Lake Norman Chamber News

Meck CountyAs you may know, work is underway on the next county-wide property tax revaluation. Individual (residential and commercial) property assessments began in 2017 to prepare for the full 2019 revaluation. With the growth that Mecklenburg County has experienced since the last revaluation in 2011, Mecklenburg County wants to inform commercial and residential property owners early on of what to expect in 2019 - specifically businesses and neighborhoods that faced concerns from the 2011 Reval.

County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner will present at the Lake Norman Chamber Focus Friday to update leaders and residents about these issues. Joyner will share information about: the home and commercial appraisal process, recent sales data in your community, the updated appeals process and tax abatement options for those eligible. Join us to have your property tax questions answered and help us to inform the Mecklenburg County community.

The Focus Friday takes place at the Chamber’s March Focus Friday, Friday, March 16th from 8:30 to 10 am in the Randy Marion Board Room 19900 West Catawba Avenue Suite 201.

Focus Friday is a public policy program of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce which examines community and legislative issues from multiple perspectives. While intended for Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce members and community leaders, guests are welcome by RSVP to the Chamber at 704-892-1922.

Focus Friday is presented by Novant Health - Huntersville Medical Center and sponsored by Business Today and WSIC 100.7 FM. The program is emceed by Public Policy Chairman Jason Colvin.

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 950 business members, represents the Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, and greater Lake Norman regional business community.

About our speaker: Joyner

Ken Joyner is the Mecklenburg County Assessor. In this role, Ken is responsible for the listing, appraisal, and assessment of all real and personal property in accordance with the provisions of law. He is charged with managing the reappraisal of more than 360,000 tax parcels in Mecklenburg and hiring employees to carry out the discovery, listing, and valuation functions required by North Carolina General Statutes.

Ken joined Mecklenburg County as Assessor in 2013 and also serves on the County's Budget Executive Team. Prior to joining the Mecklenburg County team, Ken spent 6 years as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the School of Government and previously served as the Tax Administrator in Chatham, Onslow, and Durham counties.

Ken is a graduate of North Carolina State University, and is certified as a County Assessor and Real Property Appraiser III by the North Carolina Department of Revenue. He has earned both the Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES) and the Assessment Administration Specialist (AAS) designations from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). Ken has received numerous awards from multiple associations including the IAAO Member of the Year (2008) IAAO Instructor of the Year (2009), the IAAO Presidential Citation (2009), the Presidential Award (2006) from the North Carolina Association of assessing Officers, and the Past President Award (2005) from the North Carolina Tax Collector's Association.


Published in Member News
Friday, 02 March 2018 13:55

March 2018 at a Glance Calendar

March 2018 Calendar

Logo Vert01 5:30 pm POSTPONED March Mixer, T-Mobile Cornelius Store, 20545 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius. Don’t miss this opportunity to network and grow your business relationships.

07 9:30 AM 2018 Living to Lead Leadership Conference at Grace Covenant Church 17301 Statesville Rd, Cornelius. Speakers Heidi Hansen, Dave Ferguson, Titus Bartolotta, and Bill Russell. Proceeds benefit The Hope House Foundation. Tickets $30 / $50 Register at

09 7:30 am Second Friday Speed Networking at Sam’s Club, 646 River Hwy, Mooresville. Network with the LKN, Mooresville and Statesville Chambers of Commerce. Breakfast included.

13 7:30 am Hough High School Fifth Annual Career Day 7:30 until 12:30 pm. William Amos Hough High School 12420 Bailey Road Cornelius. Call the Chamber for more details or visit

13 8:30 am March BusinessWorks! at the Lake Norman Chamber. Topic: Business Succession Planning with John Misner – SCORE Counselor and Tim Bartolomeo – MassMutual.

13 6:30 pm Lake Norman Young Professionals held at Port City Club, 18665 Harborside Dr, Cornelius. Open to Chamber members / employees of chamber members, 21-39 years of age. For more info visit:

15 5:30 pm Business AfterHours at Advanced Wealth Strategies, 19520 W. Catawba Avenue, Suite 313, Cornelius. Join us as businesses from Huntersville to Mooresville network together!

16 8:30 am Focus Friday at the Chamber. This month we focus on the upcoming Mecklenburg County Property Tax Revaluation with Ken Joyner, Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor.

20 Quarterly Meeting of Nonprofits at Levine & Dickson Hospice House-Huntersville 11900 Vanstory Dr, Huntersville. This meeting of regional nonprofits will be held to share programs and ideas as well as examine opportunities to provide better exposure for the organizations.

20 3:00 pm Monthly BizNet Meeting for Website Enhancement at the Chamber. Brett Zabek will lead a discussion in how to maximize your presence on the chamber’s website and to enrich your involvement with other members.

21 8:00 am Ribbon Cutting, Temperature Pro, 131 Overhill Drive, Unit 110, Mooresville. Join our Chamber Ambassadors as we welcome this new member to our chamber of commerce.

26 5:30 pm Chamber Board of Directors tentatively scheduled for The Peninsula Yacht Club 18501 Harbor Light Blvd Cornelius. .

27 9:00 am The Lake Norman e-Commerce Group at the Chamber. Join us for a discussion on e-commerce.

27 11:45 Hough High School Speed Networking at William Amos Hough High School 12420 Bailey Road Cornelius. Call the Chamber for more details or visit

28 8:00 am Ribbon Cutting, Dr. Michael Wilhite, Davidson Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, 209 Delberg St, Suite 103 Davidson. Join us as we welcome this business to our Lake Norman Chamber Family!

28 10 am Pine Lake Prep Middle and Upper Career Fairs. 104 Yellow Wood Circle Mooresville, NC. Call the Chamber for more details or visit

Save the Date

April 19 – Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council Women’s Conference
April 21 – Charlotte Meckleburg Schools 5K Run (Huntersville)
April 24 - Hopewell High School Speed Networking Event
April 30 – May 5 United States Small Business Week
                April 1 -  Small Business Luncheon
October 11 – Lake Noman Chamber Business Expo

Published in Member News

January BusinessWorks!
Tuesday, January 9th 8:30-10

JT3This month we start out the 2018 year with “Realistic Goal Setting" presented by Joe and Terri Carbon, owners of Good Old-Fashioned Auto Repair. In this session, we will:
• Learn to set goals that makes sense, are achievable, and keep you focused to success.
• Find lasting motivation to adopt this lifestyle and keep it going for a lifetime.
• Discover why everything you've done yesterday affects everything you will do tomorrow.

The BusinessWorks! Program is brought to you in collaboration with SCORE – America’s Small Business Counselors. Held at the Chamber – Randy Marion Conference Room. Jim Vogel with I.M.U. Social Media, is Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Business Growth & Development Division, which oversees BusinessWorks. The program is a personal skills workshop which focuses on marketing, management, and sales for small business owners, managers, and employees.   

About our Presenters:

Joe Carbon

At the age of 13, Joe began work in his father’s automotive shop in New York. He has 40 years of experience in the automotive business. A former driving instructor, Carbon served as a Crew Chief for the Skip Barber Racing School. Joe had a brief career in the stock and street stock divisions of NASCAR before relocating to Charlotte to pursue a driving career. He and his wife Terri co-chaired the BusinessWorks program and is a former Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber Ambassadors. He is a co-founder of H.O.H.T. (Helping Others Help Themselves) a free Lake Norman jobs Bank.

Terri Scott Carbon

Terri has 40 years of experience in property and office management. She served as the Administrative Assistant to the two partners of Simonini Builders, a high-end luxury custom home builder. She became an Operational Partner and Director of Marketing for Good Old Fashioned Auto Repair in January 2011.

Published in Member News
Friday, 29 December 2017 13:42

New Beginnings - A look ahead to 2018!

Plato said, “The beginning is the most important part of any work” and most of our businesses have had time to assess this past year and have already set their strategic goals for the year ahead. For many Lake Norman firms and retail businesses, 2017 was a very solid year which saw continued growth. We sold more product, signed up more clients, and closed more deals that made 2017 a good year for business. Others see the new year provides an opportunity to review the business model, create new strategies, and reach out to new markets to build their business.

Setting goals for a non-profit association such as your chamber of commerce is uniquely different than many businesses because our organization is reliant heavily on a volunteer base. Unlike a service or retail business, much of the mission, direction, and work is accomplished by committed, civic minded individuals who are not compensated for their work.

The Lake Norman Chamber has been fortunate to have a very capable Board of Directors comprised of talented and capable business leaders. This past September our business association celebrated thirty years serving as the catalyst for business and economic growth for our region. We have brought our lake communities of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, and Mooresville together understanding there is far more we can accomplish working together than we can independently.

Pic A Knox 613x640Such was the sentiment echoed recently at a Business Today “Newsmaker Breakfast” when newly elected Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox was asked his priorities for the coming year he replied, “We have to work together! There may be a Davidson Town limit but we have to work with our neighbors in Huntersville, and Kannapolis just as much as we do our adjacent neighbors in Cornelius and Mooresville.”

Leadership is understanding we can all accomplish a great deal, and working together, we can accomplish a great deal more.

In 2018, it is critical we, as a chamber of commerce, work closely with the leadership of our lake communities which continue to grow at a tremendous pace. With classrooms at or beyond capacity and unfunded road projects which continue to challenge our mobility, our leadership must foster “out of the box” approaches to everyday problems.

We as business leaders must encourage our elected officials at all levels to find common ground in their differences, working collaboratively to ensure our region continues to be a great place to live, work, and visit. Real leadership is going from where you are to where you have not been and 2018 gives us all a fresh start and a new beginning.

If you haven’t been involved in the chamber – get involved this year! Help us make a profound difference in your community. Whether it’s simply attending one more mixer or participating in one more seminar – give us +1. Just a little more effort helps move that needle as our incoming Board Chair Joshua Dobi reminds us.

When Wayne Gretsky, the ice hockey legend was asked about his secret to success, he said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is.”

In the year ahead, we must set our eyes firmly fixed on where we need to go as a community and region. We have the talents, leadership, and abilities to meet any challenge we face. Whether we skate in circles or skate to where the puck is going is completely up to us.

Bill Russell

Pictured: Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox speaking at a Busness Today Newsmaker Breakfast – “We have to work together!”

Published in President's Blog

December BusinessWorks! – Tuesday, 12th 8:30 am

Topic: “Small Business Trends for 2018”

Join us Tuesday, December 12th as we wrap up the year looking forward to the small business trends for 2018. Jim Vogel with I.M.U. Social Media will share social media strategies and will be joined by other Lake Norman Marketing Businesses as they discuss ways small businesses can showcase and promote their business. Jim is joined by Matt Swanson, MS Digital Solutions, who will discuss the newest trends for small business websites and Douglas Marion, Advanced Wealth Strategies, who shares his thoughts about next year's small business finance trends. This month’s program is jam packed with small business advice for the upcoming 2018 year!!!

The BusinessWorks! Program is brought to you in collaboration with SCORE – America’s Small Business Counselors. Held at the Chamber – Randy Marion Conference Room. Sponsored by Zack Bonczek with TRANSCENZ Real Estate Group - Keller Williams Lake Norman.

About our Speakers:

Jim 11 17 16 174x300Jim Vogel – President / Owner IMU Social Media
Jim is from Detroit, born and raised in the Motor City, where he spent over two decades working for the Ford Motor Company. He served Ford in a wide variety of internal communication functions and was an editor for over 12 years with the Ford General Services Division; he served as the Chair of the Ford International Newsletter Editors (FINE) from 1994 to 1996.

During his time at Ford, Jim earned an Associate’s Degree in (Mathematics) Applied Science from Schoolcraft College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in (Industrial) Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication from Eastern Michigan University.

Jim developed and taught Organizational Communication classes as a Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Michigan – Dearborn while working at Ford, and taught Business Writing classes at the University of Phoenix in Raleigh NC.

Matt Swanson -Owner / Technology SpecialistMatt
MS Digital Solutions
Matt is the owner and proprietor of a company that specializes in helping small and mid-sized businesses succeed in digital marketing by taking on the heavy lifting and time consuming parts of email, identity/reputation management, and social media. It also offers consulting services for Media Companies looking to grow digital revenue, strengthen digital operations, and build their digital audience.


Douglas MarionDouglas Marion – President, Advanced Wealth Strategies
“We are here to provide an educational resource in advanced wealth strategies for retirement, family and estate planning for small business owners, physicians, high net worth individuals, as well as helping average families utilize the same strategies to achieve a tax advantaged retirement.

Any number of advisors can manage your money. We specialize in teaching you how to protect your assets and put together a strategy to receive income the most tax-efficient ways possible, in some cases tax-free, and how to transfer those assets to your beneficiaries effectively.”


Published in Member News

2017 Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Jay Lesemann outlined potential tax reform legislation at the November Focus Friday program. Lesemann’s presentation included last minute edits from the vote approved in the House prior to the Thanksgiving holidays. Lesemann pointed out the presentation included information as of November 16th but was certain to change if the Senate approves a plan and it goes to a conference committee.

IMG 8257 640x480

The PowerPonit Presentation is placed on the Chamber’s website for review and has versions of both the House and Senate Bills which again is certain to change. The purpose of the Focus Friday presentation entitled "2017 Tax Updates Will Congress deliver? - Do we want them to? " presentation was to give business owners, managers, and employees an opportunity to see what specifics of the tax code are subject to change and where there might be common ground.


Focus Friday is presented by Novant Health - Huntersville Medical Center and sponsored by Business Today and WSIC 100.7 FM. The program is emceed by Public Policy Chairman Joshua Dobi.

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 1,000 business members, represents the Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, and greater Lake Norman regional business community

About our Speaker:

JayJ. A. (JAY) LESEMANN, JR. CPA CGMA is Managing Member of Lesemann CPAs PLLC - a boutique regional CPA firm located in Huntersville, North Carolina. 

For almost 40-years, he has worked with local and multi-national organizations ranging in sales of $50,000 to $2 billion. He has also held positions of Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Director of Information Technology for publicly and privately held companies. He spent four (4) years with Price Waterhouse, L.L.P. in their consulting and system integration practice.

His experience includes initial public offerings, venture capital funding, mergers and acquisitions, managing and directing start-ups, financial system selection and implementation, as well as contract negotiation and turn-around management.

Originally from Gallatin, Tennessee, he graduated from The University of Mississippi with a Bachelors of Accountancy. Mr. Lesemann has been published in various local and regional newspapers as well as articles for Microsoft’s Small Business website.

He is currently Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Past Chair of the North Carolina Association of CPAs Board of Directors. He is a board member of the Lake Norman Educational Foundation



Published in Member News

Cornelius, NC (October 9, 2017) – The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has accepted 27 local business leaders in the twenty first class of Leadership Lake Norman. The program, sponsored by Novant Health – Huntersville Medical Center, develops a group of informed, committed, and qualified individuals capable of providing visionary and progressive leadership for the Lake Norman region.

Leadership XXI 640x358Accepted in Leadership Lake Norman Class XXI are: Bree Appleton – Allen Tate Realtors, Titus Bartolotta – Collaborative Business Solutions, Joel Bondurant, Bondurant Law Firm, Zachary Brown – Swim Club Management Group, Bridget Burleson – Cornelius Police Department, Marc Cain – Vintage Choice Jeweler, Kamlesh Chandan – Ally Financial, Justin Dionne – Cornelius Arts Center, Ben Godsell – EnergyUnited, Andrew Heywood PAREXEL International, Jen Huskey – Novant Health, Lisa jester – Lake Norman Chamber, David Lillard – Fifth Third Bank, Andrew Morceri – Pine Lake Preparatory School, Dana and Chris Pape – Papemore Real Estate at Keller Williams Lake Norman, David Ranson – Ranson Real Estate, Laura Rizzetta – Aquesta Bank, Anna Robinson – Carolinas Healthcare System, Michael Sherman – Wealth Advisory (Raymond James), Scott Stimson – Merrill Lynch, Jaeda Sykes, Sykes STEPS Inc, Keri Taylor – United Way of Central Carolinas, Reggie Vanzant – Cornelius Police Department, Will Washam – Town of Cornelius, Liesl West – Novant Health, David Woodruff – Genesis Film.

Bill Russell, President & CEO of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, believes that this year’s group represents a diverse representation of the Lake Norman business community. “I am extremely pleased we have such a large array of businesses and organizations represented in this year’s program. I was very impressed with the chemistry of the class and their interaction with each other throughout the leadership retreat.”

The class held an overnight retreat, sponsored by Shared Resources, focusing on team building through a confidence course and leadership training. Sally Ashworth, Executive Director of Visit Lake Norman gave a presentation on the impact of Travel and Tourism on the local economy and Chip Scholz of Scholz and Associates facilitated a program on Concepts of Leadership. Past leadership graduates Shayna Inman, Diane Smith, Eric Stabesfski, and Steve Genenbacher also led the group through team building exercises. 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

Caption: Pictured are the participants in Leadership Lake Norman at the overnight retreat held at Bethelwoods (York, SC). Chip Scholz with Scholz and Associates, also pictured, facilitated the Concepts of Leadership training on Friday.

Published in Member News

Savory 640x512Each year, the Lake Norman Chamnber of Commerce, working in partnership with the United States Small Business Admistration, celebrates Small Business Week.  This year the week is May 1 though the 7th. The Chamber has planned a week long celebration with actvities each day. On Wednesday May 3rd at 4 pm at the Lake Norman Visitors Center, operated by Visit Lake Norman at 19900 West Catawaba Avenue in Cornelius, the Chamber will recognize the Small Busines of the Year.  Last year there were two co-winners of the recognition (tie) between Savory Moments and The Kilted Buffalo in Huntersville. My Aloha Paddle & Surf (Cornelius) and Rose & Associates Southeast, Inc.(Davidson) were recognized as runners up to the annual designation.

The Chamber is now receiving nominations for the 2017 Small Business of the Year.  

A panel of judges representative of the Chamber’s leadership will select the recipient based on the following criteria:

• Staying power: A history as a Lake Norman established business. Must have been a business for no less than three years.
• Growth in number of employees: A benchmark to judge the impact of the business in the employment market.
• Outstanding community involvement: Civic involvement by owner or manager.
• Business environment: Innovative management practices which produce a successful business.
• Customer-friendly quotient: Business practices which encourage repeat customers and provide a conducive atmosphere for service or retail trade.

Lake Norman Chamber members with fifteen or fewer employees are eligible for the award. Chamber members may submit as many businesses as they choose, or a business may nominate itself.Kilted 640x396

Please email, fax, or mail your nomination to:

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 760
Cornelius, NC 28031

Fax 704-393-5313


Nominations are due no later than Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Published in Member News

Session Topic: "Why People Buy - It’s significantly more important than What You Sell!"

Bill Gill PicSales is a two-way conversation: a buying process and a selling process. Putting both in sync is key to your success. Too often the focus is given only to the sales side of the equation: from prospecting to closing. At this session, we'll address the buying side - the factors that go into each of the phases of the buying process.

On Tuesday, March 14th from 8:30-10 am the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will continue our partnership with SCORE (Small Business Counselors) to host the 2017 series of BusinessWorks. Held at the Lake Norman Chamber - Randy Marion Board Room, we will discuss information that helps you make smart, fact based marketing and sales decisions.

Our facilitator Bill Gill has spent more than 4 decades selling personally and leading sales teams. He has been a sales coach with Sales Performance International where he was first introduced to the Buying Cycle concept. He uses and applies the "Why People Buy" approach to help small business owners redirect their approach to selling from a customer's perspective. Bill was also a very active Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce member until he sold his insurance agency located in Huntersville.

The Sponsor of BusinessWorks is Zack Bonczek with TRANSCENZ Real Estate Group - Keller Williams Lake Norman.

Greg Porter, Digital Marketing Manager for Bank of America, and a member of our Lake Norman Young Professionals, will introduce our speaker.

We hope to see you at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce BusinessWorks! on Tuesday, March 14th 8:30-10:00 as we discuss your sales strategies.

About the Speaker: 

Bill retired in 2012, after 40 years with Nationwide as the principal of W. H. Gill & Associates, Inc. with offices in Charlotte and Huntersville. Throughout a very successful career as a full service insurance agency, he focused on commercial clients andl devoted many hours to coaching new Nationwide agents and associates, both locally and nationally.

Since his retirement, he has remained active with SCORE, an organization focusing on mentoring new business owners. Recently serving as their VP of Client Services, Bill conducts workshops on the early stages of building sales plans and marketing strategies to insure success. Additionally, he has worked with seasoned business owners to redirect and re-energize their sales team in an ever-changing environment to maximize a company’s sales potential while looking toward increased profitability margins.

He is currently consulting within the insurance industry and working with First Choice Agents Alliance, an association of insurance agents. With a degree from Lehigh University in Marketing and Finance and the CLU designation from the American College, Bill sits on the board of a number of local civic organizations and is an active member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, serving as Moderator of the Deacons and is a Stephen Minster.

Published in Member News

Russell thoughts 1 640x512January is a month of new beginnings. Some of us may head into the New Year lamenting the fact we came up short in our goals for 2016. Others of us plunge into the gym and say to ourselves this is the year I am really committed to getting in shape. Perhaps as a business owners, we look at 2017 as the year we will turn the corner and have "Our best year ever!"

Regardless of whether we were successful in hitting benchmarks set in the past or we came up short in our personal or professional goals, now is the chance to have a clean slate ahead and recognize that often the only limitations we have... are those we impose upon ourselves.

In 2017, the Lake Norman Chamber will focus on the entrepreneur - those men and women who shirk the traditional boundaries and institutions with a vision of creating something unique and innovative. It is that very spirit of entrepreneurship that has shaped the Lake Norman business community allowing us national accolades in magazines and media outlets. Whether it is a recognition as the most desirable suburban community, a great place to do business, or simply one of North Carolina's Top Towns - it starts with a common vision and a commitment to fulfilling that goal.

As we work to create programs that foster entrepreneurship, we also acknowledge our 30th Anniversary as the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. Our chamber was started in 1987 by business leaders with vision who saw our community, not just as it was, but the region that it could become.ChamberChairmen

I recently asked Lake Norman Chamber founder John Cherry, "Is the 1,000 member organization we have today, what you and the other business leaders envisioned three decades ago?" John replied, "We knew our real strength was working together. The Chamber has always been more than a networking group hosting seminars. It is an organization that promotes our story to other regional business and elected leaders to achieve our mutual objectives."

At the Chamber's upcoming Annual Gala on Friday, January 20th, we will recognize extraordinary individuals, businesses, and organizations who are shaping the very fabric of our regional community. That same day, we will also host Focus Friday with area nonprofits to discuss how we can work together to be the change necessary to tap the hidden talents of our citizens which elevate communities from good to great.

Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks said, "I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It's seeing what other people don't see and pursuing that vision."

Schultz would tell you, a successful entrepreneur may not even be able to count their failures. They simply regard their challenges as a stepping stone in their eventual journey to success.

As we all embark on a new year filled with unbridled opportunities, we will certainly be faced with near misses and perhaps a setback along the way. The great news is we don't have to accept any short coming as a limit to our success.

2017 can be a year of renewed vision and commitment where there is simply no limit in what we can accomplish by working hard, working smart, and most importantly working together.

In the end, ... it's all up to us!

Bill Russell

Published in President's Blog
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