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Home | 40 Under Forty

Stephen Dunker believes athletics can be a positive driving force

By SUSAN CLARK
Union Leader Correspondent

January 26. 2014 8:15AM

Stephen Dunker 
Stephen Dunker, 36
Home: Bedford

Birthplace: Newburyport, Mass.

Family: Wife, Megan; three boys, Evan 7, Beau 5, and Nathan 2.

High school: Pinkerton Academy

College/post grad degrees: Northeastern University, B.A. in accounting

Current job: Vice president of sales and marketing at AMPM Facility Services/HD Floorcoat

Key past positions held: Founder and owner of I9 Sports

Volunteer activities: Coaching, coaching, coaching … Although I used to volunteer heavily prior to having my own children, currently my time is spent as a volunteer coach for all of my boys. (Bedford Jaguars Football Coach, Bedford Youth Basketball Coach, Bedford Youth Baseball Coach). I think my friends and colleagues know that when they need help either personally or financially as it relates to a good cause, I help in any way I can. We are very fortunate that our boys are healthy so any time I get the opportunity to assist in the many great programs that already exist I try to include them as well. I have also sat on the fundraising committee for St Joes in Manchester, the Chamber's Green Committee, started the FunFit program for Manchester Public Schools, coached the St Joes Girls Basketball Team, McDonough Elementary Girls Basketball, and volunteered at the Bishop Elite Program in Manchester. I wrote the economic insight for the state of New Hampshire in 2006 and was on the initial business committee for the Manchester Young Professionals Network.

Most admired person (outside your family): John Smith, owner and founder of AMPM. This year was trying with the passing of my father. Timing was not the best considering we were trying to reinvent our industry. I have never expressed how important that was to me and how much it helped me get through the most difficult time in my life. Even when we don't agree, we can always find excitement in the resolution. I know I can count on him for professional mentorship and personal advice when I ask. He recognizes that my commitment to my family is above all else and encourages a balance of life and work. He saw something in me and gave me an opportunity to grow as a man and a professional. My life would not be where it is without him. Our company and our clients are lucky to have someone who cares as much as he does.

Last major achievement: The AMPM team's successful launching of our new sister company, HD Floorcoat.

Two peers who know you well: Chris Lamalfa, United Business Machines; and Roy Simpson-Unigraphics

Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Opportunity for young professionals and retaining talent in the New Hampshire workforce.

Favorite place in New Hampshire: Angel Street, Loon Mountain.

What book are you reading now? Bill Simmons' "Book of Basketball"

How do you relax? Through activity. My wife told me that each child you have consumes 80 percent of your free time. We have three, so I am functioning under 1 percent.

What websites do you visit most often? Etrade, Unionleader.com, Youtube

Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: I am a big fan of acoustic music. My favorite musical artist is Josh Simpson, local kid who is going to be a star!

BEDFORD — Stephen Dunker's three sons, Evan, 7, Beau, 5, and Nathan, 2, keep him on the move, but he wouldn't have it any other way.


When Dunker was growing up, playing football, basketball and tennis on the varsity level was the driving force in making him the man he is today. He believes athletics plays a vital role in building strong citizens of tomorrow.


"For me, sports was my developmental tool," he said. "It drove me. My parents used it to help me stay focused, and if I didn't do well in school I couldn't play. Now, it's a video game world and kids learn skills better by being outside and playing."


He said being a family man has helped him realize what is most important in life, and he's dedicated to giving his wife, Megan, his sons and his community the best part of himself. 


Dunker grew up in Derry and has lived in New Hampshire for about 10 years, with five in Bedford.


"I'm truly lucky to have met a woman who made me a better man," Dunker said. "Having children changed my life. I don't think I really knew what love was until I had kids. My first and foremost focus is my family and the betterment of my kids, mainly because I'm a big kid."


When Dunker is not working as vice president of sales and marketing of AMPM Facility Services and its sister company HD Floorcoat, in Waltham, Mass., he can be seen coaching several sports teams – Bedford Jaguars Football, Bedford Youth Basketball, and Bedford Youth Baseball.


He is also the founder and owner of I9 Sports, a youth recreational basketball program which promotes after-school fitness and offers lower-income children a chance to play sports.


He had served on the fundraising committee for St. Joseph's Regional High School in Manchester, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce's Green Committee, founded the FunFit program for Manchester public schools to help fight obesity, coached the St. Joseph's girls basketball team and the McDonough Elementary School's girls basketball, and volunteered at the Bishop Elite Program in Manchester, a basketball program that has won several championships. Now, his growing family and busy schedule limit his volunteerism, but he often tries to take part in local fundraising efforts.


"When my friends need it, I try to help. But, it's hard with three kids under 7," he said.


While many people have helped Dunker through life, he credits his boss, John Smith, for giving him the opportunity to devote time to his family and coaching.


"John is a mentor. I would not be in the position I am without him. John is very family-oriented. He recognizes that my commitment to my family is above all else and he encourages a balance of life and work," Dunker said. "I'm lucky to have a boss who cares so much."


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