20 Under 40: Sean Compton

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Sean Compton

Sean Compton, 35

President and CEO, Southern Spear Ironworks, Southern Spear Properties, Warrior Demolition and Abatement, Lucey Boiler LLC, and Tomahawk Crane and Rigging; FSU Young Alumni Notables Noles, 2019

Mantra: #thebestwaytopredictthefutureistocreateit

Quarantine projects: Tackled lots of 'honey do' list, outdoor activities with my family and catching up on landscaping.

What motivates you? Winning - for my family and our company. Winning isn't just about dollars and cents, winning should also derive from personal spiritual growth and family fulfillment. Truly winning isn't quantified in one aspect only, but should encompass all parts of your life and be visible in everything you do.

What do you credit for where you are today? Hard work ethic instilled by my parents and internal drive of being tenacious and relentless.

What (else) did you want to be when you grew up? As a kid I wanted to be President, a cardiac surgeon, fighter pilot, but I was always fascinated by construction and development.

How did you remain productive amid the pandemic? Because we are a national security contractor, working from home wasn't an option for me. We are considered an essential company. Navigating safety procedures to ensure everyone within our facility remained healthy was a task of its own. Not to mention this pandemic happened right in the middle of securing a contract for NASA. The only option is to remain focused and disciplined.

Did the pandemic upend your routine? Not much has changed other than finding ways to entertain myself. I really missed enjoying local restaurants.

One thing you couldn't live without? My wife and kids, but if we are talking about things, college football.

What have you been most grateful for during the pandemic? I'm grateful my family and parents or anyone I personally know didn't get sick. ... I can't imagine what people are going through who have lost a friend or relative because of this pandemic.

What can't you have in your house? A small, non-smart TV without HD or cable.

What's one thing about Chattanooga you'd change? I enjoy the Lookouts, CFC and the Red Wolves, but we need a professional football team.

One thing you wish you'd known at the start of your career? Listen to your gut and follow your heart. Many years of experience doing anything doesn't always equal knowledge.