Summit County finance advisor given award for Extraordinary Achievement |

Summit County finance advisor given award for Extraordinary Achievement

Mark Nunn (right) recieved an award for Extraordinary Achievement at the 2016 Business Excellence Awards. Judi LaPoint (center) presented Nunn with the award at the end of the evening.
Kailyn Lamb / |

On Thursday, the event organizers of the 2016 Business Excellence Awards pulled a surprise out of their sleeves.

It was the first time the event had been held in several years, after the Great Recession hit Summit’s local business community. Judi LaPoint, business development manager for the Summit County Chamber of Commerce and one of the masters of ceremonies for the event, praised one man in particular for helping to reinvigorate the organization.

“Mark Nunn, the man who challenged us all to think outside the box,” LaPoint said during her speech at the event.

That night, the chamber awarded its first-ever Extraordinary Achievement Award to Nunn.

A mountain man in the making

Nunn first moved to Colorado from Arkansas in 1979. He worked as a bond trader in Denver before moving to Summit in 2005. Although he’s been in Colorado for nearly 37 years, you can still hear faint hints of his accent.

Nunn takes his outdoor enthusiasm to the next level with his goal to eventually climb all of the 14ers in the state — his journey started in 1989 when he climbed Mount Elbert by accident with his dog.

“I managed to start up it, and had a dog with me and just kept going,” he said. “Somebody came down and told me where I was and I said ‘Oh let’s go along on up.’ That was kind of inspiring.”

He is now more than halfway to his goal, having summited 37 of 54 peaks. Nunn’s favorite climb so far has been Mount Harvard.

For him, the community was the most important part about his decision to join the chamber. He opened his Edward Jones office in Frisco in 2005, and joined the chamber in order to network and meet more business professionals. He quickly made a name for himself, with the office winning Business of the Year in the small business category of the excellence awards in 2006. The organization soon became his “heart and soul,” which is why he made it his mission to save it in 2008.

In the same year, the chamber closed its local office and laid-off its staff. Nunn, a financial advisor, had recently started on the chamber’s board as treasurer.

“It didn’t take long for me to discover that the numbers weren’t going to work,” he said.

Membership numbers were dwindling, and at the time, that was the organization’s primary source of revenue. The chamber was in a pile of debt. In the coming years, Nunn would move up the ranks from treasurer, to vice president and eventually to president of the organization for four years.

“You live in a community you want to see the county develop, you want to see it thrive,” he said. “That’s really what the chamber is oriented to is supporting business within the community.”

Nunn helped the organization to become more profitable by making the chamber events-driven. The COO Breakfast, which brings together executives from Summit’s resorts, has sold out every year since 2009.

Although Nunn stepped down as president of the Summit Chamber board three years ago, he said he still plans to hang around for the long haul.

“I have no intention of fading into the sunset, I really want to continue to see the chamber grow and the county grow,” he said.

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