Ashworth, Holder, Kee, and Sisson cited by Lake Norman Chamber for Outstanding Achievement

 

(From Left to Right) Tim Holder  - Vice President of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman and Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee received the first Leadership Lake Norman L.A.K.E. Award from Chamber President & CEO Bill Russell

(From Left to Right) Tim Holder – Vice President of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman and Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee received the first Leadership Lake Norman L.A.K.E. Award from Chamber President & CEO Bill Russell

A policeman, a hotel director of sales, a   marketing representative, and a utility employee: what do they all have in common? Each of them have participated in and graduated from a leadership program and have excelled in their field of occupation emerging as community leaders for the Lake Norman region.  Huntersville Deputy Police Chief Michael Kee, Sally Ashworth – Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, Tricia Sisson – Co-owner of The Range at Lake Norman, and Tim Holder, V.P. of Sales and Economic Development for EnergyUnited were recognized by their peers at a recent Leadership Lake Norman alumni event.

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 with approximately 950 business members serving the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.  Approximately 300 business leaders have graduated from the program since it was created in 1997.  The four were recognized at the graduation of Leadership Lake Norman Class XVI (2012-2013) that was held at the Peninsula Club in Cornelius.

Bill Russell, President and CEO of the Chamber, told a group of leadership graduates and alumni that eleven judges, composed of  alumni and Chamber officers, examined the business careers and community impact of graduates from the first fifteen classes of the program.  Russell said a recognition called the L.A.K E award representing “Leaders Achieving Key Endeavors” will be presented annually to Leadership alumni who have excelled in the field of: Municipal, Non-Profit, Business / Entrepreneur, and Corporate Leadership.

Deputy Chief Kee, a lieutenant when he went through the program in 2001, has steadily risen though the ranks at the Huntersville Police Department and this past year assisted the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department as a member of the Democratic National Convention Command Staff.  Sally Ashworth has served as the first Chairman of the Board and now Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman, a successful catalyst for producing significant economic impacts in the North Mecklenburg market through travel and tourism.  Ashworth also serves on the Board of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Travel & Tourism Division, the N.C. Travel & Tourism Coalition, and the N.C. Travel Industry Association    

While Tricia Sisson is a national account manager for the Clorox Sales Company, she and her husband Brian (also a Leadership graduate), and their partners Dave and Trish Stukbauer opened The Range at Lake Norman, the first woman owned gun range in North Carolina.  Sisson also served as Chairman of the Board of the Lake Norman Charter School from 2010-2012.

Tim Holder began the leadership program as a business development manager for EnergyUnited Electric Membership Corporation, and since has emerged as a dynamic leader in the economic development field.  He represented the Chamber on a steering committee in 2003 which formed the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation (Serving as Chair for the first three years) and serves on the board of the N.C.EDC Association as well as the Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corporation and the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

Russell told the graduates and alumni of the Leadership Lake Norman program, “These community and business leaders represent the ideals of the leadership program.  To improve your business and personal skills and use those abilities and talents to make your community and the Lake Norman region a better place to live, work, and visit.”

Applications and information for Leadership XVII 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.

Advertisements

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.

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 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.

Lake Norman Chamber e-Brief for August 1, 2011

Chamber’s Leadership Lake Norman Program Accepting Applications

The Chamber is accepting applications for the 2011-2012 session of Leadership Lake Norman.  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 tuition for the nine-month course is $425 for Chamber members and $500 for non-members. 

 Payment plans can be arranged by contacting the Chamber.   Applications should be received by August 19, 2011 to be eligible for the program.  All applicants will be notified in writing regarding acceptance in the program by August 26, 2011.  To download the on-line brochure visit Leadership Lake Norman.

 Junior Leadership Created for High School Students – Business Sponsors Sought

Alumni Graduates from Leadership Lake Norman have created a Junior Leadership program for High School Juniors for the upcoming year.  Applications have already been made available to High School students.  Junior Leadership applications are due August 1, 2011.  The cost of the program is largely paid for through business sponsorships.  To view sponsor benefits download the sponsor investment form.  All contributions are paid to the Lake Norman Chamber Foundation and tax-deductible.

2011 National Night Out

The Town of Cornelius asks you to take a stand against crime building Police and Community Partnerships with the 2011 National Night Out.  The event will take place Tuesday, August 2nd from 7-9:00 pm at Cornelius Town Hall 21445 Catawba Avenue.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information see Cornelius Night Out.

Magistrate for North Mecklenburg still a focus for Chamber

Obtaining a magistrate for North Mecklenburg remains a priority in the Chamber’s 2011 Legislative Agenda.  Last week, the Chamber held a Focus Friday on the topic of a Victim’s Advocate.  The towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville, along with Mecklenburg County and United Family Services, are contributing $15,000 each to pay for the position. The Victims Advocate position will likely be the first step in making the business case for a magistrate.

 Charlotte Mayor Foxx briefs Lake Norman Businesses on 2012 DNC

 Mayor Foxx was greeted to a sell out chamber luncheon last week when he met with business leaders throughout the Lake Norman region and spoke about issues ranging from next year’s National Convention to regional transportation needs.  Mayor Foxx led the briefing, sponsored by Peoples Bank, with discussion on the 2012 DNC which is expected to bring 30,000 to 35,000 delegates, media, dignitaries, and CEO’s to the Charlotte region beginning the week of September 3, 2012.  Early estimates have $150-200 million in economic impact for the region and giving international and national exposure to recruit new businesses and families to Charlotte

 Legislature wraps up session on redistricting

The North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday finished its work session on redistricting and addressing Gov. Beverly Perdue’s recent vetoes. The Legislature adjourned two weeks after they began work in earnest to redraw the state’s congressional districts and those for the state House and Senate. The Legislature completed its redistricting task by finalizing new maps for North Carolina’s 13 congressional seats, the state House and Senate.

The boundaries set the stage for the state Republican Party to preserve or expand recent political gains while giving more influence to metro Charlotte and Raleigh. All three maps are now law, but next they’ll be presented to a federal court andU.S.attorneys to decide whether they meet anti-discrimination laws before they can be used in the 2012 elections.

Chamber sets dates on fall candidate forums

The Chamber has planned local candidate forum this fall for the three North Mecklenburg Towns.  The Cornelius Forum will be Tuesday, October 4 from 7-9 pm. held at the Cornelius Town Hall.

The Huntersville Forum will be held Thursday, October 13 7-9 pm at Huntersville Town Hall.

The forum for Davidson will be Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7-9 pm at the St. Albans Episcopal Church Sanctuary in Davidson   The event is co-hosted by the Chamber, the St. Alban’s Neighborhood Committee and sponsored by DavidsonNews.net.

The Cornelius forum is the only event which will include the candidates for Charlotte Mecklenburg School District at large candidates.

 2011 Plan of Action / 2010 Year End Report Published

 The Chamber has published the 2011 Chamber Plan of Action as well as the 2010 Year End Report on the Chamber’s website.  We encourage our members to view what we accomplished together last year and what the Lake Norman Chamber is focused on in 2011 as we work together to grow our business community!  View the plan and report on our website at Chamber Plan of Action.

 Final Thoughts

Dennis Coogle

Last Friday I attended a memorial service for Dennis Coogle who lost his courageous battle with ALS earlier in the week.  Many of you may know Dennis and Sherry who have operated a PostNet store in Cornelius at Jetton Village.  I met the couple in 2000 when they joined the Chamber and began building their small business.  About five years ago, Dennis discovered he had Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).

 Many of our Chamber of Commerce members participated in a fundraiser that was held for Dennis and Sherry hosted by Aquesta Bank in 2009.  The event raised close to $42,000 with $18,000 going to the Coogles’ to cover medical expenses.  The public out pouring of support was a testament of how compassionate the Lake Norman business community is as well as how much Dennis and his wife Sherry are thought of by customers and our businesses here at the lake.

I had a chance that evening in 2009 to drop by the Aquesta Bank Gala.  Even then, Dennis was challenged and his strength was impacted by the cruel, debilitating disease.  I remember Dennis sitting at a desk in the front lobby, a bright smile across his face, as he witnessed how much he and his family were thought of by the many patrons who made contributions.  It was the same smile he displayed that first time I walked into PostNet to talk with him about his business.

The Chamber stresses how we all need to “Buy Local” and support each other particularly when things get tough.  The love, compassion, and friendship I witnessed at the Aquesta fundraiser in 2009 and the community and business leaders who gathered together for his service Friday speak volumes about not only the Coogles’ but about the character of the people who make up the Lake Norman region. 

I am fortunate I had the opportunity to know a man like Dennis Coogle.  His courage, tenacity, and love of family was never diminished by the disease that attacked him so savagely.  Please consider a special prayer for his wife and the two daughters he leaves behind as his legacy.  In closing, I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to witness a community at its best.

Whether its hosting children at a Big Brother – Big Sisters outing at Big Day at the Lake or reaching out to a family in need, we continue to demonstrate the generosity and compassion that makes the lake Norman region such a special place to live, work, and visit.

Lake Norman e-Brief for July 19

Thursday Luncheon to focus on 2012 Democratic National Convention

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will discuss the 2012 Democratic National Convention at a luncheon to be held, Thursday, July 21, at 11:45 at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville.  Mayor Foxx will address how business and our local region will benefit from the event, aid in our economic development and stimulate commerce, and position Charlotte as a destination for travel and tourism.  The announcements are already impacting conference and convention bookings by the CRVA.  Register for the PowerLuncheon here or call the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  The luncheon is sponsored by Peoples Bank.

Focus Friday to examine Victim’s Advocate Friday, July 22 8 am

Join us Friday, July 22nd  at 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at the Lake Norman Chamber as we examine the Victim’s Advocate position which will assist victims in rape, domestic violence and abuse cases . Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, the United Family Services Region Director for Mooresville and Lake Norman, will present the topic along with  Huntersville Commissioner Danae Caulfield and Cornelius Commissioner Lynette Rinker who are both advocates for the new position.

The Focus Friday is open to all members and is designed to show multiple views on a regional issue.  Participation by those who attend is encouraged.  Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net / CorneliusNews.net.

 – Note – There will be no meeting of the Public Policy Committee this week. –

Congresswoman Sue Myrick to host Job Fair

On Tuesday, August 2nd, US Representative Sue Myrick will be holding a job fair from 8:30 am-1 pm at the Harris Conference Center 3216 CPCC West Campus Dr. Charlotte in Charlotte. Rep. Myrick’s staff informs us they are able to accommodate 40 local businesses on a first-come, first-serve basis. They expect to have 200-300 job seekers in attendance. If interested in participating, please contact Heather Whillier at 704-362-1060 or by email at heather.whillier@mail.house.gov.   

Leadership Lake Norman Now Accepting Applications

The Chamber is accepting applications for the 2011-2012 session of Leadership Lake Norman.   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 tuition for the nine-month course is $425 for Chamber members and $500 for non-members.  Applications should be received by August 19, 2011 to be eligible for the program.  All applicants will be notified in writing regarding acceptance in the program by August 26, 2011.  To download the on-line brochure visit Leadership Lake Norman.

Junior Leadership Created for High School Students – Business Sponsors Sought

Alumni Graduates from Leadership Lake Norman have created a Junior Leadership program for High School Juniors for the upcoming year.  Applications have already been made available to High School students.  Junior Leadership applications are due August 1, 2011.  The cost of the program is largely paid for through business sponsorships.  To view sponsor benefits download the sponsor investment form.  All contributions are paid to the Lake Norman Chamber Foundation and tax deductible.

2011 Plan of Action / 2010 Year End Report Published

The Chamber has published the 2011 Chamber Plan of Action as well as the 2010 Year End Report on the Chamber’s website.  We encourage our members to view what we accomplished together last year and what the Lake Norman Chamber is focused on in 2011 as we work together to grow our business community!  View the plan and report on our website at Chamber Plan of Action.

Big Day at the Lake

This past weekend was overcast but a great time was still had by all.   The Lake Norman business community and residents were incredibly generous with their time, money and talents with Big Day at the Lake. If you could not participate and would still like to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you make checks payable and send to Big Brothers Big Sisters care of:  Dave Yochum editor of Business Today and chair of Big Day at the Lake, PO Box 2062, Cornelius 28031.

North Carolina Chamber and N.C. General Assembly Action

The General Assembly came back into session last week to work mostly on redistricting maps for legislative and Congressional districts, and also possible votes to override gubernatorial vetoes on certain bills. On Wednesday (7/13) the Senate convened and voted to override the governor’s veto on several important bills. The House is tentatively scheduled to take up those bills on July 25. The N.C. Chamber is still working on numerous pro-jobs priorities including:

Senate Bill 781: Regulatory Reform Act of 2011 was vetoed by Gov. Perdue on June 30. The North Carolina Chamber and their business allies are working with the governor and legislative leaders on how to make the primary provisions covered by the bill a reality this year. Read why S781 is a jobs bill

Senate Bill 33: Medical Liability Reform was vetoed on June 30 by the governor.  The N.C. Chamber continues to work with allies and state leaders to see if a compromise can be worked out this session.  Read more on why SB33 is good for NC’s business climate and for a list of allies.

Senate Bill 709: Energy Jobs Act, also vetoed, will increase energy production in NC to facilitate job creation and expansion of business and industry opportunities, creating an estimated 10,000 jobs and $500 million in tax revenue for the state. Read more on why this bill is good for business.

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has not specifically taken action on any of the three above bills.

Final Thoughts:

As we approach this week, with the presentation on Thursday of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and the impact of the 2012 DNC on the Charlotte region, we should keep in mind the words of Sam Ewing who said, “Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said could not be done.”

When you believe you can do something – even when countless friends and advisors have told you otherwise – you open up the possibility that others will follow with you.  That is the essence of entrepreneurship and what makes this country so great.

Have a great day at the lake!

Lake Norman Chamber e-Brief for July 11, 2011

Mayor Foxx

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx discusses 2012 DNC at Chamber Luncheon

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will discuss the 2012 Democratic National Convention at a luncheon to be held, Thursday, July 21, at 11:45 at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville.  Mayor Foxx will address how business and our local region will benefit from the event, aid in our economic development and stimulate commerce, and position Charlotte as a destination for travel and tourism.  The announcements are already impacting conference and convention bookings by the CRVA.  Register for the PowerLuncheon here or call the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  The luncheon is sponsored by Peoples Bank.

Certificate of Need Hearing to be held on Carolinas HealthCare Facility

Carolinas HealthCare System has submitted a Certificate of Need application to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which, according to CHS, will help address the growing demand in the community for inpatient beds for behavioral health patients and ease the overcapacity at CMC-Randolph.  DHHS plans to hold a public hearing on CHS’s CON application on July 14, 2011, at 12:30 p.m. at the Government Center in Charlotte.

Del Murphy, Vice President, Planning and Market Development for Carolinas HealthCare System spoke to Chamber members at a special briefing last week regarding the facility.  Information on the facility, and the PowerPoint he presented, can be viewed by visiting Public Policy presentation

Leadership Lake Norman Now Accepting Applications

The Chamber is accepting applications for the 2011-2012 session of Leadership Lake Norman.   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 tuition for the nine-month course is $425 for Chamber members and $500 for non-members.  Applications should be received by August 19, 2011 to be eligible for the program.  All applicants will be notified in writing regarding acceptance in the program by August 26, 2011.  To download the on-line brochure visit Leadership Lake Norman.

2011 Plan of Action / 2010 Year End Report Published

The Chamber has published the 2011 Chamber Plan of Action as well as the 2010 Year End Report on the Chamber’s website.  We encourage our members to view what we accomplished together last year and what the Lake Norman Chamber is focused on in 2011 as we work together to grow our business community!  View the plan and report on our website at Chamber Plan of Action.

Update on “Snap” Union Elections

A couple of weeks ago the Lake Norman Chamber reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had proposed new reforms to union election procedures yesterday (6/21) to dramatically shorten the election process for workers to vote over whether or not to form a union.

Currently, 95% of union elections take place within 56 days of union election petitions being filed by a labor union. Last year the average time frame for elections was 31 days. Under the proposed rules, the time between filing a union election petition and the election would be shortened to as little as two weeksThe new regulations would also limit the time employers have to submit an electronic list of all employees, including their email addresses and phone numbers, from 7 to 2 days.

Last week (June 30) Senator Mike Enzi joined with fellow Senators Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) to call on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to delay the public hearing on the agency’s proposal and allow for an extension of time to prepare testimony and file comments.

We will keep our members informed about this and other labor issues important to jobs and the economy, especially when there is an opportunity to weigh in and make a difference.

 Final Thoughts

Last week, former Cornelius Mayor Harold Little passed away after a brief illness.  Mayor Little was 85.   Harold was a U.S. Army Veteran and served as Mayor from 1985 to 1993 when our chamber of commerce was being organized.  He recently led the effort to create a new Veterans Memorial in the Cornelius Town Center which was dedicated this past Memorial Day.  His illness did not allow him to participate.

While I had met the Mayor a few times before, I had a chance to get to know him at a Cornelius Lions Club meeting  in 1999 in which I was speaking, updating their membership on business activities.  It was at this first encounter when he inquired about the “Prepared Food Taxes” and when it was set to expire.  I didn’t know anything about it and informed him I’d look into it.

I did just that finding out North Mecklenburg was sending about $500,000 in revenue down to Charlotte without any of the tax receipts staying in our community to help with travel and tourism.  Ironically, I also met with resistance to changing any of this as local elected leaders were concerned that trying to take tax money away from the City of Charlotte, however deserving our community was of the funds, could impact our transportation projects on the TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan) as Charlotte held the majority of votes.

Mayor Little

Months later, speaking to the same group again on a different topic, Harold asked what I had done about the tax issue.  When I explained the opposition I had encountered, he wrote down a couple of allies that might assist us and in so many words told me to go back out there and do my job.  Mayor Little reminded me the Chamber might have to take an unpopular stand but we needed to remind the folks in Charlotte that North Mecklenburg was part of the Charlotte region and a portion of those dollars needed to remain here working for us.

Gary Knox, who helped organize and Chair the Chamber, and would one day serve as Mayor of Cornelius, shared that sentiment and we led the fight to return a portion of the prepared food tax to our communities in 2001.  Since then, that revenue has grown significantly and played a critical role in shaping the travel and tourism for our region and our locals parks and recreation.

Over the next decade, I often encountered Mayor Little attending town board meetings and he never failed to ask about the Chamber and how local businesses were faring.  I could see by the look in his eyes how much he cared and that compassion for his community was felt in his energy and commitment as he worked to leave his town and region better than he found it.

Mayor Little used the talents, wisdom, and vision the Lord provided him and changed the face of his community and touched a great many lives a long the way.  Harold left a legacy of leadership and we were all fortunate to know him.