Lake Norman Chamber News

Expo Pic for thoughtsOn 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 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

Published in President's Blog

How to get the most out of your Business Expo Experience!
Trade Show Selling with Pat Heidrich, Sandler Training
Monday, May 1, 9-10:30 am at Sandler Training (LKN Chamber Bldg)

Expo 1 640x364Is this your first Lake Noman Chamber Business Expo? Perhaps it could be the first trade show you have ever participated in or have you been in the Expo before but just don’t feel you got the most out of the experience...

This Monday, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce kicks off Small Business Week with a Trade Show Selling seminar with Pat Heidrich, Sandler Training. The program takes place Monday morning 9:00 - 10:30 am at Sandler Training at the Lake Norman Chamber Building located at 19900 West Catawba Avenue, 2nd Floor.

With a dynamic speaking style that challenges his audience to push their “comfort zones”, Pat concentrates on the activities, beliefs, and skills necessary for increased performance and superior results. “It takes a stiff spine to excel in the sales world and to be a consistent, high performing sales professional.” By focusing on this mantra, Pat helps clients modify their behavior and eliminate self-defeating patterns that keep them from achieving greater success.Pat

Pat has trained thousands of business owners and companies of all sizes in over 200 different industries and professions. This Monday, he has agreed to share his tips for trade show selling. Participants will discuss ways they can increase the traffic to their booth, turn leads into relationships, and create a return on their investment. The program exhibitors are taking part in what would typically cost $250-350 for this 90-minute session. However, there is no charge for any chamber member participating in, or planning to participate in, the 2017 Lake Norman Business Expo Wednesday, June 7th at Davidson College.

Join us Monday, May 1st, 9:00 to 10:30 am as we discuss how you can get the most out of your Business Expo Experience with Trade Show Selling with Sander Training.

Not yet registered for the largest business t business trade show in the Charlotte region?  Register today online at 2017 Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo or call 704-892-1922. The Expo takes place Wednesday, June 7th, 11-5 pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena.

Published in Member News

Message to the Chamber Members Concerned About I-77 Tolls:
I77 pic BTLast 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.

Bill Russell

President & CEO

Photo courtesy of Business Today.

Published in Member News

Each week the Lake Norman Chamber selects a Business or Nonprofit who is making a SPLASH in the Lake Norman region. The week of April 24 through 28, we select Temple Kol Tikvah of Lake Norman which is having a community event Sunday, May 7th that you don't won't to miss!

Temple Kol Tikvah EventWho ever thought that the Lake Norman region would ever see a Jewish Deli Day! That day has arrived and it is Sunday, May 7 from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. The event will be held on the lawn at Temple Kol Tikvah of Lake Norman (, one our Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Members.

The Jewish community in the Lake Norman region has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. In 2008, Temple Kol Tikvah (Voice of Hope) was comprised of fifty families and their religious school served thirty students. Today, Kol Tikvah has more than 200 households and 150 children in their religious school.

Jewish Deli Day is all about the food! Kosher-style, authentic, traditional, delicious Jewish Deli favorites. Avoid Sandwich-related disappointment by ordering online at
Corn beef, pastrami, pickels and kugel, OH MY!

Join our Chamber partner, Temple Kol Tikvah and the Jewish Council in a celebration of true Jewish Deli yum coming to the Lake Norman region.

SUNDAY MAY 7 11:30-2:30
Temple Kol Tikvah
605 South Street,
Davidson, NC 28036

Published in Member Spotlight

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

HOHTHelping Others Help Themselves (H.O.H.T.) is a volunteer organization established to help communities find solutions to unemployment by, as the name implies, “helping others help themselves.” H.O.H.T. believes that building your network is the key to finding a job, and provides educational programs and networking events to help people accomplish this goal. Additionally, H.O.H.T. maintains a free online job bank to help connect employers with potential employees in the community.

H.O.H.T. was founded in 2011 in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina, in an effort to help the community recover from the effects of the 2008 economic collapse. Our mission now is the same as it was then: to provide free resources and support to people struggling with unemployment, and help put them back to work.

For more information, visit HOHT at

Published in Member Spotlight

Sheila Neisler 300x259BusinessWorks!: Tuesday, April 11th 8:30-10 am

Miracles, Magic or Marketing: What’s Your Strategy to Reach Your Sales Goals?

In today’s world, a sale takes 5 - 12 contacts and your prospect: Sees more than 4,000 ads daily; get’s more than 237 emails; and spends more than 40% of their day reacting to their own emails. Cut through this “noise” with a different approach - Engage your prospects with 360° Marketing.

On Tuesday, April 11h 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 is Sheila Neisler, the owner of Catalyst – A Marketing Company. For the past 10 years, she has helped companies achieve double digit sales results by developing and implementing a 360° marketing approach. She creates tailored plans which takes a great idea and leverages it across a number of channels including Cause Marketing, Market Makers, Earned Media, Customer Engagement and good ole “feet on the street” sales.

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

Shayna Inman - Pridemore Properties, 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, April 11th 8:30-10:00 as we discuss your sales strategies.

About Sheila Neisler - Catalyst – A Marketing Company

Great Ideas – Greater Resultswinning the marketing game when the rules are changing sheila neisler catalyst 12 638

Catalyst is an evolution of “preaching what she practiced.” Following a career in finance (BS from Florida State in Finance and a former corporate financial analyst with Trust Company (now SunTrust), she started a corporate gift basket company in Charleston, South Carolina. Along the way, she built the firm into an operation of some 10,000 gifts annually. She was recruited by a national trade association and a separate trade show magazine to lead marketing presentations to she share how she built her business.

After she expanded to Charlotte, business leaders asked her to jump into their own marketing projects full time – they valued her “brains more than her baskets” – and Catalyst was created. Her background as a banking financial analyst and business owner, gives her a real-world, real-time perspective of knowing that driving business is the first resort – not the last – of a marketing campaign.

Sheila has a breadth and depth of experience in both B2B and B2C: manufacturing, pest control, insurance, financial services, professional services, politics, restaurants, medical practices and not-for-profits. Her work method melds her “bottom line” banking with her top line “sales and marketing” to drive results.

Published in Member News

Each week the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce spotlights a Chamber member Business or Non Profit that is making a Splash in the Lake Norman region. This week, April  3 - 7, we focuus on Holly's Hope:

HH logoHolly’z Hope is a non-profit, volunteer organization based in Cornelius, N.C. that supports dogs and dog owners in our surrounding community. Holly’z Hope helps change the world one dog at a time by providing free custom-built dog houses and fences to dogs made to live outside on a chain with no protection from the elements. The organization also provides veterinary wellness care, vaccinations, spay/neuter services, pet supplies, dog food, pet toys, bedding, straw for warmth and tarps for shading. Dog owners are also educated on responsible pet ownership in an effort to reduce overpopulation and inhumane treatment.

Organization founder Holly Davis with nearly 300+ volunteers on board in a little over a year of organizing, proves how passionate people are in the mission to unchain dogs. Davis was recently successful in helping to pass an anti-tethering law in the town of Cornelius – and plans on expanding her efforts into nearby municipalities.

Changing the ordinance does not only improve the community by making it more safe and desirable but it changes the lives of the dogs and dog owners. I’m so very lucky to be able to do this work and make a difference” Holly Davis says.HH Pic

Holly'z Hope runs 100% on donations. We also look for individual/company sponsorship's. A sponsorship covers all the materials needed for one dog fence build. A press release will be sent to all media outlets announcing the sponsorship. Sponsorship will be promoted via social media, Holly’z Hope website, and in photo/video credits. Tax deductible & non-profit company matching gifts Email for more information.

To see the amazing before and after photos of dogs on chains enjoying their new digs, you can check out their site and on Facebook

Published in Member Spotlight


2017 Lake Norman Business Expo

Published in Home Page Slideshow

April 2017 Calendar (as of 3/28/17)

Please note the blow listing of actvities does not list ribbon cuttings which can be added 7 to 10 days within the date of the event.  It is also subject to change. It is the most current calendar as of March 28, 2017. For a more detailed desctiption of the event, please consult the Chamber Event Calendar.


LNChamber logo New Blue04 5:00 pm Lake Norman Young Professional Event - Tri-Chamber Business AfterHours: Networking at Speed! GoPro Motor Plex 130 Motorplex Drive Mooresville. While intended for LKN Young Professionals (21-39), any Lake Norman Chamber Member can attend and participate with members from the Mooresville and Statesville Chambers of Commerce.

05 12:00 pm Lake Norman Education Collaborative Speed Networking Career Day for Students – Hopewell High School, 11530 Beatties Ford Rd, Huntersville. Contact Leslie Hardwick, LKN EDC 704-659-4816

06 5:30 pm Carefree Boat Club Spring Business Mixer, 18020 Kings Point Drive, Cornelius. Always a fun business mixer on the shores of beautiful Lake Norman. Networking at its best!

11 8:30 BusinessWorks! with SCORE Topic: Miracles, Magic or Marketing: What’s Your Strategy to Reach Your Sales Goals? Presenter: Sheila Neisler, Business Owner at Catalyst Causes

11 12:00 pm Diversity Council Committee Meeting at the Chamber.

11 6:30 pm Young Professionals at Alton’s – Jetton Village with guest Speaker Jim Vogel. Open to Chamber members or employees of chamber members 21-39 years of age. For more information visit:

14 Lake Norman Chamber Offices Closed Good Friday Holiday

17 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council Lunch n’ Learn held at CPCC Merancas Campus CJ 131 in Huntersville Speaker: Lori Vaccaro with On Eagles Wings. The only ministry in the Carolinas that seeks to prevent girls from falling victim to sex trafficking, offer assistance to those still trapped, and restore those that have survived by offering hope, empowerment, and a brighter future. They focus on prevention, outreach, aftercare, and empowerment. Bring your lunch and beverage, listen and participate in this community topic.

18 3:00 pm Monthly BizNet 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.

20 5:00 pm Tri-County Mixer, Innovative Pest Management, 6596 Campground Road, Denver. Network with businesses from the Lincoln County, Mooresville, and Lake Norman Chambers of Commerce in a relaxed and social setting.

21 8:30 am Focus Friday at the Chamber. Focus on the 2017 NC Legislative Session with Representatives Chaz Beasley (D #92) and John Bradford (R #98).

24 5:30 pm Chamber Board of Directors held at the Chamber.

25 9:00 am The eCommerce Group at the Chamber. If you sell “online,” join us for a discussion on how you can improve your marketing, operations, and revenue.

25 9 am 12:30 pm (Lunch Provided) North Learning Community, Partnerships with a Purpose Education Summit Christ Community Church, 16301 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville

25 5:00 pm New Member Orientation at the Lake Norman Visitors Center. Join fellow new members as we network and find out more about your business and how your investment in the chamber can pay off big for your business!

26, 9:00 to 12:00 pm Workplace Safety & Employment Law Seminar at the Chamber, Lunch included. Hosted by R3 Risk Management & Central Carolina Insurance Agency. Topic to include: Is your Drug &Alcohol Testing Policy Compliant with OSHA’s new rule; Are you paying your employee too much /too little?; Protecting Workers and Yourself.

26 7:00 pm H.O.H.T. Workshop at the Chamber, Pat Jackson, Pres. Master Title, Presents, “Non-Verbal Communications”

27 5:30 pm Biz Mixer, Pierce Family Chiropractic, 19824 W. Catawba Avenue, Cornelius. Join us for this outstanding networking event!

Published in Member News
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