From Where I Stand – Together we do great things

Bill Russell, CCE

A few weekends ago, I spent an afternoon helping my dad down at our farm in Rock Hill.  My father, who is retired, still maintains a farm that goes back many generations.  Actually, the land itself was settled by my family going all the way back to Colonial America.  Dad has a couple of dozen head of cattle as well two horses.  Duke, a quarter horse and Traveler, a Tennessee Walker, are his pride and joy.  Dad rides daily and enjoys spending time on the land on which he was raised.  This particular afternoon we were unloading a trailer load of hay bales when he shared with me how our Great Grandfather Morrison Russell used teams of horses to plow the grounds we now disc up with tractors.

Dad told a story he had heard once in his youth about a horse-pull at the County Fair.  That is an event where horses compete to see which one can pull a sled with the greatest weight.  One year, a local horse pulled 4,500 pounds.  The runner up pulled 4,400.  Wondering what the two could possibly do together, the two horses were teamed together.  They pulled more than 12,000 pounds!  An increase of more than 33% over their individual efforts.

While many of us are truly capable and talented, we are much stronger working together as a team.  This past month was certainly a testament to that fact with a very successful Business Expo.  While it was hot and we had a great many challenges, the staff of CPCC and our event management team transformed a transportation systems complex into an exhibit hall.  It allowed us to showcase the “Best in Business”, network, and give our members an opportunity to build relationships and expand their customer and client base.

I have been so fortunate to serve this Chamber of Commerce as the chief executive officer since 1996.  However, each and every day, I continue to be impressed by the talent we have in the Chamber in the volunteers who serve in committee roles, our dedicated Ambassadors and staff, and the strong leadership of our Board of Directors. Each bringing a unique talent and perspective – but collectively, providing a resource that enables us to far exceed any goal or objective obtainable by a single individual or business.

Mother Teresa

The power and influence of the Lake Norman Chamber is not in the sheer number of our members but in the ability of those members to work together and effectively for a common goal.  Mother Teresa perhaps summed it up best, “You can do what I cannot do.  I can do what you cannot do.  Together we do great things.” Whether it’s lobbing successfully to open Lake Norman for public access swimming, expediting the completion of I-485 or obtaining a magistrate for North Mecklenburg – we are certainly stronger working together.    

Time after time, our Chamber overcomes obstacles some see as barriers to create memorable events.  It seems the more looming the challenge, the more resilient this chamber and its membership becomes.  Perhaps it’s because, here in the lake region, we realize that “working smart, working smart, and working together – we do great things!”