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 or call 704-892-1922.

Live from Lake Norman

The out of breath delivery man in Barefoot in the Park

The out of breath delivery man in Barefoot in the Park

This past month I was flattered when I was asked to participate in the Davidson Community Players’ production of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park.” A few local elected and business leaders were asked to do a cameo role as the out of breath Lord and Taylor delivery man in the first act.  While the cast was small – only five speaking roles – it is amazing what goes into a small production.  There was the stage hand that helped me prepare for the role and the prop manager who had the costumes coordinated for the 1960 scenes.  In addition, there was a stage manager in the booth who directed the assistant stage manager who actually gave the cue for the actors to take their mark – as well as the actors themselves.  Behind the scenes were the people who built the set, the businesses who supported the production, the Board who coordinates the season and the list goes on and on with the successful production we were treated to a few weeks ago.    

 It is old news that in June, Huntersville was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the 2nd best place to move to in America.  This accolade coming on the March announcement by BusinessWeek that Cornelius was the 7th Best Affordable Suburb in the United States and #1 in North Carolina.  Mooresville has been consistently ranked as the #1 Micropolitan Community by Site Selection Magazine and while Davidson as a town does not have the population density to be considered in national polls, the college has made a name for itself in both scholastics and athletics.   Much like Neil Simon’s play, the success does not just lie in the talent of the performers.  While those major characters are critical, everyone plays a role in the success of the production.     The national recognition of the Lake Norman region is a testament to the vision and commitment of our community and business leaders, both now and those who have served.  Equally important is the role that the crossing guard plays each morning helping the kids get safely to school and the teacher who educates them for the starring role they will play in our future.  From the worker on the assembly line down at Prairie Packaging to the soccer coach teaching sportsmanship.  The server who brings the meals and the housekeeper who cleans the room is as important to our hospitality industry as the Director of Sales who books the events and the owner who operates the hotel.   The bottom line is that business, community, and elected leaders must model appropriate behavior at all times.  Whether we like it or not – we are always being watched and evaluated.  We often do not pick the times when we model our behavior for others to notice.   When each of us arrive at work each day, whether we are the owners or managers of our business or organization or the secretary making sure the work of the business gets accomplished – we need to imagine a big red curtain opening.  We must perform like a professional and like a good play, our actions will determine the success or failure of the production.Greenway dad boysbikeMcMullen

True professionals love what they do so much that when they get up in the morning, they are inspired by the work that awaits them and anxious to tackle the challenges of the day.  It separates the best from the rest and singles your community out as the very best of the best.  Here at Lake Norman, we know the sun may set, but the curtain never closes, on our award winning performance as an outstanding community.