Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Cool Breeze Cyclery as Small Business of the Year

Cool Breeze Cyclery Team

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has selected Mooresville’s Cool Breeze Cyclery as the 2012 Small Business of the Year. Chamber Chairman of the Board Jack Salzman presented the award to owners Steve Doolittle and Chris Vasiloff at a reception held at the Chamber Thursday, May 24th. The business carries Trek, Gary Fisher Signature, and Cervelo bikes with 12 full time employees. They have two locations in Mooresville and Charlotte. Salzman announced that a committee comprised of himself, Hilary Broadway – Chamber Chairman for Business Growth, and Denis Bilodeau – Chairman of Community Affairs, selected the recipients from nominations received from the membership. Criteria including growth in revenues, staying power, innovative marketing and management practices, growth in employees, business friendly nature of the business, and involvement in the community.

The Cool Breeze Cyclery opened a new location six years ago in Charlotte after operating more than a decade in downtown Mooresville. The company created its own signature “Lake Norman Excursion” charity ride for the American Red Cross. Attendance has grown to nearly 1,000 riders in its sixth year and the combined charitable contribution to the Red Cross exceeds $80,000. The Chamber also recognized Pat Helmandollar of Savvy Salon and Day Spa in Cornelius as the runner up. Salzman cited that the business has anchored its shopping center creating a center of business vitality and undergoing a recent remodeling. In 2011, Savvy Salon saw a 44% increase in gift certificates with 40 employees involved in the business. Helmandollar spoke about their community focus, Make A Wish, as a priority fundraiser.

Small Business Runner Up – Savvy Salon & Day Spa

In addition to the winner and runner up, the Chamber also recognized The Welcome Committee, Inc. in Mooresville and Uncommon Scents, Inc. in Huntersville as two outstanding small businesses who were cited as Honorable Mentions. “The Honorable Mentions were themselves outstanding businesses. Each of these nominations demonstrated a growth in revenue; had marketing or management practices that made them stand out, and each gave back to the community,” stated Salzman. The reception wrapped a week-long series of events which included seminars conducted by the Small Business Administration and SCORE as well as business and sales coaches on networking and marketing a business on the Internet.

The three Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville each proclaimed May 21-25 Small Business Week in partnership with the Chamber and the Small Business Administration. For more information on the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, visit their website at http://www.lakenormanchamber.org.org or call 704-892-1922.

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program Graduates Twenty-Two

Class XV of Leadership Lake Norman graduated a class of twenty-two on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.  The graduation ceremony took place at Rural Hill in Huntersville with Chamber president Bill Russell on hand to congratulate the leadership graduates.   Russell commended the graduates for enriching their awareness of Lake Norman’s community and business resources.  “On behalf of the Chamber and our region, I encourage you to take the next step and get involved in the community.  Many of you are already in positions of leadership in your companies and in our communities,” stated Russell.  “I hope the program you’ve just participated in will benefit you in your endeavors as business and community leaders.”    

Also speaking to the group was 2010-2011 graduate and Chairman of the Leadership Lake Norman program,Tricia Sisson, who commended each graduate on their year and presented them with their certificate of completion.  Sisson was joined by fellow graduates Erika Erlenbach, David Peete, Hailey Wilson, and Shelly Johnson who helped coordinate this year’s program as well as facilitate the Junior Leadership Program. Peete was chairman of Junior Leadership Lake Norman which graduated its first class last month.

During the graduation program, participants spoke of the sessions or experiences which impacted them the most. Terri Bennett, a graduate of this year’s program, was selected the Chairman of the 2012-2013 program.   Applications and information for Leadership XVI 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.  

Graduates of the 2011-2012 program include:  Terri Bennett – Presbyterian Hospital, Cyndi Cearbaugh – Visit Lake Norman, Jason Colvin – State Farm Insurance, Lynn Gardiner-Cuyler – Pink Diva Faces, Paul DeBellis – Vibrant Video Productions, Jeff Fissel – Historic Rural Hill, Inc., Erik Peters – Regions Bank, Carl Porter -Telecom/Data consultant, Christine Pulley – Duke Energy/McGuire Nuclear Station, Brian Sheehan – Swim Club Management Group, Brian Sisson – The Range at Lake Norman, Jennifer Stoops – Park Avenue Properties, Rob Higgins – Fulcrum Capital Partners, David Keith – Artisan Signs and Graphics, Ty Lewis – Carolinas HealthCare System – Huntersville Oaks, Elizabeth Lowe – Integrity HVAC, Marsha Marold – EZ TravelnShop.com, Mark Taylor – Carolina Office Systems, Kyle Aler – Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home, Andy Warfield – Lake Norman Citizen Newspaper, Sharon Washam – Carolina HealthCare System, and Wes Wehunt – Davidson Day School.

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 of Commerce with approximately 900 business members serving the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.

Lake Norman Chamber Members Building Relationships at the Asian Festival Dragon Boat Races

On Saturday, May 5th, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce sponsored a boat in the Asian Festival Dragon Boat Race held at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius. The team consisted of various members of our business community, including several members of the Lake Norman Chamber’s Diversity Council all of which were novices when it came to Dragon Boat racing.

The 21 member crew quickly bonded after their first practice in 60 degree temperatures and pouring rain. After a mere two practices, the team was ready for race day. The Lake Norman Chamber Team took first place in the initial heat of the day and went on to qualify for the finals.

The day ended with a proud fifth place finish in their division. The entire crew enjoyed the day and the event so much they have vowed to come back with a vengeance next year. The Chambers Dragon Boat Crew consisted of the following Lake Norman business professionals: Ann Garrity (Ann of Siam), Arlene Arciero (Southern Homes of the Carolinas), Eric Bentley (Bank of America), Chantal Bilodeau (Huntersville Family Fitness), Denis Bilodeau (Aquesta Insurance), Stephen Halstead (Halstead Design), Julia Holyfield (Wells Fargo, International), Phil Horton (ATC, TM), Gabe Libutti (On Q Financial Inc), Wendy Moran (Peoples Bank), Evan James Murphy, Melissa Polce and Tracey Stehle (Allen Tate Realty), Kevin Pagan (Believe and Achieve Boot Camps), Austin Smith (In Motion Fitness), Dan Stehle (Stehle Industrial Products), Lee Peterson (Keller Williams Realty), and Walter Yanes (Mamas Pizza).

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce to Recognize Small Business of the Year at Reception

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will recognize the 2012 Small Business of the Year this Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 4 pm at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius. The Chamber solicited nominations from among the nearly 900 members and will recognize a first place, runner-up, and two honorable mentions.

Selected as the finalists are Cool Breeze Cyclery of Mooresville, Savvy Salon & Day Spa in Cornelius, Uncommon Scents, Inc, in Huntersville, and The Welcome Committee, Inc. in Mooresville.

Jack Salzman, 2012 Chairman of the Board of the Lake Norman Chamber, led the committee which chose the recipients of this year’s award. “As a business owner myself, I know first hand the challenges we have all had to endure these last few years. These four in particular not only demonstrated business growth and put into practice innovative marketing techniques that help them capture their market segments they gave back to our community in a spectacular manner.”

Jack Salzman

The criteria for selection included staying power (must have been in business no less than three years); growth in employees; outstanding community involvement; creating a positive business environment; and demonstrating a customer friendly quotient.

The reception will take place at 4 pm with a brief networking event followed by the presentation of the awards. The reception is sponsored by Park Avenue Properties and The Lake Norman Citizen Newspaper.

Join us in Saluting Small Business Week May 21-25

David Boraks with DavidsonNews.net / CorneliusNews.net received honorable mention as the 2011 Lake Norman Small Business of the Year. With Chamber Chairman Robert Reed and Bill Russell

In recognition of “Small Business”, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has planned a week-long series of events, seminars, and activities May 21-25, 2012  All three north Mecklenburg towns have also issued proclamations declaring it Small Business Week encouraging local citizens to participate and support local retailers and small business. 

A seminar has been planned for Tuesday May 22 from 9 to 10:30 am at the Chamber entitled “ I Survived, Now What?”  According to Eileen Joyce, a marketing and outreach manager for the SBA,  “Our region is slowly coming out of the recession and economic indicators show businesses are or will soon be hiring.”  Joyce adds that lenders say they are ready to lend to customers.  She and Ben Pelton with SCORE will provide information to help owners and managers grow their  business.  The presentation will include: Positioning the business for growth; dusting off the business plan and start planning strategically including when to hire; and preparing the financials now to get ready to borrow.  

The Chamber has also planned a special workshop entitled Networking for the Professional: Making the Most out of Your Networking Opportunities for Thursday, May 24th  at 9 am at the Chamber.  Wayne Bidelman with AdviCoach, Pat Heidrich with Sandler Sales Institute, and Hilary Broadway with Allen Tate Realtors will lead the discussion on maximizing Chamber of Commerce and other meetings and events for your business growth.

Both seminars will be held at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius and are free to any interested business owner or manager. The Chamber would respectfully ask that anyone interested RSVP as seating is limited.  The SBA workshop will take place in the Randy Marion Conference Room and the networking seminar in the Sandler Sales Institute conference room adjacent to the Chamber’s space.     

The weeklong series of activities will culminate with the recognition of a Small Business of the Year.  The business will be recognized at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at the Lake Norman Chamber. The reception is sponsored by The Lake Norman Citizen and Park Avenue Properties.  Several other events and seminars are being planned for the week.  The criterion includes business growth, innovation management and marketing techniques, and is confined to members of the chamber of commerce who have demonstrated sound business practices and community involvement.  

For a complete listing of all seminars, activities, and networking events call the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-0892-1922 or see their website at lakenormanchamber.org.

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Presents “How to appeal the County Revaluation”

John Hettwer, 2009 Lake Norman Chamber Board Chairman

In response to the recent issue related to Mecklenburg County’s revaluation process, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host a special Focus Friday this Friday,  May 18th from 8-9:30 am as Chamber and Mecklenburg County officials share with commercial property owners how to properly prepare for an appeal to the Mecklenburg County Tax Revaluation. 

While participants can expect to hear an update on residential revaluation efforts, this program is focused on Commercial Properties as John Hettwer, 2009 Chamber Chairman and President of Payroll Plus, and Robbie Lowrance of Merit Properties – Commercial Real Estate, will share a step-by-step approach to help property owners prepare for their hearing before the Board of Equalization and Review.  Hettwer and Lowrance will be joined by Carey Saul, director of the county’s Land Use & Environmental Services Agency, who will review procedures from the County’s perspective.

Hettwer recently stated, “After discussions with members from the Board of Equalization and Review and others who have observed a number of BER hearings, we are aware that property owners, both commercially and residentially, are woefully unprepared with the proper  documentation they need to support their claim.  We hope to provide some knowledge to better assist in their preparation to maximize their chance of success.”

Carey Saul will be joined by Parker Black and Cecil Jackson.  Saul will provide an update on the appeals process and the revaluation review project that the BOCC authorized at their last meeting.  Mr. Black will speak on how to present a commercial property appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review (BER).  Cecil Jackson will be available to answer any commercial revaluation questions that attendees may have. 

Parker Black, a resident of Cornelius, is a Commercial Real Estate broker who serves as Vice Chairman of the BER. Cecil Jackson is a Real Property Appraisal Manager for Mecklenburg County.  The Lake Norman Chamber would like to encourage any business who owns commercial property in Mecklenburg County, or who has a lease and is affected by CAM charges, to consider attending this meeting which is open to the public. Focus Friday is sponsored by Davidsonnews.net / CorneliusNews/net.

Lake Norman Chamber President’s e-Brief for May 16, 2012

Lake Norman Chamber Members and Stakeholders:

Bill Russell and 1995 Chamber Chairman Darrell Gettys at the 2010 Duke Energy AfterHours

Networking on Steroids – Business AfterHours this Thursday May 17th

You don’t want to miss this Thursday, May 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm when the Lake Norman Chamber joins forces with the Mooresville South Iredell and Lincolnton – Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce in the Annual Tri-County Business AfterHours.  This AfterHours held at Duke Energy’s McGuire Energy Explorium brings together businesses from three Chambers of Commerce in the largest business networking event held in the Charlotte region.

Enjoy delicious food provided by many of our favorite restaurants and take a relaxing cruise around the lake on the Catawba Queen.  We are asking that you consider bringing a canned food item that Leadership Lake Norman is collecting for a Food Drive to benefit Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen.

“Focus Friday” Examines how to appeal the County Revaluation

Join us this Friday, May 18th from 8-9:30 am at the May Focus Friday as we share with commercial property owners how to properly prepare for an appeal to your Mecklenburg County Tax Revaluation.  While we expect to hear an update on residential revaluation efforts, this program is focused on Commercial Properties as John Hettwer, 2009 Chamber Chairman and President of Payroll Plus and Robbie Lowrance of Merit Properties – Commercial Real Estate, will share the steps property owners need to take in the appeals process.  Hettwer and Lowrance will be joined by Carey Saul, director of the county’s Land Use & Environmental Services Agency, who will review procedures from the County’s perspective.

The Lake Norman Chamber would like to encourage any Chamber Member who owns commercial property in Mecklenburg County, or who has a lease and is affected by CAM charges to attend this meeting which is free and open to the public. Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net / CorneliusNews.net.

Pat Heidrich with Sandler Sales Institute

Chamber Salutes Small Business Week Next Week May 21-25

In recognition of “Small Business,” the Chamber has planned a week-long series of events, seminars, and activities next week May 21-25th.  All three north Mecklenburg towns have also issued proclamations declaring it Small Business Week encouraging local citizens to participate and support local retailers and small business. 

A seminar has been planned for Tuesday May 22 from 9 to 10:30 am at the Chamber entitled “ I Survived, Now What?”  According to Eileen Joyce, a marketing and outreach manager for the SBA, “Our region is slowly coming out of the recession and economic indicators show businesses are or will soon be hiring.”  Joyce adds that lenders say they are ready to lend to customers.  She and Ben Pelton with SCORE will provide information to help owners and managers grow their business.  The presentation will include: Positioning the business for growth; dusting off the business plan and start planning strategically including when to hire; and preparing the financials now to get ready to borrow.  The Chamber has also planned a special workshop entitled Networking for the Professional: Making the Most out of Your Networking Opportunities for Thursday, May 24th  at 9 am at the Chamber.  Wayne Bidelman with AdviCoach, Pat Heidrich with Sandler Sales Institute, and Hilary Broadway with Allen Tate Realtors will lead the discussion on maximizing chamber of commerce and other meetings / events for your business growth.

Both seminars will be held at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius and are free to any interested business owner or manager. The Chamber would respectfully ask that anyone interested RSVP as seating is limited.  The SBA workshop will take place in the Randy Marion Conference Room and the networking seminar in the Sandler Sales Institute conference room adjacent to the Chamber’s space.    The week-long series of activities will culminate with the recognition of a Small Business of the Year.  The business will be recognized at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at the Lake Norman Chamber. The reception is sponsored by The Lake Norman Citizen and Park Avenue Properties.  Several other events and seminars are being planned for the week.  The criterion includes business growth, innovation management and marketing techniques, and is confined to members of the chamber of commerce who have demonstrated sound business practices and community involvement.  

If you would like to nominate a business, or your own business, please download and email back the Small Business of the Year Nomination Form no later than Friday, May 18.  For a complete listing of all seminars, activities, and networking events call the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-0892-1922 or see their website at lakenormanchamber.org.

You are the Message!

While few businesses join the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce because of the advocacy role we play, serving as your voice on issues ranging from taxes and employment to healthcare and transportation is vitally important to your business.  We take serious our role as the voice of business – but make no mistake, you are the message.

Whether we are supporting Carolinas HealthCare System in their effort to fulfill a critical healthcare need lacking in our market or working to secure additional lanes on I-77, our advocacy is aimed at improving your business and making the Lake Norman market and this region a great place to live, work and visit.

We are delighted that CHS has selected Davidson for the site of its new behavioral health hospital and we applaud the Town of Davidson for reaching out to CHS officials and indicating their strong desire to serve as the home to this critical service.  The Chamber also continues to bring awareness to the issue surrounding Mecklenburg County’s Revaluation and in some cases the flawed results which are having a significant impact on local businesses.

Chamber Chairman Jack Salzman, Rep. Sue Myrick, and Chamber President Bill Russell

This past week we hosted U.S. Rep Sue Myrick who shared her insight into Washington politics as we said goodbye and thank you to a servant leader who has spent more than two decades in the public sector working for business and the citizens of the Ninth District and the Charlotte region.  Next month we will host new CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison who implement policy that will shape our public school system in the years to come.

Mark Twain once said, “Thunder is impressive but lightning does all the work.”  Your Chamber leadership will continue to serve as a relentless advocate for your business – the thunder which will roll through the Charlotte and Lake Norman region, but the real lightning flashing through the landscape of our communities is the businesses themselves – your business.  Thank each of you as we head into Small Business Week!