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.

Boatsman Gillmore Wagner PLLC Recognized with Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce

 

Pictured left to right: Bill Russell, Larry Wagner, Adam Boatsman, Jack Salzman, and Susan Medlin

Pictured left to right: Bill Russell, Larry Wagner, Adam Boatsman, Jack Salzman, and Susan Medlin

The accounting firm of Boatsman Gillmore Wagner PLLC has been selected with the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s first Sprit of Entrepreneurship Award at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting January 24th at the Havana Banquet and Ballroom.  Founding partners Adam Boatsman and Larry Wagner were on hand to receive the award which was presented by Susan Medlin, former Mayor Pro-tem of Cornelius and founder of Vintage Marketing, 2013 Chamber Chairman Jack Salzman, and Chamber President Bill Russell.  Wagner Noble & Co. recently merged with Boatsman Gillmore PLLC to combine their accounting, tax and advisory practices into one firm with offices in Charlotte and Huntersville.

Adam Boatsman credited the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce for helping the original office of Boatsman Gillmore PLLC to establish itself in the Lake Norman market.  Boatsman stated, “Dale Gillmore and I conducted initial market research using the Lake Norman Chamber’s website and determined that there was a market that we could service – namely growth oriented companies in the Lake Norman community that were utilizing either out-of-state or Uptown Charlotte based CPA firms.  We quickly bought into the live-work-play mindset and largely credit the chamber for assistance in launching the original CPA practice.”

Interestingly, its founder, Larry Wagner, started his firm at about the same age and point in his career as Boatsman and Gillmore.  Similar to his partner’s story, Wagner identified an underserved niche in the market and created one of the most well respected audit practices in the Charlotte area.

Today Boatsman Gillmore Wagner PLLC is one of the largest locally owned accounting firms in the Charlotte region. The firm has a talented team of 40 accounting and business professionals and revenues of approximately $5 million. In addition, the partners have plans to double in size and expand into other markets.

Boatsman added, “The Chamber was integral to the success of launching our firm and gave us the platform to meet other professionals and business leaders in the community.  The Chamber doesn’t necessarily bring anyone business, but it does provide an environment where if you want to help yourself and grow, you can.”

For more information on the Lake Norman Chamber visit www.lakenormanchamber.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.

ABB expands Charlotte Energy Hub with new High Voltage Cable Factory

 

ABB Ribbon Cutting

Charlotte’s Energy Hub expanded last week as ABB, the global leader in power and automation technology, celebrated the official grand opening of its high-voltage cable manufacturing facility in Huntersville, North Carolina.

The new plant, topped off with a 430-foot extrusion tower, supplies high-voltage and extra high-voltage transmission cables, for both AC and DC applications, to carry massive amounts of electric power and renewable energy underground as part of the nation’s new Smart Grid. New AC and DC underground transmission lines will strengthen the North America energy infrastructure and enable power from remote renewable resources, like wind and solar, to reach homes and businesses. ABB has invested approximately $90 million in the new operation, which now employs around 135 people.

“As ABB continues to invest in North Carolina, these new jobs are providing many people in the Huntersville area with full-time employment,” said Keith Crisco, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce. “These highly-skilled workers will play an important role in developing Smart Grid technology as North Carolina continues to strengthen its position as a leader in the energy sector.”

Located in Commerce Station Business Park, ABB’s Huntersville plant is the newest addition to Charlotte’s new Energy Hub which aims to compete on the national level. By initially contributing more than $90 million to the local economy, ABB is helping Charlotte increase its role in the U.S. energy industry. The Huntersville facility will focus on regional, value-based customized production, and will tailor many of its products to meet the unique standards and needs of diverse utility customers across America.

View from the top of the ABB Tower. Charlotte skyline in the background.

 

“The top-notch talent from local universities and proximity to a modern transportation infrastructure, quality of life for our employees and a growing community made the decision to open a facility in Huntersville an easy one,” said Enrique Santacana, President and CEO of ABB Inc. and Region Manager for North America.

Lake Norman Chamber President Bill Russell said the project is a sign of how area towns have been able to work together, and with other officials around the region. “ABB speaks to the collaboration between the towns, economic development agencies, Department of Commerce and the chamber. An investment by our business community and towns over a decade ago is paying off for a diversified tax base and great jobs,” he said.

Learning from Experience

ImageThe poet Archibald MacLeish once said, “There’s only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that’s not learning from experience.”  How many times have we seen people who have made mistakes in the past, turn around and make the same ones again.

This past month, the Chamber graduated one of its largest Leadership Lake Norman classes.  Created in 1996, with the first class in 1997, Chairman Scott Lawrence and his Board saw the need to create and nurture future community, elected, and business leaders of our region.  The program was developed to expose these individuals to the resource agencies, history, and community infrastructure of our communities, county, and state.   The program has seen graduates emerge as town elected officials, a North Carolina State House representative, Civic Club presidents (Rotary and Kiwanis), and Chamber Board Chairs as well as members of the Board of Directors.  Several of our key town staff including two town managers, assistant managers, police chiefs, parks and recreation, and planning staff  have graduated.  Not to mention the many business leaders in both corporate and small business.

If Leadership Lake Norman focuses on one thing, it is to learn from your experiences.  Those experiences begin with the team building exercises, continue with the sessions, and culminate in graduation.  Those who make it a practice to reflect on personal experience, evaluate those experiences, and learn from them, distinguishes those who lead and those who will follow.     It reminds me of the parable of the fox, the wolf, and the bear.  One day they all went hunting together, and after each caught a deer, they discussed how they would divide their spoils.

The bear asked the wolf how he thought it should be done.  The wolf said everyone should get one deer.  Suddenly the bear ate the wolf.  Then the bear turned to the fox and asked him how he proposed to divide the rewards.  The wise fox offered the bear his deer and said the bear should also take both his own and the wolf’s deer as well.

“Where did you get such wisdom?” asked the bear.  “From the wolf,” replied the fox.

After facilitating fifteen leadership classes there are a few take aways that I have:  First, an effective leadership class has members who complement each other and leaders always emerge in every group.

Image

Leadership participants at the Raptor Center in Huntersville – April 2012

At every leadership retreat a leader will appear, sometimes several, with a couple of common characteristics: they know exactly where they are going and they persuade others to follow.  A great leader earns your trust and inspires confidence in their followers  It’s been said, a good leader inspires their followers to have confidence in them.  But an outstanding leader inspires their followers to have confidence in themselves.

At this past graduation, a friend attending a later reception of current and past graduates noted the enthusiasm and chemistry of the class members. This particular person, a chamber member themselves remarked, “it must make you feel really proud.”

Yes it does, …intensely.  Knowing that in 1997 a group of people developed a program based on a vision of the community we could become – and in the process – 287 people have participated and today each play a vital role in leading our communities and its businesses.  Yes, I’m very proud!

Download the Leadership Lake Norman application from the chamber’s website at http://www.lakenormanchamber.org

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.