up close view of the traits and strengths of some of the members who provide leadership to this organization.
Membership Spotlight: Tim Shear
Eclectic, Intentional, Stylistic

Tell me about yourself.  Give me three facts that include information about your family, your career and your pastimes.
Moved from east side suburbs of Cleveland to then-rural Geauga County near the Amish, an interesting place for a Jewish kid. Thereafter boarding school, anthropology and economics, politics to investment banking. Always a reader and a writer, often involved with music and varied outdoors pursuits as well.

How long have you belonged to Rotary?  What’s the best thing about membership?

Almost 25 years a Rotarian, starting with Columbus RC, but thereafter DWRC, where I lived for 22 years and also because we were very early to the table of international projects initiatives in District 6690.  Rotary International’s avenue of service focusing on international acquaintance and service is unlike any other service organization IMHO, amidst eight billion people, we can boast of ~1.2 million Rotarians worldwide and across 32k clubs. Meeting widely varied Rotarians in friendship, service and collaboration in so many places around our world is quite wonderful and refills me with hope and optimism for our world.

As you look back on your life and your career, where and when did you have the biggest impact on others?  Who was impacted and how?
An eclectic life “connecting the dots” seems to have led me here, where we at DWRC were able to lead our District and Ohio in collecting and distributing books to Mongolia’s youngest and underserved reader. This opportunity has perhaps been the most impactful opportunity to make a big difference for good throughout the years of my career. However, my academic training to see the world through a social lens has always served me well, notwithstanding my curious years around the Ohio legislature and politics.

As you look back, which of the opportunities you’ve had has been the most fulfilling to you personally?  Why?

A hard choice, as I have intentionally tried to direct my career in a manner that constructively correlates my past work life. While I was a social sciences student, that was very fulfilling, then politics very meaningfully succeeded that, while not making it moot. The financial services arena has been, therefore, a huge cumulative reward, as my eclectic past allows me to focus on equally needful projects’ capital needs.

Describe the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on.  What was your role?  What was the result? What did you learn?
During the visionary period of the Ohio High Speed Rail project (~1986-1988), I served as the executive director of the Ohio High Speed Association, where I led the advocacy effort for the project, then readying ~$8 billion in construction (bond) financing. While our opponents in some ways were the paving interests, we succeeded in demonstrating to them that OHSR would be accretive to all, as the earlier advent of piggy-back rail freight had also been to over-the-road interests. The bonds by now would have been retired, even if only serviced by revenues from advertising and concessions; and we could all be taking the trains to Browns and Bengals games, this fall!  The bond syndicate included Cleveland’s McDonald & Co., Prescott Ball & Turben; Cincinnati’s Seasongood firm. Conspicuously omitted from the syndicate was the Ohio Company. Lesson learned? Don’t pick fights with those who buy their ink by the barrel…

What are some things you are passionate about?  What really excites you? What gets your adrenalin flowing?  What makes your heart sing?

In addition to the many flavors of Rotary service in my life, I am still passionate about skiing in winter and water sports and motorcycles in warmer months. Spectacular vistas make my heart sing. So too do many animal interests and our urgent need to best steward this planet over which we’re given responsibility.

What are you especially skilled at?  What is something that others often tell you that they think makes you stand out?

Perhaps my writing skills. Occasionally, my analytical skills.

When you have a moment to sit back and think (dream) about your future, what do you think about?  What things would you like to do in your life that you haven’t gotten around to yet?  Is there something else you would like to accomplish?
Certain banking projects in addition to the literacy projects. Finish writing an Ohio-focused, native American story about which I’m passionate. Always the next horizon, but I worry about xenophobia and the world not remembering the lessons of history. Speaking to that remains an imperative to me, especially if we can achieve better collaboration through friendship and understanding, the Rotary way.

If you could choose anyone (alive or deceased) to have lunch with, who would it be? Why?

Dolly Parton, because of her leadership in literacy through the efforts of her Imagination Library.
(Jane Goodall’s a close second, because she’s my hero!)


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