Norman M. Lipman Award Recipient: About Bill Nunnelly
Each year, the Norman M. Lipman award is presented in Mr. Lipman’s memory and in recognition of individuals who have embraced the humanitarian qualities of wisdom, courage, optimism, commitment and integrity in their personal and professional lives. In 2021, we honor Bill Nunnelly for Dedicated Service and Generosity.
Bill Nunnelly grew up on a cattle and feed grain farm in Nunnelly, Tennessee. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin (1966-1970) where upon graduation was commissioned into the United States Army. After his three-year obligation, Bill attended Boston University where he received his Master’s Degree.
In 1975 Bill founded Music City Marketing, Inc., a tobacco, cigar, and accessory wholesaler. Then in 1985, he founded Uptown’s Smoke Shop, named by Forbes Magazine as one of the top ten smoke shops in the world. Both businesses have since been sold.
In the early 1980’s, Bill and his partners founded the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company in Santa Fe, New Mexico where they manufactured non-additive and organic cigarettes called American Spirit. The company was sold to RJ Reynolds in 2002 and remains one of the top brands for the company. In 1989, Bill bought an existing wine and spirits store on West End. The store was sold in 2019. Bill as an entrepreneur has investments in real estate, health care, hemp, and legal cannabis.
Bill has attended the wine auction since 1981 serving as the chairman in 1987. He is married to Rosann Bond Nunnelly. His hobbies include sailing, traveling, reading, wine collecting, and enjoying fine food and wine. He and Rosann live in Naples, Florida for seven months of the year and the remaining five in Nashville.