Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Honors Local Public Safety Officers

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce saluted the men and women who work tirelessly to protect and serve the families and businesses of the Lake Norman region at a Public Safety Luncheon held at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius.  The eighth annual event was keynoted by Tamara Williams, Dean of Central Piedmont Community College – Merancas Campus. Dean Williams shared the role CPCC plays in training public safety officers and first responders.   Chamber president Bill Russell, emceed the event and spoke to the critical role the police, fire, and first responders play in making the community a great place to live, work, and visit.  Russell and 2013 Chamber Chairman of the Board Wendy Moran, presented awards to the most outstanding officer from each North Mecklenburg department, selected by their respective chief.

The awards program was presented by Wells Fargo Bank and sponsored by Lake Norman Publications, Central Piedmont Community College, and the Peninsula Club.     The Lake Norman Chamber Public Service Award recipients for 2013 included: Officer Joseph Squashic – Cornelius Police Department, Officer Phillip E. Geiger, Jr – Davidson Police Department, Detective Jennifer Sprague – Huntersville Police Department, Firefighter Bill Shick  – Cornelius Fire Department, Deputy Chief Ryan Monteith  – Davidson Fire Department, Firefighter Bill Suthard  – Huntersville Fire Department, and Brandy N. Lankford  – North Mecklenburg Rescue Squad, Inc.     The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce represents approximately 1,000 businesses in the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.  For more information about the Chamber visit LakeNormanChamber.org.

2013 Public Safety reduced (640x424)

Picture: (From right to left) First row: Cornelius Fire Chief Jim Barbee, Officer Joseph Squashic – Cornelius Police Department, Davidson Police Officer Phillip E. Geiger, Jr.,  Deputy Chief Ryan Monteith  – Davidson Fire Department, and Chamber Chairman of the Board Wendy Moran.  Second Row: Lake Norman Chamber President Bill Russell, Huntersville Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Kee, Huntersville Fire Chief Larry Irvin,  Deputy Chief Ryan Monteith  – Davidson Fire Department, Cornelius Police Department Major Kevin Black, Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller, Davidson Town Manager Leamon Brice, and North Mecklenburg Rescue Squad Chief John Stroup  Photo courtesy of Patrick Nicholson

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce President’s Message

Lake Norman Chamber Members and Stakeholders:                                                    

CMS BondsChamber Backs Bonds
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse several bond packages before North Mecklenburg voters on November 5th.  The Chamber is encouraging its members to
VOTE YES for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School Bonds and the Central Piedmont Community College Bonds before Mecklenburg County voters in the upcoming referendum.  Chamber members who are registered voters in the Town of Cornelius are also encouraged to vote for the three municipal bonds on the ballot.  These bonds will be the topic of the next Focus Friday on October 18th at the Chamber.  Current CMS school board representative Rhonda Lennon (District #1) and Carrie Kester, Chair at Community of Huntersville Education Collaborative will provide more information regarding the bonds.   Read more about the Bonds and the Chamber’s position here. 

Forums held in Davidson and Huntersville give voters a chance to meet the candidates
The Chamber will host a candidate forum in Davidson and Huntersville next week.  A forum was held in Cornelius October 1st.  The two-hour forum will be held at the respective town halls. The forum for Davidson is Tuesday, October 15th and Huntersville, Thursday Oct 17th. All forums are 7:00 – 9:00 pm. The events are moderated by Jerry Hancock, General Partner of Alexander Hancock Associates. Hancock is well known in Charlotte as a guest commentator on “All Things Considered,” National Public Radio, and the publishing of numerous journal articles. For over 25 years he hosted programs on public television including FINAL EDITION on Channel 42, a weekly roundtable discussion of current news topics with local reporters.

The forum in Davidson is co-sponsored by Davidsonnews.net and the Huntersville Forum is co-sponsored by the Lake Norman Political Association.  For more information, read about it here.

Public Safety Luncheon Salutes our First Responders
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host the eighth annual salute to North Mecklenburg Public Safety officers and volunteers at a special luncheon Thursday, October 17th at noon at the Peninsula Club (19101 Peninsula Club Drive) in Cornelius. The event, Presented by Wells Fargo Bank, is sponsored by Central Piedmont Community College – Merancas Campus and The Herald Newspaper. An officer from the Cornelius, Davidson, and the Huntersville Police Departments will be honored as well as members of the North Meck Rescue, and the local fire departments.

In addition to honoring the officers, the Guest Speaker will be Tamara Williams, the new Dean of Central Piedmont Community College – Merancas Campus. Dean Williams will touch on the role CPCC plays in training public safety officers and first responders.
Join us as we salute our first responders!  RSVP by calling the Chamber at 704-892-1922 or online.  The cost is $16 for Chamber members. 
Read more about this event here.

Final Thoughts
While the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan organization and we do not endorse candidates for elected office, we do believe in the principles of good government.  We strongly encourage our members to actively engage themselves in the political debate in their local community, state, and nation.  It is a shame that typically, only 13% of the electorate turn out to select elected leaders which will govern our communities and schools.

The Lake Norman Chamber encourages you to get to know the candidates running for office at all levels and vote for those who best represent your values and that of your business.  We would also ask that if you are a Mecklenburg County voter, you Vote FOR the CMS and CPCC Bonds.  If a Cornelius resident, Vote to SUPPORT all three Cornelius Town Bonds.  These important bonds will provide the financial resources for our roads, school, and quality of life and will be critical components for our economic development efforts and the business growth of our region.

Perhaps Abraham Lincoln put it best when he said, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Let’s all hope looking back from the days ahead, we don’t regret the community and region we could have been simply because we didn’t take time to be informed and take advantage of our right to vote on election day.

Bill

W.E. “Bill” Russell, CCE, IOM
President & CEO
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
704-892-1922 (o)

http://www.lakenormanchamber.org

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce to host “Best Small Business Practices”

Sharon Simpson, publisher of CURRENTS Magazine will join Ronnie Caldwell of Innovative Pest Management as a featured panelist for “Best Business Practices” Tuesday, June 11 at the Lake Norman Chamber.  Pictured with Simpson is: Bill Russell, Hilary Broadway, Wendy Moran, and CURRENTS Staff members Cindy Gleason, sales associate, and Trevor Burton, wine columnist.

Sharon Simpson, publisher of CURRENTS Magazine will join Ronnie Caldwell of Innovative Pest Management as a featured panelist for “Best Business Practices” Tuesday, June 11 at the Lake Norman Chamber. Pictured with Simpson is: Bill Russell, Hilary Broadway, Wendy Moran, and CURRENTS Staff members Cindy Gleason, sales associate, and Trevor Burton, wine columnist.

The Lake Norman Chamber will host a small business panel discussion on “Best Business Practices” Tuesday, June 11 8:30 to 10 am.  The presentation will take place at the Chamber’s Board Room 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.  Sharon Simpson, publisher of CURRENTS Magazine, the 2013 Small Business of the Year and Ronnie Caldwell, owner of Innovative Pest Management, 2013 Runner Up will be the featured speakers.

Sweet Dreams Mattress and Furniture, Deborah Young Studios, Innovative Pest Management, Rural Hill, The Range at Lake Norman, Ferrucci’s Old Tyme Italian Market, and LKN Savings were also cited as outstanding small businesses and a few of the businesses are expected to have representatives present to discuss effective management and marketing tips.

Simpson and Caldwell will share with the attendees what management, marketing, employee, and overall operational practices have made their business successful.  Audience members will have the ability to interact with the panel, asking questions which assist them in growing their business.   For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at www.LakeNormanChamber.org.

Picture caption: Sharon Simpson, publisher of CURRENTS Magazine will join Ronnie Caldwell of Innovative Pest Management as a featured panelist for “Best Business Practices” Tuesday, June 11 at the Lake Norman Chamber.  Pictured with Simpson is: Bill Russell, Hilary Broadway, Wendy Moran, and CURRENTS Staff members Cindy Gleason, sales associate, and Trevor Burton, wine columnist.

Ashworth, Holder, Kee, and Sisson cited by Lake Norman Chamber for Outstanding Achievement

 

(From Left to Right) Tim Holder  - Vice President of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman and Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee received the first Leadership Lake Norman L.A.K.E. Award from Chamber President & CEO Bill Russell

(From Left to Right) Tim Holder – Vice President of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman and Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee received the first Leadership Lake Norman L.A.K.E. Award from Chamber President & CEO Bill Russell

A policeman, a hotel director of sales, a   marketing representative, and a utility employee: what do they all have in common? Each of them have participated in and graduated from a leadership program and have excelled in their field of occupation emerging as community leaders for the Lake Norman region.  Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman, and Tim Holder, V.P. of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited were recognized by their peers at a recent Leadership Lake Norman alumni event.

Leadership Lake Norman is a program to develop a group of informed, committed, and qualified individuals capable of providing visionary and progressive leadership for the Lake Norman region.  The program was developed and is administered by the Lake Norman Chamber with approximately 950 business members serving the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.  Approximately 300 business leaders have graduated from the program since it was created in 1997.  The four were recognized at the graduation of Leadership Lake Norman Class XVI (2012-2013) that was held at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius.

Bill Russell, President and CEO of the Chamber, told a group of leadership graduates and alumni that eleven judges, composed of  alumni and Chamber officers, examined the business careers and community impact of graduates from the first fifteen classes of the program.  Russell said a recognition called the L.A.K E award representing “Leaders Achieving Key Endeavors” will be presented annually to Leadership alumni who have excelled in the field of: Municipal, Non-Profit, Business / Entrepreneur, and Corporate Leadership.

Deputy Chief Kee, a lieutenant when he went through the program in 2001, has steadily risen though the ranks at the Huntersville Police Department and this past year assisted the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department as a member of the Democratic National Convention Command Staff.  Sally Ashworth has served as the first Chairman of the Board and now Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, a successful catalyst for producing significant economic impacts in the North Mecklenburg market through travel and tourism.  Ashworth also serves on the Board of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Travel & Tourism Division, the N.C. Travel & Tourism Coalition, and the N.C. Travel Industry Association    

While Tricia Sisson is a national account manager for the Clorox Sales Company, she and her husband Brian (also a Leadership graduate), and their partners Dave and Trish Stukbauer opened The Range at Lake Norman, the first woman owned gun range in North Carolina.  Sisson also served as Chairman of the Board of the Lake Norman Charter School from 2010-2012.

Tim Holder began the leadership program as a business development manager for EnergyUnited Electric Membership Corporation, and since has emerged as a dynamic leader in the economic development field.  He represented the Chamber on a steering committee in 2003 which formed the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation (Serving as Chair for the first three years) and serves on the board of the N.C.EDC Association as well as the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation and the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

Russell told the graduates and alumni of the Leadership Lake Norman program, “These community and business leaders represent the ideals of the leadership program.  To improve your business and personal skills and use those abilities and talents to make your community and the Lake Norman region a better place to live, work, and visit.”

Applications and information for Leadership XVII will be made available via the Lake Norman Chamber’s website at www.lakenormanchamber.org. or by calling the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce at 704-892-1922 mid June.

Lake Norman Chamber’s “Torcher Chamber” Wins Heats at Asian Dragon Boat Races

Pictured Left to right. 1st Row: Sabrena Fernandez, Julia Holyfield,  Susan Gresham, Ann Garrity;  2nd Row: Tom Hansen,  Natalie Reid, Sunny Yates, Gail Scurry, Jennifer Spence, Melissa Polce,: 3rd Row: Frank Joseph, Alex Crenshaw, Kent Lowe, Al Posadas, Andrew Carlsen, Gabe Libutti

Pictured Left to right. 1st Row: Sabrena Fernandez, Julia Holyfield, Susan Gresham, Ann Garrity; 2nd Row: Tom Hansen, Natalie Reid, Sunny Yates, Gail Scurry, Jennifer Spence, Melissa Polce,: 3rd Row: Frank Joseph, Alex Crenshaw, Kent Lowe, Al Posadas, Andrew Carlsen, Gabe Libutti

For the last two years, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Council has gathered various members of the community to participate on a Dragon Boat Race team as part of the annual Asian Festival held at Ramsey Creek Park.  Although the team dynamics and weather conditions varied, what remained constant was the “fun” that was had by all.

Team members practiced together at Morningstar Marina up to two times to prepare for “Race Day”.  It’s always amazing to see how the team bonds together as the competitive juices start flowing.  In fact, the Lake Norman Chamber team which has been named “Torcher Chamber” won their first two heats, and while they did not clinch their division title, they were within several seconds from the medal winners in the final Championship race.  This is pretty impressive given there were only 16 crew in the boat (a full boat has 20).

A big thanks goes to the team captain, Susan Gresham for coordinating this effort and to the team’s steerer, Brian Tarle who has invited everyone to Saturday practices in preparation for next year’s race.  As we continue each year to gain experienced dragon boat participants around our community, we look forward to the Diversity Council’s continued support of this event!

Lake Norman Chamber celebrates Small Business with week of seminars and networking events May 13-17

comp Vert logo colorThe Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host a week-long series of seminars and networking events to celebrate Small Business Week May 13-17, 2013.  The celebration kicks off with a “Lunch & Learn” program on the Secrets of Business Growth for Small Business Owners.  The seminar will be held at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius and includes lunch at no charge for attendees.  However, interested individuals must RSVP to the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-892-1922.

Panelists for the program include Joe Vagnone – Small Business Adviser, Business Broker (Carolina Business Academy); David Gilroy – Managing Partner, Scale Finance and Cornelius Town Commissioner; Sharon Simpson – Publisher: Lake Norman CURRENTS, Today’s Charlotte Woman, Little Ones magazines; Paul Dorsey – General Manager & President, Jantize America; Ginger E. Griffin – Principal, Ginger Griffin Marketing and Design; and a  Special Legal Q&A with  Robert McIntosh, McIntosh Law Firm, & Jesse Jones, LKN Attorney-at-Law.

Tuesday (May 14) the Chamber hosts a Small Business Accounting Workshop facilitated by Adam Boatsman, Owner, Boatsman Gillmore Wagner PLLC and Greg Hart, Partner and CFO at Scale Finance, LLC. The event will be held from 8:30-10:00 am at the Chamber.  Attendees of the program will examine how to develop a budget and a forecast to earn what you need as well as what you would like to make;  learn how to turn bookkeeping and accounting from a nightmare into something useful for making decisions; determine what a business owner should always be looking at each week and month to determine health; and discover how to structure a business in a way to minimize income taxes. There is no charge for chamber members and $25 for non-members.

Wednesday the 15th there are two events: a Coffee Connections networking event at the Donut King, 9905-A Rose Commons Drive in Huntersville and a Social Media and Internet Marketing seminar at the Chamber of Commerce by McBryde Website Design at 3:00 pm.

Thursday the Chamber will join the Mooresville South Iredell and Lincolnton Lincoln County Chambers of Commerce in the Tri-Chamber Regional Business AfterHours held at the McGuire Energy Explorium 5:00 – 7:00 pm at 13339 Hagers Ferry Road in Huntersville.

The week culminates with a speed networking event at the Chamber Friday, May 17th at 8:00 and the annual Small Business of the Year Reception at 4 pm at Fireside Bar and Grill 19930 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.  For more information on these events and seminars, visit the Chamber’s website at LakeNormanChamber.org. Non-members who wish to attend any of these programs or events are encouraged to contact the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-892-1922.

 

NC Senator Jeff Tarte to address local business leaders at monthly Focus Friday

 

N.C. Sen Jeff Tarte

N.C. Sen Jeff Tarte

North Carolina Senator Jeff Tarte, District #41, will give a Legislative Update to Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce members at the monthly Focus Friday, this Friday, April 26, 2013.  The event will take place at 8:30 to 10 am in the Randy Marion Board Room located at 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.  Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net.

 

Senator Tarte is expected to touch on issues ranging from I-77 widening to tax reform.  Tarte will also speak on a local bill he recently introduced to give the lake municipalities jurisdiction to enforce ordinances on Lake Norman.  Senator Tarte who is serving his first term in the Senate is a Cornelius resident and former Cornelius Mayor (Serving three terms).  He is Vice Chair of the Senate Health Care Committee and a member of six other committees including Commerce and Finance.

 

Bill Russell, president of the 950-member chamber, stated the business organization looked forward to hosting the Senator, providing local businesses an opportunity to engage in dialogue on a variety of business and community issues.  “Specifically Gov. McCrory recently announced a new plan for prioritizing and paying for transportation projects. The “strategic mobility formula” would select projects based on objective data and local input.  We would like to hear Senator Tarte’s perspective on that program as well as tax reform which would include SB394-Lower Tax Rates for a Stronger NC Economy and SB363-Business Tax Reductions & Reforms.”  Russell cited both bills were recently a point of discussion at the Chamber’s recent Board of Directors meetings.

 

While the meeting is intended for Lake Norman Chamber members, it is open to the public.  Guests are encouraged to RSVP with the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  For more information about this event or the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce visit www.lakenormanchamber.org.

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