Agriculture, Central New York, Community, Feature, Government

An Active Listener

Life has taken Scott Comegys to some very interesting places. Chris Lucey reports on where he's been, where he is, and where he wants to go next.

Audio Transcript: Lucey_Active_Listener_Script

By Chris Lucey Palmyra, N.Y. (NCC News) – Scott Comegys will be the first to tell you: he does not like to sit down. Comegys skipped college and went straight into the workforce after high school to “just get into life,” rather than spend another four years studying. Eventually he graduated from Monroe Community College with a degree in sustainability studies. But still thought it was important to get his hands dirty first.

The first stop was a stereo store, and then a movie theater. Comegys worked his way up from the bottom there, earning a management position at three theaters after starting at an entry-level position. Next, Comegys moved on to manage the parking facilities at a hospital before buying the plot of land where he and his family have made a new life as Alpaca farmers.

Comegys’ myriad jobs have taught him more than he could recount, but one thing has stood out to him above all the rest. Listening to others is how to get the most out of a team.   

 “To get the best out of people, you have to give them the opportunity to be their best,” said Comegys. “People don’t come to work just to work an eight-hour day. They want fulfillment. You need to get to know them to understand how to help them achieve that.”

Scott Comegys walking the grounds of his Alpaca Farm. He and his wife started the farm with nothing more than three Alpacas and research they did on their own. (NCC News/Chris Lucey)

Intuitiveness is a trait that Comegys believes would serve him well on Capitol Hill.  Comegys is running for the congressional seat in the 24th Congressional District of New York. His platform is structured around green energy and reforming the education and healthcare systems.

Comegys believes green energy will create a sustainable economic system that encourages young minds to innovate and find work in new job fields. Reforming the healthcare and education systems are how Comegys hopes to create an environment in this country that enables the American public to feel less pressured into a college education.

Through cheaper healthcare and more thoughtful education, Comegys looks to enable more Americans to enter the job market and be able to support themselves before investing in college. He thinks a change like this will show the country that learning goes far beyond the classroom.

“My education didn’t stop after high school,” said Comegys. “I haven’t stopped learning from the moment I left. Learning is a lifelong experience.”     

Comegys is a political rookie who has until November to adapt to the campaign trail to give himself a legitimate shot against John Katko, the incumbent congressman. However, Comegys believes he’ll learn quickly if he continues to listen carefully to those around him.

“Both people in rural areas and inner cities feel as though they don’t have a voice. I want to provide that for them,” said Comegys.

Finding out how to be that voice will take some doing, but learning on the fly has never deterred him.