Tim Geary ’02 Receives Young Alumni Award

The Rivers community welcomed alumnus Tim Geary ’02 back to campus on Monday to honor him with the 2016 Young Alumni Achievement Award. In his acceptance speech at all-school meeting, Geary credited his successful business career to lessons he learned at Rivers—knowing how to build a team, define goals, and earn trust.
Geary is president of Weld Power Generator, the largest independent generator company in the Northeast, specializing in selling and repairing emergency power systems that provide electricity to mission critical facilities throughout New England and New York. While this past weekend’s storm may have put the company to the test, in reality they spend the entire year installing and maintaining generators so that their customers are ready for such an emergency. The company services everything from mountain-top cell towers on the Canadian border to high-rises in Boston and New York City, including 32 major hospitals, more than 900 nursing homes, four international airports, as well as many commercial buildings and data centers.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to come back to Rivers and share how my experiences here prepared me for life,” said Geary. “I consider myself incredibly lucky to have gone to school here, and most of my best friends today walked these halls with me. Everyone I met at Rivers excelled at something.  Some excelled at athletics, some at music, others at theater. And ALL were accepted into this great tight-knit community.
“As captain of the varsity hockey team senior year, I learned to lead by example, to defend my teammates, and to be the voice of my team,” Geary continued. “However it wasn’t the lessons I learned on the ice, but rather my experiences with the Rivers Mountain Club that probably had the greatest impact on me. My Mountain Club experience taught me the value that clearly defined goals and vision bring to an organization. The other great skill I learned was the ability to build and lead teams.”
Geary’s passion for the outdoors led him to enroll in business school at the University of Colorado after Rivers. Then immediately after graduating from the University of Colorado, he founded Boston Bucks, Boston’s first city-wide campus meal plan, which he sold in 2008 to a national student service provider. The sale coincided with an opportunity for him to return to the family-owned generator company where he had often worked as a teenager.
By the age of 24, Geary was named president of Weld Power Generator, the youngest person to hold this position in the company's history. The company has been recognized by INC magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America for the last three years in a row.
“When I started, Weld Power was a small company with 13 employees,” he commented. “We had a solid, but small, service department. Our territory was central Massachusetts with a handful of accounts in the Boston area. We were a Mom and Pop shop. Today, eight years later, we are the largest independent generator company in the Northeast. 
“I credit my success to the preparation I received at Rivers,” said Geary. “I knew that I needed to set a clear vision for the company, which was to build a company that was an industry leader in the service and maintenance of emergency power systems for the most critical facilities across all industries. To achieve that vision I knew I also needed to hire, develop, and retain the most experienced and talented power-gen professionals I could find, a team that would believe in the vision and help achieve my goals.”
The company now has 36 employees, with a sales force of four, and a technical team made up almost entirely of veterans from the armed services.
“I committed to hiring returning United States military veterans," said Geary in an interview. "Over the past eight years, I have hired 20 battle-tested military veterans. American veterans go above and beyond, because they are trained in a culture that values loyalty, hard work, and achieving goals above all else. They take pride in being part of a highly-skilled team that is dedicated to excellence.
“In one case, a Marine veteran toiled for eight hours in the freezing cold clearing roads of fallen trees with his chainsaw so that he could get to a nursing home which had been without electricity or heat for 12 hours. No other emergency police, fire, or electric utility team could respond. He was able to repair the generator and keep it running for another four days before the commercial power was restored. I strongly advise working with our military veterans whenever possible—it is the right thing to do, and I assure you will not regret it.”
“I would like to leave you with three pieces of advice regarding leadership that I hope will help you both at Rivers and in your future careers,” concluded Geary in his talk.
“First, whether you are planning a climbing trip or starting a company, make sure you build a team of people with strengths that offset your weaknesses.
“Second, if you are going to be an effective leader, you need to do exactly what you say you are going to do. Your team needs to trust you. It is OK to not have all the answers. But never tell someone what they want to hear just to get by the moment.
“Finally, when leading a team, clearly define goals and your vision, but do not micromanage the process of achieving your goals.
“Again, I would like to thank the Rivers Young Alumni Achievement Committee and the entire Rivers community for this award. I am truly honored and proud of this recognition.”
Rivers’ Young Alumni Achievement Award was established by the Alumni Council in 2014 to recognize a recent graduate who models the spirit and values of The Rivers School, is a living example of Excellence with Humanity through professional, academic, and/or volunteer roles, and has demonstrated leadership, excellence in his/her chosen career, and an interest in and commitment to serving others. A second Alumni Achievement Award will be presented to Cara Nicoletti ’04 in April 2016.

Click here to hear Geary's speech.