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

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 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.


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