The 2014 Citizen of the Year didn’t grow up in Decatur – but he got here as quickly as he could.
Mark Duncum, president of Double Creek Capital Corp., received the honor at the 23rd annual Decatur Chamber of Commerce Auction, held Saturday evening at the Decatur Civic Center.
Presenter Brian Stephens characterized Duncum as “a major catalyst for growth in the city” and said he had been described as “Decatur’s premier developer.”
Duncum decribed himself as “shocked” at the honor.
“It’s hard to believe I could be in the same conversation with Judge Wren, the Hendersons, Brian Stephens and so many great people who have received this award in the past,” he said.
“Decatur really is, in my opinion, the greatest town there is. So, to be recognized in the town that’s where you want to be is really special to me.”
Duncum moved with his family to Decatur in the late 1980s, to go into business with his father-in-law, the late Robert Isham. He’s been a positive force in the community ever since, not only helping boost the economy, but also providing leadership to an array of community organizations.
He’s a guy who rarely says no when asked to serve.
Duncum is on the board of Wise Regional Health System and serves the city of Decatur as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He is a board member of Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) and Wise County Christian Counseling and an elder at the Decatur Church of Christ, where he and his wife, Angela, are active members.
Recently, he was named a trustee of Abilene Christian University, where they met.
Duncum’s family moved around a lot when he was a kid, settling long enough for him to graduate from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston. He earned a degree in accounting at ACU, married Angela, and took a job with Arthur Young – now Ernst and Young – in Fort Worth.
After working there seven years and making manager, he was pulling a lot of overtime and spending far too much time away from his young family. When an opportunity arose to move to Angela’s hometown, they both jumped at it.
They raised their two boys, Cody, 27, and Casey, 24, here. Angela, a mainstay of the church’s teaching program, was also instrumental in helping start The Children’s Place day school at the campus on Farm Road 51 South.
That busy corridor happens to be where Double Creek’s most visible commercial development has taken place.
Duncum and Isham spent several years acquiring property, mostly through the RTC (Resolution Trust Corp.) and the FDIC as the country emerged from the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s. By 1995, that phase was over and Duncum set about developing it.
Double Creek built many of the office buildings that house Decatur’s growing medical community and has developed four residential subdivisions as well: Mustang Creek, Pecan Creek, Hidden Oaks and Briar Crossing.
“This is really where we want to be doing business anyway,” he said. “We have some other things outside of town, but most of what we want to focus on is here.”
Currently, they’re finishing up a building on U.S. Business 380, Park West Court, developed in partnership with David Fuller of FX5. And two more projects on FM 51 South are about to emerge from the ground – The Corner, an office building at Bennett and 51 South, and Chancellor and Jones Funeral Home on Preskitt, just east of 51.
“You need only to drive down FM 51 South and see the ‘Hill Country Style’ office buildings to understand Mark’s commitment to development within the city of Decatur,” wrote Messenger publisher Roy Eaton, who nominated Duncum for the award. “The beautiful Briar Crossing residential development and office buildings in other parts of the city are more examples of his quality work to enhance the economic development of Decatur.”
For Duncum, whether working or serving, it’s all about making Decatur even better.
“Angela and I both really do think Decatur is a wonderful place to live,” Duncum said. “I feel very honored.”