NC Senator Jeff Tarte to address local business leaders at monthly Focus Friday

 

N.C. Sen Jeff Tarte

N.C. Sen Jeff Tarte

North Carolina Senator Jeff Tarte, District #41, will give a Legislative Update to Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce members at the monthly Focus Friday, this Friday, April 26, 2013.  The event will take place at 8:30 to 10 am in the Randy Marion Board Room located at 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.  Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net.

 

Senator Tarte is expected to touch on issues ranging from I-77 widening to tax reform.  Tarte will also speak on a local bill he recently introduced to give the lake municipalities jurisdiction to enforce ordinances on Lake Norman.  Senator Tarte who is serving his first term in the Senate is a Cornelius resident and former Cornelius Mayor (Serving three terms).  He is Vice Chair of the Senate Health Care Committee and a member of six other committees including Commerce and Finance.

 

Bill Russell, president of the 950-member chamber, stated the business organization looked forward to hosting the Senator, providing local businesses an opportunity to engage in dialogue on a variety of business and community issues.  “Specifically Gov. McCrory recently announced a new plan for prioritizing and paying for transportation projects. The “strategic mobility formula” would select projects based on objective data and local input.  We would like to hear Senator Tarte’s perspective on that program as well as tax reform which would include SB394-Lower Tax Rates for a Stronger NC Economy and SB363-Business Tax Reductions & Reforms.”  Russell cited both bills were recently a point of discussion at the Chamber’s recent Board of Directors meetings.

 

While the meeting is intended for Lake Norman Chamber members, it is open to the public.  Guests are encouraged to RSVP with the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  For more information about this event or the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce visit www.lakenormanchamber.org.

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Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce to recognize Regional Public Safety Officers

Pictured are the recipients of the 2011 Public Safety Officers of the Year

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will host the seventh annual salute to North Mecklenburg Public Safety officers and volunteers at a special luncheon Thursday, October 18th at the River Run Country Club in Davidson.  The event presented by Wells Fargo Bank is sponsored by CPCC – Merancas Campus (Formerly North Campus), The Herald Weekly Newspaper, and Crime Stoppers.  An officer from the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville Police Departments will be honored as well as members of the North Meck Rescue, the local fire departments, and Crime Stoppers.

In addition to honoring the officers, the Guest Speaker will be Kathryn Fermin-Sellers, PhD, Region Director of United Family Services, who will give an update on the work being done by the UFS victim advocate in her first year and how that relates to the local communities ongoing efforts to bring a magistrate to the Lake Norman region.

Kevin Pote, Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo Bank stated that, “Wells Fargo Bank is again pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the North Mecklenburg Public Safety Luncheon.  Public Safety is a critical component of our community and we want to personally thank the men and women who make our communities a safer and better place to work, live, and visit.”

Registration is $16 for Chamber of Commerce members and $20 for non-members.  Call the Chamber at 704-892-1922 to RSVP.

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Announces 2012 – 2013 Leadership Class

Team Building at Bethelwoods

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has accepted 22 local business leaders in the sixteenth class of Leadership Lake Norman.  The program, sponsored by technocom, develops a group of informed, committed, and qualified individuals capable of providing visionary and progressive leadership for the Lake Norman region.

Accepted in Leadership Lake Norman Class XVI are: Delta Adams – Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics, Brian M. Barone – Fulcrum Capital Partners, Michelle Boller – American General Life, Mary Colven – Camp Wagging Tails, Heather Edwards – BB&T, Raquel Crespo – Birkdale Village, Monifa Drayton – CMC – Huntersville, Dave Edwards  – Keller Williams Realty – Cornelius Sabrena Fernandez – Servpro Northwest Charlotte, Sylvia Gause – 5 Star Realty Group @ Keller Williams Realty LKN, Rondlyn Hawthorne –  Unique Events Management Group, Mallory Hedinger – Park Avenue Properties, Greg Hero – RE/MAX Executive at the Lake, Tim May – May Marketing, Mike Murphy –  OnLine Marketing and Consulting, Ashley Neal- CommunityOne Bank, Velvet Nelson – OnLine Marketing and Consulting, Brian Richards – Town of Huntersville, Benjamin Sheehan – Swim Club Management Group, Inc., Joyce Brooks – The Solomon House, Kathy Williams – Carolina Office Systems, Kyle Riggins – technocom.

Terri Bennett, Chairman of the leadership program, believes that this year’s group represents a diverse representation of the Lake Norman business community.  “I am extremely pleased we have such an array of businesses and organizations represented in this year’s program.  As a graduate of the program myself, I know the value of the leadership program and the impact it will have upon each one of you,” said Bennett at the recent leadership orientation.  “It has really made me much more aware of the resources available in the lake region and built significant relationships with leadership graduates from the other classes.” Bennett, along with other graduates of the prior year’s program, assisted in coordinating the leadership retreat.

The class held an overnight retreat, sponsored by Shared Resources, focusing on team building through a confidence course and leadership training.  It was facilitated by Bill Russell, president of the Chamber and Chip Scholz of Scholz and Associates.  The remaining sessions include Education & History, Government/Crime/Law, Health Care, Economic Development, Community Infrastructure, and Hospitality and Professional Sports.  For more information about the program see the Lake Norman Chamber’s webpage at www.lakenormanchamber.org.

Leadership Lake Norman Class XVI

Pictured:  Leadership Lake Norman XVI at the overnight retreat at Bethelwoods. (Pictured left to right) Front Row:  Bill Russell,  Michelle Boller, Malory Hedinger, Sabrena Fernandez, Sylvia Gause, Raquel Crespo, Heather Edwards. Second Row: Monifa Drayton, Greg Hero, Delta Adams, Kathy Williams, Rondlyn Hawthorne, Mary Colven, Ashley Neal, Joyce Brooks, Mike Murphy. Back Row: Brian Richards, Kyle Riggins, Brian Barone, Benjamin Sheehan, Dave Edwards, Tim May, and Velvet Nelson.

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.

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 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!

Lake Norman Chamber President e-Brief Newsletter for Friday, April 13, 2012

Champions of Diversity Awards Breakfast Tuesday, April 18th at Birkdale

Bill Russell

RSVP today for the Second Annual “Champions of Diversity” breakfast, hosted by the Chamber’s Diversity Council, April 18 at Birkdale Golf Club in Huntersville. The Diversity Council is part of the Chamber’s efforts to better reflect the local business community.  Their mission is to support the diverse minority business community in the greater Lake Norman area and create access through education, networking, and advancement opportunities.

The Champions of Diversity Awards include an individual Lifetime Achievement Award as well as recognition in the small and large business category. Nominations for the business awards emphasize a proven support of diversity through work practices, services, hiring policies and support within the community. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has influenced, motivated and enabled others to promote a diverse community.    To register for the breakfast register online at  the calendar section of the Chamber website, www.lakenormanchamber.org, or contact Jack Stevens, Member Services, at 704-892-1922.

Chamber looking into Mecklenburg County Commercial Property Revaluations Subject of this month’s Focus Friday – Friday, April 27  8:00 am

A Chamber Committee, Chaired by 2009 Chamber Chairman John Hettwer, is collecting data on Lake Norman / North Mecklenburg commercial parcels in which property owners feel they have been over appraised by the county.  The Chamber Board heard from several property owners who expressed concern that their buildings and land values were extremely inflated.  Past Chairman Hettwer spoke about the commercial revaluation both at the Chamber’s recent real estate PowerLuncheon and in a recent edition of the Lake Norman Citizen.

A big concern for the Chamber of Commerce is that property tax increases will be passed on to small business tenants through Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Charges which could place an extreme hardship on that business. Many of these tenants may not even be aware their respective lease rates will dramatically rise in the coming months. This aspect of the revaluation was reported in last week’s online version of Business Today Rent expenses climbing in wake of revaluations

If you feel your property has been unfairly appraised in excess of a fair market rate, please email Bill Russell at Russell@lakenorman.org and a member of the Chamber’s committee will be in touch with you.

While the Chamber has expressed support for a local effort on residential properties led by Jim Bensman, Bob Deaton and others with the Flawed Revaluation group, our efforts will focus primarily on commercial properties.  The revaluation is the subject of this Month’s Focus Friday:  Friday, April 27 at 8:00 am sponsored by DavidsonNews.net.

Public Workshop Planned for Widening of I-77

The Lake Norman Transportation Commission, a joint agency of the Towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and Mooresville along with representatives of the Mooresville – South Iredell and Lake Norman Chambers of Commerce, encourages business owners to provide comment on the proposed revision to the Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2012-2012 Transportation Improvement Plans.  The public can see project details and comment at the Huntersville Town Hall on Wednesday, April 18 from 5 pm to 8 pm.  There are improvements to I-485 as well as I-77 HOT and HOV lanes.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Narrows Superintendent Search to Three

It was a real honor this week to serve as a panelist which asked questions of the three finalists for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District Superintendent position.  Ann Clark, Heath Morrison, and Kriner Cash are all articulate and capable administrators and I left the Government Center inspired, motivated, and excited hearing their comments and sharing their vision of  CMS.  Ultimately our next superintendent will not only have to be an excellent administrator who raises the bar further in what we can achieve as a district – they must carry out the policy directives of the board and be an excellent communicator.

Effective communication with our stakeholder groups is critical – the most important of which are the students themselves.  However, it also includes the parents, residents, non-profits, and the business community who will ultimately cultivate and select those students as future employees.  The students will in turn one day work at, manage, and own businesses as entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Education is the foundation of our economic and business development and we have much at stake in the selection of the next leader of our public school system.

My biggest take away of the day however was the perception from those on the outside of Charlotte Mecklenburg who regard CMS as one of the better School Districts in the nation.  I think we are quick to be our biggest critic, loudly citing our own short comings and not doing a good job at all of discussing those things we do well – our success stories – and there are quite a few to cite.

Joseph Addison once said, “I consider the human soul without education like marble in a quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties until the skill of the polisher fetches out the colors and makes the surface shine.”

We as business and community leaders must work hand in hand with our parents, educators, and elected officials if we are to properly polish that marble.  It requires all of us to work hard, work smart, and work together such that the rest of the nation continues to recognize CMS as the best of the best.

Mark your calendar!

Don’t miss next week’s networking opportunities beginning with Tuesday’s (April 17) Business BeforeHours at The Pines in Davidson 8-9:30 am; a reception Tuesday night for our Business Expo Sponsors only at the Lake Norman Visitors Center; the Champions of Diversity Breakfast Wednesday morning at Birkdale Golf Course in Huntersville; a ribbon cutting at Carolinas Office Systems Wednesday afternoon at 4 pm in Huntersville; the Business AfterHours Thursday, April 19 at Travis Pointe Water Front Event & Vacations in Mooresville; and the Rural Hill Scottish Games April 20-22.

There’s a great deal going on at the Chamber and the Lake Norman region.  Join us!