Mark Marcoplos bio
Mark Marcoplos grew up in and outside of Baltimore, MD. He came to UNC Chapel Hill
in 1971 and except for a few years living in New Hampshire, has been here ever since. As an
All-ACC soccer player at UNC, he had the personal pleasure of beating Duke.
Beginning in the 80’s, he was active in a variety of environmental issues including
opposition to licensing the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant, helping to prevent a radioactive waste
dump from being located in our region, and convincing CP&L to stop transporting radioactive
spent fuel rods by rail to Shearon Harris.
In the early 90’s, he worked with community members across Orange County to advocate
for solid waste reduction instead of the siting of a mega-landfill in a rural area of the county. In
2008 he was a leader in another successful effort to defend rural Orange communities, this time
from proposed airport locations.
In 2015, he was one of the founding members of Orange County Living Wage which
currently has about 200 certified living wage employers and collectively raised wages by over
$700,000. Marcoplos Construction has the distinction of being the very first OCLW certified
He has served on the boards of NCWARN (North Carolina Waste Awareness and
Reduction Network), the NC Solar Energy Association, and the Orange County Living Wage
Steering Committee. Currently he is a board member of the Home Builders Association of
Durham, Orange, and Chatham.
Beginning in the late 90’s, he was appointed by the County Commissioners to serve on the
Economic Development Commission. That was followed by appointment to the Orange Water
and Sewer Authority Board of Directors, which included two terms as the elected Chair. Mark
also served on the Orange County Planning Board and the Orange County Housing Authority.
He founded Marcoplos Construction in 1987 and was an early adopter of green building
techniques. His family’s home in rural, southwestern Orange County, built in 2001, is a model
eco-home which received local and national attention for its variety of solar and green building
features. As a free-lance writer, Mark had some of the earliest articles on emerging green
building techniques published in national home and trade publications. Additionally, he wrote a
local column in the Chapel Hill Herald and then in the Chapel Hill News for over a decade.
He lives with his wife, Wanda Sundermann, in their home that has been slowly vacated
over the years by sons Lucas, Dakota, and Riley.
In his capacity as a County Commissioner, Mark currently serves on the following Boards
- The Orange County Transit Planning Committee which is tasked with helping to create the next iteration of a comprehensive county transit plan.
- The GoTriangle Board of Trustees which oversees the Triangle’s regional transportation
provider. Beyond regular board oversight duties, Mark is representing Orange County in
the effort to create a commuter rail system that would run from Selma in Johnson County
through Raleigh, Durham, and Hillsborough to Mebane in Alamance County.
- The Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Municipal Planning Organization which is
the regional organization responsible for transportation planning for the western part of
the Research Triangle area in North Carolina. Mark is a GoTriangle representative.
- The Joint Public Safety Training Facility Work Group which is supporting efforts to build a new emergency personnel training center in Orange County.
- The Triangle Area Rural Planning Organization which helps oversee transportation planning in our region’s rural areas.
- The Burlington-Graham MPO which provides transportation planning guidance for the Burlington, Graham, and Mebane municipalities. One third of Mebane is in Orange County.
- The Solid Waste Advisory Group, which provides policy direction for the County’s solid
waste management. Mark is the current Chair.
- The Chatham Orange Work Group which shares information between the two
neighboring counties. Mark is a GoTriangle representative.
- The Durham-Orange-Chapel Hill Work Group which shares information between the
Jordan Lake One Water – a watershed scale organization sponsored by the Triangle J
Council of Governments with the goal of collaboratively managing the water resources in
our ecosystems - our drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater - holistically and
- The Orange County Climate Council – Mark spearheaded the creation of this countywide committee that brings representatives together from local governments, school systems, and citizen organizations to strengthen our mitigation and resiliency responses to climate change
- The Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center which is a very successful county enterprise which helps new & existing small food businesses get started and grow in North Carolina's Piedmont.
Mark previously served on:
- The Family Success Alliance – an innovative division of the Orange County Health Dept.
which works to close the achievement gap and reduce generational poverty.
- The Orange County Affordable Housing Collaborative working with representatives and staff from the various County governments to provide affordable housing.
- The Durham Tech Community College Board of Trustees (which has a campus in
Hillsborough as well as Durham).
- The Partnership to End Homelessness, a county-wide collaborative effort.