2016 Navigator Award: Young Professional of the Year — Nick Sharp
Steamboat Springs — This year’s young professional of the year started on the ground floor of what would become one of the most successful businesses in Steamboat Springs.
Nick Sharp, 36, grew up in Elizabeth, and he learned he had knack for the hospitality industry while attending Colorado State University.
“I found that to be a satisfying way to spend my time,” Sharp said.
After moving to Steamboat in 2004, Sharp started bartending at Mazzola’s, which was later bought by Rex Brice.
Sharp has stuck with Brice and helped him expand Rex’s Family of Restaurants. Today, the company has six restaurants and a catering company. Sharp serves as the director of operations.
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Brice said Sharp has played a key role in the growth of the business.
“He is the voice of reason in the company,” Brice said.
Brice said Sharp is able to make decisions that are better long-term for the restaurants, and he helps instill the company brand and culture.
“He brings that to the table and spreads that through the organization,” Brice said.
Sharp’s co-workers speak highly of him.
Jennifer Jurgovan, who does catering sales and hospitality management for the company, said Sharp has been a huge mentor, and she frequently goes to him for guidance.
“He tries to teach me, and I do my best to follow in his steps,” Jurgovan said. “He teaches me how to be a better person at my job.”
Jurgovan said Sharp is wise beyond his years, and he has a unique ability to diffuse tense situations.
Sharp is the ultimate brand ambassador for the restaurants, which have a mission to create memorable experiences and to provide meaning in people’s lives.
That goes beyond just the customers at the restaurants, and Jurgovan said Sharp strives to make sure the employees enjoy what they are doing.
“Nick measures the success of our company by how happy people are,” Jurgovan said.
As the community has changed, so has the outlook for the company, and Sharp said they are constantly looking for opportunities.
Sharp said it was an honor to receive a Navigator Award that recognizes him as a driving force in one of the biggest companies in town.
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