Chamber program this Friday examines education
Focus Friday: September 23rd 8-9:30a.m.
Continuing our month on education, September’s Focus Friday will feature Bryan Setser, a Sr. Partner at Open Education Solutions. Open Education Solutions is a blended learning service provider which helps states, districts and school networks design schools and solutions that are innovative, personalized and deliver better results at the same or lower cost. Bryan will talk about programs that use existing resources and technology to impact teaching and learning in a digital world.
We will also hear from the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce Vice-President of Education, Bill Balatow. Bill was instrumental in bringing Franklin Covey’s “The Leader in Me” program to the Iredell County School System. This is a unique program that guides student’s actions using the skills of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time”. Also on hand will be a representative from the Iredell County School System to share the implementation and success of the program.
The Focus Friday is open to all members and is designed to show multiple views to a regional issue. Participation by those who attend is encouraged. The program is sponsored by CorneliusNews.net and DavidsonNews.net.
Next month’s Focus Friday will examine the Democratic National Convention with Torre Jessup, Deputy Executive Director of External Relations for Charlotte in 2012.
Democratic National Convention
Business Today recently held a very informative breakfast meeting on the DNC to be held in September of 2012. It featured two hospitality officials with significant input by both Visit Lake Norman and the Cabarrus Convention & Visors Bureau. Sally Ashworth, Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman cited her organization will be creating packages (group tours) when state assignments have been made in January. She also pointed to information on her website at VisitLakeNorman.org that pointed to volunteer and vendor opportunities as well as information.
The Lake Norman Chamber is working with the Charlotte Chamber and surrounding regional Chambers of Commerce in conjunction with the DNC Host Committee. The Host Committee will use the Chambers of Commerce to create events, plan outings, and disseminate information on the convention.
A vendor directory has been created on the Charlotte in 2012 website that you can list your business as a potential vendor. The Chamber’s will be examining opportunities to engage retail, hospitality, and attractions as we move closer to the event.
Chamber Takes Voice to Washington
Ten years ago, on 9/11, the Lake Norman Chamber joined Chambers of Commerce from throughout North Carolina in a program held in Washington, DC organized by eight NC Congressman. Our Chamber once again made the annual trip and reflected on the somber occasion and the impact that fateful day has had on our nation.
This year, a delegation of the Chamber, Lake Norman Economic Development Commission, and Visit Lake Norman met with Legislative Assistants for Senator Burr and Hagan as well as Congresswoman Myrick and Congressman Watt. Specifically we addressed the widening of I-77 utilizing HOV lanes for HOT lanes ; the Red Line Commuter rail; the challenges facing small business and our corporate business such as the uncertainty when it comes to regulation and healthcare costs; and financial regulations, access to capital, and refinancing.
We also had the opportunity to inform our delegation of business expansion/relocation by the EDC and Visit Lake Norman accomplishments with recent events.
On a related note, North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis will be the key-note speaker for the Chamber’s Commissioner Appreciation Luncheon November 10th. Details to follow.
Chamber sets dates on fall candidate forums
The Chamber has planned local candidate forums this fall for the three North Mecklenburg Towns. The Cornelius Forum will be Tuesday, October 4 from 7-9 pm. held at the Cornelius Town Hall.
The Huntersville Forum will be held Thursday, October 13 7-9 pm at Huntersville Town Hall.
The forum for Davidson will be Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7-9 pm at the St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Sanctuary in Davidson The event is co-hosted by the Chamber, the St. Alban’s Neighborhood Committee and sponsored by DavidsonNews.net.
The Cornelius forum is the only event which will include the candidates for Charlotte Mecklenburg School District at large candidates
Visit Lake Norman and Final Thoughts
Many of you have asked about Visit Lake Norman and the recent media coverage of the Chamber’s “Veto Authority” when it came to the Visit Lake Norman Articles of Incorporation. As you no doubt have read in our local papers, the North Mecklenburg Towns have reached an agreement with Visit Lake Norman (approved now by all three towns) which is expected to be approved by Visit Lake Norman at their Board Meeting this coming Monday.
That agreement in place should free up the hospitality taxes the towns have been withholding from Visit Lake Norman pending approval of an Interlocal. This will allow our travel and tourism authority to begin locking down tournaments and promoting events such as the upcoming DNC.
The much discussed “Veto Authority” that was indeed part of the VLN Articles of Incorporation, gave the Chamber the authority to approve potential Board Members and Bylaw changes. However, it never provided the Chamber with any control over financial or operational matters, marketing, staffing, or even what events would be held.
Actually, it was an item we as a Chamber thought had been removed in 2003 when we made sweeping changes to the VLN Bylaws. Much like that favorite sweatshirt you have boxed in the attic from college – no longer able to wear or even remember possessing. Yet, reluctant to part with when it is discovered.
That said, our Chamber Board of Directors had one objective and that is providing a reliable and consistent funding stream of hospitality taxes to Visit Lake Norman to fill our hotels and restaurants by means of special business and amateur sporting events. That accomplished – we are delighted the towns and Visit Lake Norman have reached an agreement that serves the interests of everyone involved.
Recently, I was asked by a reporter can the Chamber,VisitLakeNorman, and Town elected officials get past the stressed relationships of the past several months? Absolutely! The towns, tourism, and business leaders all have the same objective and goals for our community which is sustained, healthy business growth. We may not agree on how we get there. But we will put issues of disagreement behind us and focus on our strengths and commonalities which make us a stronger region. There are a great many misperceptions, and perhaps suspicions of motive, but what cannot be discounted is all of us as community leaders have the best interests of our communities at heart and that is the foundation from which we must rebuild our trust and efforts.
You as members of the Chamber and citizens of our communities would expect nothing less.