SUNY Canton

Kevin Fear

Fear Factor

Kevin Fear '87

You’ll never find Kevin M. Fear '87 lying down on the job, unless it’s when he’s looking for the best mattresses on the market.

Fear has had to work hard throughout his career, and in his current role as President of Mattress Express, he’s grown the company to four locations throughout Central and Northern New York, including his newest store, which opened in 2015, in Oneida.

His determination and guiding business philosophy to, as he explained, “treat customers honestly and give employees an opportunity for growth while allowing them to enjoy their jobs” seems to be a winning formula for the Syracuse native.

But before jumping into the mattress business, Fear had already made his mark as an entrepreneur as the owner of AA&J Insurance and, subsequently, Universe Cellular & Dish, which was one of the most successful Verizon agents in New York State. He sold both businesses and now concentrates solely on Mattress Express.

Upon graduating high school, Fear had his heart set on joining his family’s insurance business, so, appropriately enough, he chose SUNY Canton to pursue an associate degree in Banking, Insurance and Real Estate. He confessed that he struggled with academics but valued the time he spent in and out of the classroom.

“I had a great time at SUNY Canton, and I fit in very well,” he said. “Through my membership in Alpha Theta Gamma, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer activities and made some lifelong friends in the process.”

Fear is still giving back to the community, but on a much grander scale. He has spearheaded countless philanthropic efforts, which range from organizing Toys for Tots drop-off locations to leading food drives for the Watertown Food Bank.

 

“I had a great time at SUNY Canton, and I fit in very well,” he said. “Through my membership in Alpha Theta Gamma, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of volunteer activities and made some lifelong friends in the process.”

He is also a strong supporter of SUNY Canton through his service as a College Foundation board member. He was named as the College’s 2015 Distinguished Alumnus and sponsors an endowed scholarship that benefits students with learning disabilities; something that Fear dealt with while in school.

Kevin Fear

“Although I was undiagnosed at the time, I had Attention Deficit Disorder during high school and college, so I thought I would try to help other people who have similar conditions.”

Fear said his motivation for giving back to the College is quite simple: “It’s part of me, it’s part of my past, and I think it’s important that SUNY Canton is here to educate future generations.”


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