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 LakeNormanChamber.org.

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

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Don’t Miss Lake Norman’s Premier Business Trade Show – Biz Expo Friday March 8, 2013

Chamber Business Expo Friday, March 8th 11 am until 5 pm

Davidson College Belk Arena

Expo 4 days awayThe Lake Norman Chamber’s signature event, the 2013 Business Expo, will be held Friday, March 8th at the Davidson College Belk Arena from 11 am until 5 pm.  The Expo is presented by Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Randy Marion Automotive.  Gold Sponsors include Lake Norman Magazine, MI Connection, and Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville.  Silver Sponsors are The Herald Weekly, Carolinas Healthcare System, and Piedmont Natural Gas.  Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend. A full listing of sponsors can be found in this newsletter and on the Chamber’s website.

To encourage public participation, KS Audio Video in Cornelius has donated a 39″ Hisense Flat Panel 1080p LCD television.  Guests will be encouraged to play Chamber BINGO visiting exhibitor’s booths for a chance to win. This year, it will not require signatures from the vendors but contestants will still have to visit the booths!

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend with approximately 130 businesses and 20 non-profits exhibited in what has become the Charlotte region’s largest business trade show.  Lunch will be provided by three Lake Norman restaurants: Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails, Fox and the Hound Birkdale, and the Honey Baked Ham Company & Café will serve meals for $8 including beverage.  Tickets can be purchased at the Expo or in advance at the Chamber.  The restaurant menu can be found at www.lakenormanchamber.org.

Bill Russell, president of the Chamber said, “The Business Expo, now in its twelfth year, is an excellent opportunity for local businesses and non-profits to showcase their products, services, and organizations to the community.  It has also become a tremendous networking opportunity as we re-establish old friendships and create new relationships.

For a complete listing of sponsors and exhibitors, directions, and other information see the Expo website at www.lakenormanchamber.org or call the Chamber for more information at 704-892-1922.

Bob McIntosh and Bill Ellison, partners with the McIntosh Law Firm receive the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award from 2012 Chamber Chairman Jack Salzman and Tim Gause, Region Director, Government and Community Relations for Duke Energy.  Pictured left to right: Bob McIntosh, Jack Salzman, Bill Ellison, and Tim Gause.

Bob McIntosh and Bill Ellison, partners with the McIntosh Law Firm receive the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award from 2012 Chamber Chairman Jack Salzman and Tim Gause, Region Director, Government and Community Relations for Duke Energy. Pictured left to right: Bob McIntosh, Jack Salzman, Bill Ellison, and Tim Gause.

The McIntosh Law Firm, located in the Historic Davidson Cotton Mill, was selected by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce as the 2012 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting.  Representing the firm were Firm Partners Bob McIntosh and Bill Ellison along with several other firms attorneys.

The award was presented by Tim Gause, Region Director, Government and Community Relations for Duke Energy and 2012 Chamber Chairman of the Board Jack Salzman.  Gause pointed out that by definition, the award is a tribute to those who make a difference in their communities or places of work by using their time, talents and philanthropy to positively impact the lives of others.

Gause told a sold out crowd of business leaders, “The McIntosh Law Firm is in itself the definition of this award.  The principles of the Firm, Bob McIntosh and Bill Ellison, set the tone in their office.  The Firm writes the checks but the people behind that piece of paper make the difference.  All members of The McIntosh Law Firm are encouraged to find some way to give back to their community.  Many of the attorneys sit on non-profit or town government boards and a good number of the remaining staff volunteer their time to various other organizations.”

Gause added, “It is not uncommon to see any one of The McIntosh Law Firm employees flipping pancakes for Civitan, grilling hot dogs at Big Day at the Lake, handing out popcorn at Christmas in Davidson, shooting hoops at a Davidson College basketball game or playing golf alongside Special Olympians at a golf tournament.  It would be difficult to attend any local school event in North Mecklenburg County without seeing a sign or banner displayed with the Firm’s logo in support of scholastic sports and education in general.”

Founded in November, 1997, The McIntosh Law Firm has been dedicated to fostering an environment in which families, businesses, and the community at large can prosper. The Firm strives to support local artistic, athletic, charitable, cultural and educational institutions. By working to further these cultural and academic interests, the Firm hopes the community from which it draws its clients and employees will become enriched for many generations to come.

For more information on the Lake Norman Chamber visit www.lakenormachammber.org.

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Honors Local Public Safety Officers

2012 North Mecklenburg Public Safety Officers / Volunteers of the Year

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 River Run Country Club in Davidson Thursday, October 18, 2012.  The seventh annual event was keynoted by Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, PhD, the Region Director for United Family Services.  Fermin-Sellers gave an update on the need for a North Mecklenburg Magistrate and the progress of a victim’s advocate which currently serves the three towns.  She also presented the first 2012 Champion for Victim’s Rights to Inge Garrison from Presbyterian Hospital.

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 and work.  The Chamber 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 Crime Stoppers. 

The Lake Norman Chamber Public Service Award recipients for 2012 included: Officer Matthew Sheppard- Cornelius Police Department, Officer Melvin Waller, Jr. –  Police Department, Detective Tim Lesser – Huntersville Police Department, Firefighter E.J. McCormick – Cornelius Lemley Fire Rescue, Firefighter Matthew Jovic – Davidson Fire Department, Firefighter Brent Irvin – Huntersville Fire Department, and John “Koppy” Williams – North Mecklenburg Rescue Squad, Inc.

The Crime Stopper of the Year was presented by Crime Stopper’s Chairman Tommy Davis who was also recognized by Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle for his service to the region.  This year’s recipient was Nancy McGahey.

The Lake Norman Chamber represents approximately 900 businesses in the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.  For more information about the Chamber visit LakeNormanChamber.org.

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce returns to River Run with Annual Golf Tournament

The largest business network event on the links, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Fall Captain’s Choice Tournament, is set to make a return trip to River Run in Davidson on October 15th.  The tournament is scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2012 at River Run Country Club.  Local businesses and networking enthusiast who enjoy the day outdoors are encouraged to mark their calendar now to join the premier networking event on the green!  The day will be filled as business owners, managers, and employees mix with local community and business leaders, creating and nurturing business relationships, enjoying a great day of golf, and simply have a fantastic day practicing a little social networking.

Mike Russell with Ambassador Chairman Vickie Stevens

This year’s tournament director is Mike Russell with EnergyUnited.  Russell states, “We are very excited about the upcoming tournament.  This will be a great deal of fun on an incredible and prestigious private golf course.  This year we are incorporating a putting contest with a $20,000 prize, chipping contest with a $5,000 prize, and more into the tournament.  We also lowered the price of playing from the previous year while at the same time packing more into the event.” This year we are offering more prizes that players can win including a possible trip to the 2013 ESPYs and a trip to the 2013 Masters.

The Chamber is currently seeking sponsors for this year’s event.  Interested businesses or players should call Brett Zabek at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce for details at 704-892-1922 or see the Golf registration flyer on the Chamber’s website at lakenormanchamber.org under events (signature events).

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.

Address to the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners on Commercial Tax Revaluation

The following comments were made to the Mecklenburg County Board of County commissioners on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at the Board Meeting during public comments on a resolution introduced by County Commissioner Karen Bentley for an independent audit regarding the County’s Revaluation Process.

“I’m Bill Russell, President of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.  I’d like to thank Commissioner Karen Bentley who arranged to have Carey Saul along with Russ Worthen, and Cecil Jackson address our business leaders at the Chamber’s Focus Friday this past week on the revaluation topic.  They were very informative and helpful.

While we share the concern over residential taxes brought to light by the Town of Cornelius and many of its citizens, our main focus has been the impact on small businesses who may be tenants in commercial properties that are just now receiving much higher than anticipated rent invoices with a hefty increase in CAM charges which include the increase from the 2011 property tax revaluation.

The Chamber has no issue at all with an increase which reflects a true and accurate market assessment of the property.  As property and business owners, we all have a fiduciary responsibility to pay for county and municipal government which funds our excellent quality of life: our schools, health and family services, and community infrastructure.

We are concerned however, when independent assessments by the property owners is vastly different from the assessment by the county.  The Lake Norman Chamber has been collecting data from local commercial property owners and we can substantiate there is indeed flaws within the system which need to be corrected, both within the county and quite possibly at the state level.

 Much like what was said earlier by Barb…  this is not a republican versus democrat issue or an issue that pits the haves against the have nots.   But rather an issue for anyone who owns property or operates a business in Mecklenburg County. We only ask that the taxes be justifiable and fair

 On behalf of the Chamber’s more than 900 business members, the vast majority (80% +) of whom are Mecklenburg County businesses, we respectfully ask that the Mecklenburg County Board support the resolution to authorize an externally conducted audit to identify and correct issues with the 2011 revaluation and to address other issues so that a new revaluation could be done effective 1/1/2014.”