The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is hosting the new Cornelius Arts Director and the President of the Arts and Science Council this Friday when they discuss “Creating a Wave of Arts Awareness for our Lake Norman region.” The Focus Friday event will be held Friday, July 21 from 8:30 until 10 am at the Chamber’s Randy Marion Conference Room, 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.
Justin Dionne, the newly hired first Executive Director of the Cornelius Arts Center, will be discussing the ongoing fund raising and plans for the Center. Dionne is the former Managing Artistic Director of Lee Street theatre, in Salisbury. In his five years there, he grew the company from a volunteer-led organization to a renowned leader in the state for theatre. Dionne’s leadership drove the campaign to renovate an historic 1920’s warehouse into a performing arts center that became the centerpiece of the RailWalk Arts District in Salisbury. He is passionate about how the arts impact communities, both culturally and economically.
Dionne is joined by Robert Bush, President of the Arts & Science Council (ASC). A nationally known leader in the local arts agency community, Bush joined the ASC in 2000. He was named President in 2014. In his current role, he is responsible for ensuring ASC’s mission, annual goals and long-term objectives are advanced by setting the strategy and vision for the organization, as well as the tone for an organizational culture that supports ASC’s mission, goals and strategies. He also ensures the organization has the necessary human capital to advance its mission, while directing and overseeing the tactical activities designed to produce the desired results and leading efforts to secure and allocate resources so its mission is progressed. In addition to serving as the chief strategic and executive officer for the organization, Bush serves as the lead representative on behalf of ASC to the broader community, as well as its various constituencies
Bill Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber is excited about bringing these two arts leaders together to share their insight with the business community at large. “Arts and Culture is a critical component of what makes our Lake Norman region and the Charlotte area such an attractive place to live, work and visit. This Focus Friday will be extremely informative as we discuss how to harness the wave of arts awareness sweeping the Lake Norman region!”
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 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.
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the 2017 - 2018 session of Leadership Lake Norman. Applications have been made available to Chamber members but the program is also open to non-members wishing to expand their knowledge of the Lake Norman region. Leadership Lake Norman, in its 21st year, 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 September 15th to be eligible for the program. All applicants will be notified in writing regarding acceptance in the program by September 19th. Just over 400 community and business leaders have graduated from the program.
Each year, the Lake Norman Chamber selects a class of highly motivated and committed leaders for a series of seminars and retreats. The group will hear speakers from the fields of tourism, health care, economic development, community infrastructure, education, regional history, the judicial system, and municipal government.
Shavonne Lowhoy, Supervisor, Revenue Cycle for Ensemble Health Partners in Huntersville, and a recent graduate of the program recommends the program. “My experience in Leadership Lake Norman was time well spent and unforgettable. Personally, I increased my knowledge in municipal government - learning the nuts and bolts of how the lake towns are operated and how they conduct business and interact.”
Lowhoy adds, “ My take away is when I may be sitting in traffic – I now realize, it took at least twenty years for this highway, street etc., to be built. So do not complain - get involved! Leadership Lake Norman also helped me professionally. Growth is something that is cultivated and it starts with a relationship. I believe that my classmates will support my long-term growth and for that I am extremely grateful and will always be for this experience.”
Anyone interested in Leadership Lake Norman can contact the Chamber at (704) 892-1922 and an application will be forwarded. For more information, visit the Leadership Lake Norman link on the Chamber’s Website at www.lakenormanchamber.org.
Caption: Leadership Lake Norman XX at the overnight retreat held last fall at Camp Bethelwoods.
Shawn Degree, General Manager of Duckworth's Grill & Taphouse 16609 Statesville Road in Huntersville (Exit 25), has informed our office that effective June 26th the restaurant will offer the following Lunch Specials for Chamber Members.:
Monday- Fajitas $11.99 Chicken & $12.99 Steak
$8.99 Cheeseburger Meal (11am-4pm)
$3.50 on most drafts
Tuesday- $10.99 Chicken Filet Club Meal (11am-4pm)
1/2 off all bottles of wine
Wednesday- $9.99 Large Pepperoni Pizza
$3.50 on most drafts
Thursday- $8.99 1/2 lb. Cheeseburger Meal (11am-4pm)
Kids Eat Free all day! (1 free kid's meal per adult purchases. Dine-in only. Limit 1 child per adult
Friday- Carolina Bar-B-Que Sandwich $7.99 (11am-4pm)
Saturday- Carolina Bar-B-Que Platter $10.99
Sunday- Fajitas $11.99 Chicken & $12.99 Steak
Everyday Specials- Certain drafts are priced at $3.50 everyday. Ask server for today's list
For all Catering events in or off location call Grace Short to set up. Phone 704-237-4387
The staff at Duckworths says, "Thank you and hope to see you soon!"
Focus Friday – Friday, June 16th, 2017 8:30-10 am
Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 19900 West Catawba Ave, Cornelius NC
This month, Friday, June 16th from 8:30-10 am, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will focus on the North Carolina Highway 73 Council of Planning. The Council of Planning is a multi-jurisdictional body tasked with monitoring and managing the NC 73 corridor, a 35-mile section of rapidly developing communities in the northern parts of the Charlotte, North Carolina region. At the Focus Friday we will discuss briefly the history and mission of the oversight group and planned improvements and activities along NC73 from Cabarrus County thru Huntersville and into Lincoln County.
On hand to discuss the NC Hwy 73 COP is Charles Knox, former Board Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber and an original founder of the Council as well as Zac Gordon, formerly with the Huntersville Planning Department and now the Planning Director for the City of Kannapolis.
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 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 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 Speakers:
Charles Knox, Jr.
Charles is a founding Principal of The Knox Group and has over 30 years of real estate experience in brokerage, site acquisition, development, and management services. He leads the development activities of the firm, and he has completed retail, office, industrial, mixed-use and both single family and multi-family residential projects. He is a founding board member and current Board of Directors Chairman for Aquesta Bank, and is a long standing member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, having served as the Charlotte Chapter President. He is the 2000 Board Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and has served as Co-Chair of the Regional Roads Committee.
During Knox’s term on the Chamber Board, he along with leaders of the Cabarrus Regional, Lincoln County, and Lake Norman Chambers successfully lobbied for a multi-jurisdictional land use study which was the foundation of the Highway 73 Council of Planning. He continues to serve as a representative of the Chamber on several transportation committees.
A graduate of Davidson College, Charles lives in Cornelius with his wife Colette and two daughters.
Zac Gordon currently serves as Planning Director for the City of Kannapolis, a position he has held since November 2014. In this capacity, Zac oversees all functions of the City’s Planning Department, including development plan review and approval, the preparation of long-range plans and code enforcement activity. A native of New York, Zac has served as a professional planner in a variety of locations, including New Hampshire, Rhode Island and North Carolina.
Before coming to Kannapolis, Zac served as Principal Planner for the Town of Huntersville from 2005-2014 where he managed the Town’s long-range planning function, including plans for the NC 73 corridor. Zac has previously served as Vice-President and a member of the Executive Committee for the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association and is credentialed with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Zac is a member of the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association and is a graduate of the Lake Norman Leadership Class of 2010. Zac holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Geography from the State University of New York and a Master’s in Regional Planning from Cornell University.
World-Class Art Festival Comes to Huntersville during the Lake Norman Festival of the Arts with Craft Marketplace June 24 – 25
Collectors and appreciators will find something for everyone from 100 national artists and craft artisans during free, two-day event
(Huntersville, NC) The premier weekend destination of Birkdale Village will transform into an art-lover's paradise June 24- 25 during the Lake Norman Festival of the Arts. One hundred national artists are set to display their stunning works from across the nation in a prestigious show encompassing fine jewelry, exquisite works of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. The festival also includes a full craft market with handmade organic soaps, live plants, tasty edibles, affordable and practical artisan-created works and more.
Residents and visitors alike will find something for everyone during this free, two day artistic affair. Unlike other exclusive art showcases, the Lake Norman Festival of the Arts invites patrons to meet the artists themselves, commission a custom piece and discover the inspirations and processes behind each handmade-in-the-USA masterpiece. Ample arking is available and pets on leashes are always welcome..
Presented by Howard Alan Events (HAE), producer of the nation’s finest juried art shows, the Lake Norman Festival of the Arts with Craft Marketplace represents original, hand crafted artwork selected by an independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants. HAE’s careful vetting process also ensures a wide array of mediums and price ranges will be offered during the event.
WHAT: Lake Norman Festival of the Arts with Craft Marketplace
WHEN: Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 from 10 am to 5 pm both days
WHERE: 16805 Birkdale Commons Pkwy., Huntersville, NC 28078
COST: Free and open to the public
CONTACT: email@example.com or 561-746-6615
• Juried, first-class outdoor art gallery showcasing local and national artists
• Original handmade artwork
•100 national artists and craft artisans
• Artists hand-selected by independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants
• All artists on site for duration of festival
• Vast array of artistic media including paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics,glass, wood, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media
• Full green market and craft festival
• Ample parking available and pets on leashes welcome
About Howard Alan Events, Inc.:
Howard Alan Events, a Florida-based company, produces the nation's top juried art and craft shows. Ranked among the Top 100 Art Fairs in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the 33-years established company has overseen art festivals in such noted cities as Aspen, CO; Hilton Head, SC; Sarasota, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL and 40 other destination markets in the nation.
For additional information on the Lake Norman Festival of the Arts and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.
Three local Lake Norman restaurants will be serving lunch at the Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo on Thursday, June 7th. Lunch will be served from 11 am until 2:30 pm. Lunch tickets can be purchased in advance Tuesday (June 6) at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce (19900 West Catawaba Avenue Cornelius) or the day of the Expo at The Lake Norman Chamber Booth # 74. Each lunch is $8 and includes your beverage. The featured restaurants are HoneyBaked Ham Company & Cafe, On the Border, and Pinky's Westside Grille. The Expo takes place 11 am until 5 pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena. For more information, contact the Lake Norman Chamber 704-892-1922. The Lunch menus are below:
Honey Baked Ham Company & Café
HoneyBaked Ham Classic: Ham, Swiss Cheese, Lettuce & Tomato
HoneyBaked Smoked Turkey Classic: Smoked Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Lettuce and Tomato
All Sandwiches will be served with Chips and a Rock Slide Brownie along with a drink. (Condiments will be on the side)
On the Border- NorthLake
Fajita Wraps - Flour tortillas stuffed with chilled, mesquite-grilled chicken or steak, chopped salad greens, dressing, mixed cheese and pico de gallo. This is a Half Wrap, served with chips and salsa.
Fajita Salad - Grilled Fajita Chicken, Steak or Portobello Mushroom with a crisp mix of romaine and iceberg lettuce, red & green cabbage, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, toasted corn, pico de gallo, a side of guacamole and choice of jalapeno vinaigrette or ranch dressing.
On the Border offers Coke, Diet Coke and Water.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
Chicken Salad Wrap - grilled marinated chicken breast tossed in a mayonnaise based chicken salad, wrapped in a flour tortilla or
Tuna Salad Wrap- albacore white meat tuna served in a fresh ginger, wasabi-mayo based tuna salad, wrapped in a flour tortilla or
Hummus and Veggie wrap wrapped in a flour tortilla
Served with Cookies/ Chips/ and Pinky's Bottled Water
Cost of a food ticket is $8 and includes your beverage. You can purchase a ticket at the Lake Norman Chamber booth (Booth #74 ) and at the front registration table.
This year marks the 16th Business Expo our chamber has hosted since 2001. What started as 25-30 businesses under the Business Big Top at LakeFest in the 1990's and evolved into one of the most successful business trade shows in the Charlotte region, now has 180+ businesses and nonprofits exhibiting to approximately 2,000 people. Through the years, I have worked closely with our exhibitors as well as attended shows in Mooresville, Cabarrus County, and Charlotte. Each year we host an exhibitor’s orientation, held last week, to review the 25 or so Most Frequently Asked Questions. But perhaps the questions I should have addressed before now is what will make this a great trade show experience for our exhibitors.
1) First, always get the right look for your booth. Each year we present awards for the Most Professional, Most Creative, and Best of Show. We've had hotels bring out furniture to create the bedroom feel. While certainly creative, it was also a lot of work moving furniture around and with an 8' x 10" space you are limited. Remember, those with electricity only have 5 amps of power, so NO POPCORN POPPERS (or BALLOONS). But if you have electrical power, you can give video demonstrations on your laptops or tablets. Attendees are drawn to colorful booths. Pop up displays as a backdrop, banners and signage are important. Make sure you have flyers, pamphlets, and reading material about your business to give away.
2) Perhaps the most important thing is staff your booth with people who are trained and experienced to answer questions and address the public. Too often I see people sitting in the back of the booth, texting or talking on the phone. Make sure the people you select to work your booth are invested in the success of your business. Always have someone in the booth and never leave the booth unmanned. It's always good to have multiple people in the booth so someone can walk around to the other booths and then come back and relieve their partner.
3) Be different – do something that draws people in – dress in a costume, have a model, celebrity, magician, or mascot in costume they draws people's attention. Some host games with prizes – putting green, spinning wheel, guessing how many coins, buttons, or marbles are in a jar.
4) Offer Business Expo specials – give them coupons for stopping by the booth. It can be redeemed in the next 30,60, or 90 days for stopping by your booth.
5) Some booths offer snacks, candy, water. If you do have a goody – make sure it's properly wrapped. Hard candy and chocolates are always handy!
6) The Chamber has (will continue to) extensively advertised the show through the papers, billboards, and MI-Connection. However, you should use your social media to get the word out. Use Face Book, Twitter, LinkeIn, Pinterest, and the other social media platforms to let people know about the event and your booth location along with any specials. Encourage folks to take part in the show!
7) Giveaways: I'm always asked what's the best give aways? One of the most unique was a few years ago The Range at Lake Norman had little flash drives in the shape of a small firearm and a local funeral home had chocolate covered caskets – very clever!!! Pens, bags, USB or thumb drives are always handy as are snack clips, notepads, post its. Remember, its all about impressions. Will the attendee use your item once or over and over again?
So. Let's sum it up – create a checklist of what to bring to the expo. Make sure you have the right people in place. They should be well trained with a consistent message about your brand and service or product. Make sure they are dressed appropriately for the event – what kind of image do you want to present?
Create a booth schedule so others can help you not only man the booth but give you time to enjoy the show and meet the other exhibitors present. Make your booth stand out but be cognizant not to overdo it. You don't want to make dozens of trips back to the car loading in and out. Keep it effective but simple.
Think about giveaways and make sure you have business cards and literature to hand out about your business.
All that brings me to perhaps the most critical piece – the follow up! You must have a way to capture information about those who show a genuine interest in your product or service. Have them register for a prize you can give away by dropping a business card or a card you give them. Remember, the primary reason you are there is to generate leads. This should be stressed when you train your staff. Consider hand writing notes to people who stopped by your booth and seemed interested.
Getting a hand written notecard says volumes and is much more effective than an email. The personal touch will go a long way to building a business or customer relationship. Keep in mind, waiting a week after the event is too late. Reach out while the event and contact is still fresh in their mind.
Above all – have fun! The Lake Norman Business Expo is a great place to both renew and nurture existing relations and create new ones. We're excited to have another opportunity to showcase the Best of the Best in business at the lake. The Lake Norman Expo is our version of Show and Tell. Make this trade show – Your Show and I'll see you at the Business Expo – Wednesday, June 7th 11 am until 5 pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena!
Join us Wednesday, June 7th for the Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo 11:00 am until 5:00 pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena.
Visitors as well as exhibitors will be eligible to win a Vizio 50” e-series 4K Ultra High Definition television donated by Sam’s Club in Mooresville simply for visiting with some of the many businesses exhibiting at the Lake Norman business trade show. Guests will be encouraged to visit at least twenty-five percent of the exhibitors (35 booths), getting cards initialed from the exhibitors, and then turning in the cards at the registration table.
The Presenting Sponsors are Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Randy Marion Cadillac. Our Platinum Sponsor is Susan Johnson & Associates and our Gold Sponsors include Lake Norman Magazine, MI-Connection, Novant Medical Center – Huntersville, and Sam’s Club. Silver Sponsors include Attention to Detail Automotive, Carolina’s Healthcare System, T-Mobile, The Junction at Antiquity, Truliant Federal Credit Union, Southlake Women’s Health, Two Men and a Truck, and UDA Dental. For a list of Bronze sponsors, visit the Chamber’s website. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
More than 2,000 people are expected to attend with approximately 140 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: The Honey Baked Ham Company & Café, On the Border, and Pinky’s Westside Grill which 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 LakeNormanChamber.org
Bill Russell, president of the Chamber said, “The Business Expo, now in its fifteenth 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.”
The Chamber, at 4:30 pm ,will draw for the Free Television as well as offer awards for the most outstanding exhibitors: Best of Show, Most Creative, and Most Professional Booths. You do not have to be present to win the flat screen television.
For a complete listing of sponsors and exhibitors, directions, and other information, see the Expo website at LakeNormaChamber.org or call the Chamber for more information at 704-892-1922. The Chamber offices will be closed Thursday for the show. Anyone needing to reach the Chamber can contact Bill Russell at 704-650-8987 cell.
Caption: 2016 Board Chair Callan Bryan draws for the free TV at last year‘s Business Expo.
On June the 7th, the Chamber will present the 2017 Business Expo. This year marks the 16th business trade show our Chamber has presented to spotlight the businesses which make up our growing and diverse region. The Expo grew out of the Business Big Top at LakeFest, a two-day festival held at Jetton Park in the 1990’s.
The Business Big Top featured about 30 businesses under a large outdoor tent. Today, more than 170 businesses and organizations tell their story at the largest business expo in the Charlotte region. While it does not rival boat or cars shows and does not have the attendance of bridal or homes shows, it remains the largest business to business Expo in our region with more than 2,000 people attending each year.
Look at photos from previous years and you are likely to see many of the same faces. Why? Because those business owners, managers, and employees understand that the Expo isn’t just about getting new leads and building new relationships. While that is indeed a goal – for many, it’s an opportunity to renew existing business relationships and visit with old friends.
I asked Doug Kropelnicki of A-1 Vacuum Solutions of Huntersville and Sharon Simpson of CURRENTS Magazine, what has brought them back as an exhibitor year after year. Their replies were almost identical, “It’s a chance to see many of my customers or clients – and hopefully a chance to meet new ones!”
Not everyone understands how to “Work a Trade Show.” Some leave frustrated because they feel they stood at their booth most of the day being “solicited” by the very attendees they hoped to make potential customers. Still others are told by their owner or manager I want you to work the booth today at the Business Expo. The only problem is they’ve never worked a trade show before!
So, how do you deal with those people who stop by your booth trying to sell you? How do you make your booth stand out from the competition? What should you do to prepare for this – or any other business trade show?
This month, Pat Heidrich with Sandler Training will present, “Making the Trade Show – Your Show! Getting the most out of your Business Expo Experience.” This 90-minute seminar will take place Monday, May 1 9:00 to 10:30 am at Sandler Training located in the Chamber Building. Participation is limited to the 2017 Business Expo Exhibitors.
We will also be posting Trade Show Tips on our member blog at LakeNormanChamber.org. We hope you find them helpful. Most importantly - don’t miss out on Lake Norman’s biggest Show and Tell – the Lake Norman Business Expo. We’ll see you there!
W.E. “Bill” Russell, CCE IOM
President & CEO
Caption: Doug Kropelnicki of A-1 Vacuum Solutions of Huntersville at the 2016 Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo
Message to the Chamber Members Concerned About I-77 Tolls:
Last week, your Lake Norman Chamber President and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett secured a meeting with the individuals who have been selected to review the NCDOT contract.
Commissioner Puckett and I went to Charlotte and sat down with Jim Taylor with Mercator Advisors. As many of you may have heard in the media, Mercator Advisors has been hired to study possible improvements to the contract North Carolina has authorized with I77 Mobility Partners, a subsidiary of Cintra.
David T. Hartgen, PH.D., Emeritus Professor of Transportation Studies with the UNCC and Beau Memory, the Executive Director of the Turnpike Authority for NC DOT were both also in the meeting.
In our conversation, Mercator’s representative, Mr. Taylor stated his organization would examine all potential alternatives to the current contract, from outright cancelling the contract, or executing a buyout of the contract upon project completion, to discount strategies for frequent users of the toll lanes. While their study is just getting underway, Mercator hopes to provide NC DOT and Governor Roy Cooper with a variety of options regarding the I-77 toll project. Everyone involved understands that there are significant challenges and the contract is widely unacceptable with the businesses and citizens throughout the lake region.
During the meeting, Dr. Hartgen emphasized the undesirable economic impacts that are destined if toll roads are installed on I-77 between Exits 23 and 36. Dr. Hartgen stressed that both local commerce and statewide trucking and freight mobility will be significantly impacted.
Commissioner Puckett and I reiterated our position that toll lanes on I-77 in the Lake Norman region will not address congestion, and actually guarantees congestion will worsen. We also illustrated that these planned toll roads will not only severely affect the quality of life of individuals and businesses in the LKN region, but will have a profound impact on commerce and economic development within our community and ultimately the Charlotte Metro area.
In the coming weeks, Lake Noman Chamber members may receive a survey created by NCDOT to help Mercator Advisors in their research. When you receive this survey, we respectfully ask that you participate and help them understand why the current contract is not in the best interest of any individual or business in our region.
The leadership of the Lake Norman Chamber will continue to do everything possible to correct this transportation mistake. We will continue to work in close collaboration with the I77 Business Plan, elected leadership, and other stakeholder organizations to see that the NCDOT Toll Road Contract with Cintra is terminated. It is still our primary mission to see that general purpose lanes be constructed to alleviate our congestion issue at the lake region.
I welcome your ideas, feedback and most importantly, your support. We are in this together and hopefully together, we will be successful. Our future, and the generation who inherit our actions today, depend on us and we dare not fail in our task.
President & CEO
Photo courtesy of Business Today.