My interest in business began more than 15 years ago. As a kid, I frequently played “shop” — even built a laptop out of Legos — but it wasn’t until high school that I was formally introduced to the concept of business and its role in the community. I joined Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and later served as a student volunteer to the local chamber of commerce. From each of these experiences, I learned that business carries a responsibility to use its voice to bring about positive and sustainable change to the benefit of the greater good.
About eight years ago, I first met Steve Sink — a man who understood this principle and whose commitment to it will forever serve as a personal and professional model for me to aspire toward. Then business editor of the Democrat and Chronicle, Steve was thoughtful and measured — signs of both his seasoned experience and tenure in the newspaper business. His legacy includes 12 years at the Miami Herald, 21 years at Newsday, followed by 9 years with Gannett.
My Sundays were never really complete and my Mondays never ready-to-go until reading his column, which was initially buried several pages deep. In the latter years of his tenure, Steve’s words — and face — eventually graced the front of the business section.
Unlike many downstate transplants, Steve left any sense of superiority back in Melville with his post at Newsday. While others insist on using their experience from bigger markets to point out all of the things Rochester gets wrong — especially when it comes to business — Steve mostly used his diverse perspective to shine the spotlight on the things Rochester got right.
Most of all, Steve epitomized the work of covering business news. He was the consummate professional who stuck to analysis of the facts over the frivolity of Rochester’s oft-revolving door of dysfunction. Lastly, he made a point to connect with people and was especially generous at a time when his own business of reporting the news was rapidly changing.
Whereas philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously said “the medium is the message,” in the case of Steve Sink’s column and role, the messenger was so often my medium of choice. Today, on this Labor Day, Common Wealth salutes the lasting legacy of Steve Sink — a steady voice for Gannett, an enduring advocate of business, and an unassuming, yet influential leader in the Rochester community.