Lake Norman Chamber News

Justin Allen 640x481The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Justin Allen has joined the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Team as a Member and Investor Relations Director. Justin will engage local businesses in our chamber family, looking for opportunities to provide exposure, build healthy business relationships, and to enrich their personal skills and business acumen. If you are already a member of the chamber and are looking at ways to get more involved, contact Justin.

Bill Russell, President of the Chamber, is excited to have Justin on board.  "I met Justin when he was a Sales Designer with Audio Advice, participating in our Annual Business Expo. Justin really worked the crowd with an engaging smile, listening intently to potential customers and clients throughout the day. The thing that struck me about Justin is - he cares. That's the type of person we want representing the Lake Norman Chamber. Someone who will listen to your needs and help you maximize your potential. We are so fortunate Justin has time to give back to the business community through his involvement with the Chamber." 

Justin Allen moved to Huntersville in 2012 from Asheville, NC. Along with his love for people and the human experience, he brought with him a passion for local business and a desire to help others achieve success in their own terms.

Justin's career focus has always been on providing an extraordinary customer experience. His education background in psychology and communications provide an excellent foundation to help business owners figure out new and interesting ways to do just that.

He and his wife Rachel share 3 girls, 3 boys and 2 very mismatched dogs. Justin is a proud member of BLU (Business Leaders United) and the Lake Norman Small Business Network.

Justin is proud to be a part of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. He loves supporting local business and he knows that the promotion, resources and advocacy that the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce provides are fundamental to healthy business growth here in the Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius and greater Lake Norman region. Justin can be reached at 704-618-9454 or email at

Published in Member News

The #MeToo movement has a lot of folks asking questions about what is and isn’t sexual harassment. Some might be expressing concern about whether they’ll lose their job for making a sexual harassment complaint against a co-worker or boss. As awareness of sexual harassment issues continues to soar, "how does a Lake Norman business owner limit the risk of getting sued, and, more important, fight sexual harassment?” This important topic and those questions will be addressed at a Lunch n’ Learn facilitated by the Lake Norman Chamber.

On Thursday, February 15th, the Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council will facilitate a Lunch n ‘ Learn hosted by Central Piedmont Community College at the Merancas Campus located at 11930 Verhoeff Drive in Huntersville. The seminar will be held in the Criminal Justice Building (CJ119). Our speakers are Jesse Jones, an attorney with the McIntosh Law Firm and Deborah Reynolds, a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with ADP TotalSource, the HR Division of ADP.

There is no cost to attend and attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage. CPCC Students will also be attending the luncheon.

 About our Speakers:

DebDeborah Reynolds is a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with ADP TotalSource, the HR Division of ADP, based in the Piedmont Triad region of NC. Deborah supports over 50 small and medium size business through human resources consulting and support. She has over fifteen years of experience in recruiting, benefit administration, employment policies, employment relations, and EEOC compliance. Mrs. Reynolds also provides on-site leadership and employee training programs including sexual harassment prevention. Mrs. Reynolds holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and has earned the most senior level professional certifications including SPHR and SHRM-SCP.

She is also a member of and served on the boards of both the Human Resources Management Association of Greensboro (HRMAG) and on the board of the Winston-Salem Society of Human Resource Management (WS-SHRM). Both HRMAG and WS-SHRM are the locally affiliated chapters of the National Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She has co-chaired the HRMAG Governmental Affairs committee that updates members on legislative issues affecting Human Resources and has also served as the Director of the SHRM HR Certification instruction course that mentors and assists HR professionals preparing for their certification exam.

Jesse Jones has more than forty years’ experience forming new businesses, advising businesses, writing and negotiating business contracts, handling business transactions, guiding businesses through conflicts, and representing businesses in court. Jones 427x640

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee, and his law degree at the University of Michigan. Jesse spent the first twenty years of his career doing complex commercial litigation in a medium-sized law firm in Miami, Florida. He took that experience and started his own practice, shifting his focus to transactional work, asset protection, and business succession planning. He moved to Huntersville in 2006 and began helping Lake Norman people solve and avoid problems in business and in wealth protection. Jesse joined The McIntosh Law Firm in 2015. His practice focuses on providing legal frameworks for businesses of all sizes to prosper, from large corporations to first-time entrepreneurs. This includes crafting contracts and other legal documents, negotiating and closing business transactions, counseling businesses in personnel matters, and avoiding and resolving business disputes.

Jesse Jones believes that the practice of law is more a profession, than a business. A client must trust that the lawyer's advice and services put the client's interests first.

For more information about the Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council or this event, contact the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-892-1922 or visit

Published in Member News

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce
2017 Annual Report - Unabridged

LNChamber logo New Blue


Business Growth & Regional Advancement

• Promoted BusinessWorks! seminars: Cash Flow; Social Media; Selling; Marketing Strategies; Negotiation Skills; Networking; Best Business Practices; Communications; Business Planning; Dream Teams; Best Apps; and Small Business Trends. This year the Chamber collaborated with SCORE to coordinate BusinessWorks programs.
• Other Business Seminars have included: Simple Steps for Starting a Business; Reinventing Yourself; Networking 2.0; Managing your online reputation; Trade Show Selling; Tips for Job Seekers; Goal Setting.
• Hosted Quarterly Economic Forecast Lunch n’ Learns
• Promoted a Small Business Week kicked off by a lunch program – Lunch & Launch Innovations, dreams, and Community Branding keynoted by Alan Wilson, McCormick Spice with 139 attending. The week included programs with The Lake Norman Small Business Network, Business Leaders United, and culminated with the selection of a Small Business of the Year and finalists.
• Helped facilitate meetings and promoted Lake Norman e-Commerce with a mission to nurture and grow online commerce in the lake region.
• Chamber President made calls on businesses in the Towns of Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson.
• The Chamber continued its partnership with SCORE. SCORE Executives have been utilizing the Chamber counseling businesses in Lake Norman. The Chamber refers local businesses to SCORE for counseling. In 2016, the Chamber created a workplace (phone and computer available to SCORE staff) at the Chamber. SCORE also trained volunteers at the Chamber.
• Maintained an employee bulletin board for jobs postings with HOHT and assisted with H.O.H.T. job fairs until they discontinued services this summer.
• The Chamber has assisted the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation which it helped create with the three North Mecklenburg towns. The Chamber's Chairman serves on the Board. The EDC's executive director is an ex-officio member of the Chamber Board and the Chamber's president is an ex-officio member of the EDC Board to improve communication and help facilitate economic development for the region. Also coordinated Two CEO Roundtables with the EDC: Legislative Wrap-up and Capital.
• Chamber President met with potential start-up businesses in regards to new business development in the Lake Norman region.
• Assisted a new Lake Norman HR organization
• Promoted the Small Business Administration (SBA) Emerging Leaders Program and recruited a candidate from North Mecklenburg.
• Hosted an Entrepreneurs Only Event at Port City Club.
• Hosted a Lunch and Learn on Microsoft Windows facilitated by a Microsoft Partner.

Communication & Technology

• Coordinated weekly e-Blasts delivered to over 2,550 email addresses weekly with the purpose of keeping our membership informed on all of our upcoming events. Also distributed the Presidents e-Brief on an as needed basis to keep the membership informed on current topics effecting business in the area.
• Regularly posts events/programs to Face Book and Twitter.
• Hosted small business social media programs and seminars.
• Distributed and mailed printed calendar of chamber events monthly called the Splash.
• Hosted BizNet monthly seminars to help members navigate the chamber website in a smaller one-to-one setting with Brett Zabek.
• Partnered with Lake Norman Currents Magazine on relocation magazine for the region called Great Lake Living.
• Continued promoting the Chamber's website.
• Researched and investigating new technology for Randy Marion Board Room.
• Monitored Website, Face Book, and Social Media statistics monthly engaging in several targeted campaigns.
• “Spotlighted” a Chamber Business and Nonprofit member weekly (beginning in November) on the website and distributing via social media.

Community Affairs

• Hosted the Twelfth Annual Public Safety Luncheon recognizing local law enforcement, firemen, and EMS workers from the three North Mecklenburg towns, and Crime Stopper of the Year.
• Hosted meetings of Lake Norman nonprofits at the Chamber, Ada Jenkins, and Solomon House touring the facilities of Ada and the Solomon House after the program.
• Attended community breakfast at Urban League hosted by Duke Energy.
• Recognized a Duke Energy Citizen of the Year and Community Service Award Winner.
• Promoted Davidson College athletics.
• Promoted Loch Norman Highland Games, Sheep Dog Trials, and Carolina Renaissance Festival, and Lotta Foundation.
• Sponsored and promoted events such as Big Day at the Lake, Big Brother/Big Sister Fundraiser, Celebrity Bartender at Alton's for Big Day at the Lake,
• Promoted and supported programming with: Lake Norman Lions, Kiwanis Club, Aktion Club, Rotary (North Mecklenburg, Huntersville, Davidson and Lake Norman Clubs), Toastmasters, Southenders Photo Club.
• Assisted the three North Mecklenburg Towns supporting community events such as the North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade, Parks and Recreation, Hello Huntersville, Christmas Tree Lighting, Veterans Day, Veteran Parade, Farmers Markets, etc.
• Assisted the Lake Norman Small Business Network in the promotion of a Lake Norman Community Blood Drive.

Diversity Development Division

• Coordinated a Diversity Council comprised of minority business owners to examine issues in common with women and minority owned business owners and managers.
• Hosted fifth Annual Women's Conference “Shattering the Glass ceiling” keynoted by Dr Marsha Conston with 141 in attendance.
• Hosted the Diversity PowerLuncheon keynoted by Former NFL and UGA Hall of Fame Running Back Tim Worley and a diversity recognition program for smaller business (Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics) and larger corporate businesses (Ensemble Health Partners) which recognize businesses that practice outstanding diversity management and a Diversity Champion Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham. The event was attended by approximately 80 people.
• Participated and helped coordinate a Multi-Cultural Event in conjunction with the Smithfield Jazz Festival.
• Held four Lunch n’ Learns at CPCC Merancas Campus and Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center on issues ranging Cultural Diversity and Diversity in Disparity in Mental Health to Healthcare Diversity.

Lake Norman Education Collaborative

• Promoted the Lake Norman Education Collaborative with a mission to increase educational resources in North Mecklenburg.
• In 2017 the Collaborative focus shifted to Workforce Development hosting two speed networking events at Hopewell High School. One for Hospitality and Tourism and one for the Engineering Academy. We look to expand that program in 2018 to reach out to other area high schools and potentially middle schools as well since 8th grade students start choosing classes of interest for high school. The Chamber also participated in a Career Day at Pine Lake Prep.
• Working with the EDC, the Collaborative partnered with Keller Technologies and the Engineering Academy at Hopewell to provide support to the program as well as hosted three interns over the summer.
• The Chamber coordinated a school supply drive for area high schools. School Counselors now have access to supplies for students in need. We were able to deliver school supplies to all of our area high schools, both public and charter.
• Partnering with Cornelius and Huntersville Parks and Recreation, the Collaborative was able to deliver over 1000 tennis balls to area elementary schools.
• The ongoing efforts to build relationships with CMS and the business community have continued.
• Held a CEO Roundtable discussion on education with the EDC as well as participated in the Huntersville Mayor’s discussion and networking event on education.
• Working with the EDC in 2017-2018 in an attempt to bring Edge Factor to the area.
• Coordinated in partnership with CMS – North Learning Center officials a Speed Networking event at Hopewell High School and Career Day at Hough High School as well as Future Business Leaders of America Graduation. Hosted a PowerLuncheon with CMS Superintendents (Current and incoming) Dr. Ann Clark and Dr Clayton Wilcox.
• Hosted a Focus Friday with Charter and Private Schools.
• Assisted North Meck High School Auto Department with Fundraiser in conjunction with LKN Chamber Foundation.
• Co - Hosted the second North Mecklenburg Education Summit with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools attended by approx. 180 people at Christ Covenant Church – Partnerships with a Purpose.
• Chamber President represented the Chamber on the Hopewell High School Hospitality and Tourism Academy Board.

 Finance & Operations

• Issued Statements of Financial Position and Statements of Financial Activity to the Board of Directors and continues to maintain a positive cash flow, building reserves.
• Held finance committee meetings to include all Chamber staff and detailed review of accounts receivable to include in-depth discussion on open balances.
• Secured a line of credit in the event of an emergency $20,000.
• Conducted interviews to outsource Bookkeeping Services.
• The Chamber is a member of and active in the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE).
• The Chamber's president is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hugh Torrance House & Store, ex-officio Board of Directors of the Ada Jenkins Center, Board of Directors of Visit Lake Norman, Board of Directors Lake Norman Economic Development Corp., Board of Directors of Our Towns Habitat (Chair of the Leadership Committee), Board of Directors of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism - Hopewell High School (2017), member of the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club, member of the Lake Norman Kiwanis Club, Aktion Club Advisor, President of the Winthrop University Pi Kappa Phi Alumni Corporation, Board of Trustees United States Junior Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
• Promoted the Chamber's Office Depot program through communications and enclosing a program card in every 'Thank You' that was sent to new members and renewing members. The Office Depot program has generated $5,300 through 11/17. Last year the program generated $5,387 .by year end.

Membership Programs and Services

• Membership of 940 members.
• Membership Retention Rate 81.8%
• 131 members joined the Chamber thru 12/01 vs. 106 by year end 2016.
• 4 orientations were held at the Chamber with attendance ranging from 10 to 30 people.
• New member decals and Office Depot cards were distributed to new and renewing members.
• New marketing materials were ordered including Name Badges for Board Members and Ambassadors and rack cards/brochures.
• Reviewed investment schedule comparing in with other regional chambers of commerce and made a slight increase associated with new membership investments.
• The Vice Chair of Membership Services approved all Ambassadors after an application process.
• Ambassadors are expected to maintain certain standards in representing the Chamber.
• Past due statements for 30, 60 and 90 days were delivered via email and US Mail. New past due letters and drop letters written and signed by President are mailed.
• Overdue members are contacted by telephone, email or in person by Chamber Staff.
• Held 22 Business AfterHours and Mixers with an average attendance 50+.
• Held 7 Business BeforeHours / Speed Networking Events averaging between 35 - 50 attendees.
• Celebrated 34 Ribbon Cuttings
• Held 5 Power Luncheons with an average attendance 80
• 2017 Annual Banquet at Peninsula Yacht Club had 198 attendees.
• 2017 Business Expo held at Davidson College had 162 exhibitors
• 2017 Annual Golf Tournament held at Birkdale Country Club in collaboration with BLU with 128 golfers.
• Hosted 3 regional Speed Networking monthly with Sam's Club which including the Mooresville, Statesville, and Lake Norman Chambers of Commerce with 40-60 attending.
• Conducted and graduated 25 individuals from the Chamber's 20th Leadership Lake Norman program. Class XXI has 27 people enrolled.
• Continued to promote and encourage the Lake Norman Chamber Young Professionals who meet monthly for networking and business seminars and self-improvement programs. Close to 60 young professionals participate in the group.

Public Policy

• Chamber officers have attended government meetings (Town Board Meetings, Coffee Chats, Workshops) to keep abreast of local issues and their impact to the Lake Norman business community.
• Held Candidate Forums in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville for local boards as well as Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.
• Met regularly with members of the press and issued statements on behalf of the Chamber and business community.
• Focus Friday briefings have been held on a variety of topics including: Regional Nonprofits, Three Town Manager Reports; Ramsey Creek Beach; Charter & Private Schools; 2017 Legislative Session (House Perspective); Highway #73 Council of Planning and Development along the NC 73 corridor; Creating an Arts Awareness at LKN; 2017 Wrap up on Legislative Session (Senate & House Perspective); CMS School Bonds; Road Building and LKN Regional Road Projects; 2017 Federal Tax Update; Ramsey Creek Beach Update.
• An Elected Officials luncheon was held, keynoted by NC Senator Jeff Tarte honoring our town boards, and recognizing outgoing elected officials.
• Conducted a Greater Statesville / Lake Norman Chamber Academy of Political Leadership to train, educate, and nurture candidates for local, county, and state office, regardless of political affiliation with the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce. Nine Candidates participated of which six ran for elected office and three were elected.
• Met with Duke Energy officials and representatives of the Lake Norman Marine Commission regarding Mosquito abatement and encouraged Mecklenburg County officials to continue the program in the Lake Norman communities of Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius (Shoreline).
• Held discussions with the Lake Norman Marine Commission regarding the Hydrilla issue which is again becoming a potential threat to Lake Noman.
• Issued a Board Statement on HB 186 regarding the repeal / reset of the controversial HB2.
• Issued a Board Statement in regards to SB 313 regarding small brewing manufacturers.
• Issued a Board Statement opposing the $922 million CMS School Bond.


• The Chamber issued a resolution opposing toll lanes at Lake Norman in June 2015 and continued throughout 2017 holding weekly strategy meetings with key stakeholder groups and elected/business officials opposing the lanes, held workshops and business briefings educating the membership and public on the issue, conducting numerous television, radio, and print interviews, and made several trips to Raleigh meeting with our state delegation on the issue. Appointed representative to the I77 Policy Advisory Group.
• The Chamber has actively promoted and encouraged mass transit and other transportation alternatives for North Mecklenburg/Lake Norman through resolutions, press releases, newsletter articles, forums, hearings, and workshops.
• The Chamber has participated in the Charlotte Regional Chamber Briefings discussing transportation, economic development, public policy, and entrepreneurship.
• The Chamber has advocated road improvements and an access management study of NC Highway 73 since 1997 along with the Lincolnton-Lincoln County and Cabarrus Regional Chambers of Commerce. Since the conclusion of the study, the Chamber has appointed a past Chamber chairman as a member to the NC Hwy 73 Council of Planning.
• Hosted DOT Workshops on Huntersville exit 23 Exit 28 Torence Chapel Rd improvements as well as participate in community stakeholder groups on transportation projects.




Published in Member News

Cornelius SealTo Local Real Estate Members and Developers in the Lake Norman Market

Regarding: Town of Cornelius Land Development Code

For the last four years, The Town of Cornelius staff have been working with a local citizen advisory committee to draft an update to the Town Land Development Code. Town Staff has periodically been meeting with local real estate companies, engineers, developers and neighborhood groups to review different portions of the proposed Code that may be of interest.

The Cornelius Town Board has scheduled a final public hearing and potential adoption for Monday, February 19th at the Town Board Meeting 7 pm. Wayne Herron, the Town Planner is reaching out to any business, particularly those who are impacted by Cornelius Town Codes, if they have any issues or concerns.

The Town has provided the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce with the Power Point used at a recent Town Board Meeting that outlines changes that have already occurred and the final proposed changes.

See the Power Point here.

The new draft Code can be found at the following:

Should any local business or Lake Norman Chamber member have any questions, please contact:

Wayne Herron, AICP
Director of Planning
(o) 704-896-2460 ext 111
(c) 704-626-0102

Thank you!
W.E. “Bill” Russell
President & CEO

Published in Member News

NeilBurkeThe Lake Norman Chamber will be discussing Local Transportation at the Friday, February 16th Focus Friday when it hosts The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO). The program, held from 8:30 until 10 am at the Chamber’s Randy Marion Conference Room, 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, will feature a presentation on the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Neil Burke, AICP, PTP, the Transportation Planning Coordinator for the CRTPO will review MTP Development Activities and discuss how local businesses and citizens can provide input on the Draft MTP.

Burke, in this role, assists in the development of transportation plans, public involvement processes and prioritization efforts throughout Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union counties. With over 15 years of experience in the Transportation industry, he has held previous positions with a municipal government, transportation consulting firms, a transportation research institution and state department of transportation. He holds a Master of Science degree in Transportation from Iowa State University and a Bachelor in Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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.

Published in Member News

2018 Leadership Conference

Published in Home Page Slideshow

2018 Cashion 640x427Cornelius, NC (January 15, 2018) – “A Winning Tradition” was the theme of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce 30th Annual Meeting this past Friday at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius. The banquet focused on the three decades of service of the regional business association as well as thanking many of the community’s volunteers who make the Lake Norman region a great place to live, work, and visit.

The sold out event was keynoted by Adam Alexander, NASCAR Race Hub Co-host and FOX Announcer, who spoke about the importance of building a winning team. Approximately 200 business and community leaders were inspired by Alexander’s sports anecdotes and his message of “Passion, be positive, know your parameters, be present, live in peace by staying humble.”

J A (Jay) Lesemann, Jr. CPA CGMA with Lesemann CPAs Huntersville, presided over the event as the 2017 Board Chair. Joshua Dobi, President of Dobi Financial Group, was installed as the 2018 Chairman of the Board.

A highlight of the evening was recognizing business leaders who had excelled in their profession and made a significant impact on their community. The prestigious Robert T. Cashion Business Person of the Year was awarded to Dr. William H. Cain, President and CEO of Financial Independence Group. On hand to help make the presentation was Robert’s wife Louise and sons Bobby and Gordon.

Dr Cain, who is celebrating his 41st year in the financial and insurance industry, employs 146 people and in 2015 and 2016 celebrated record setting years surpassing $2 billion in sales and revenue.

On receiving the recognition, Dr. Cain thanked his wife Ericka (Chief Administrative Officer), his family, the staff of Financial Independence Group and their team at Baily's Glen. Dr. Cain said, “We moved from Asheville to Cornelius 20 years ago (1998) after researching the area and found a very welcoming business community. So we moved our family, employees and business here with an appreciation for our warm reception. Today, we have a home where we can give back to a wonderful community.”

The McIntosh Law Firm’s Passion to Succeed Award for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year was presented to Rob Bennett, owner of My Aloha Paddle & Surf and Charlotte Cycle Boats. Bennett has been recognized as the USA 2017 Stand Up Paddle Board Retailer of the Year and has raised over $85,000 in the last six years for local charities.2018 McIntosh Passion to Succeed 640x512

Other business leaders recognized were Tenders Fresh Foods with the Volunteer of the Year; Jordan Bentz with Bentz and Associates with the Carbon Ambassador of the Year; Discovery Place Kids - Huntersville with the Distinguished Service Award; and Mike Murphy with ProctorFree, who was recognized with the Starrette Service Award as the Most Outstanding Chamber Board Member.

The Chamber recognized four outgoing Board Members whose terms concluded in December: Sharon Simpson with Currents Magazine, Davidson Commissioner Jim Fuller, Laura Temple with Champion Tire, and Huntersville Commissioner Danny Phillips.


Picture 1: Dr. Bill Cain received the Robert T. Cashion Business Person of the Year Award from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. Pictured with Bill Cain is Robert Cashion’s wife Louise and sons Bobby and Gordon. Representing the Chamber were 2017 Board Chair Jay Lesemann and President Bill Russell. Photo by Ocaid Photography.

Pic 2: Rob Bennett, owner of My Aloha Paddle and Surf, was selected as the McIntosh Law Firm Passion to Succeed Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017. Presenting the award was McIntosh Law Firm Founder Bob McIntosh, 2017 Chamber Board Chair Jay Lesemann, and Chamber President Bill Russell. Photo by Ocaid Photography.


Published in Member News

This past Friday evening, at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Lake Normna Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Board Chair Joshua Dobi introduced his 2018 Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Two new business leaders were added to the Board. Neither are strangers to our Lake Norman Community – Local Realtor Shelley Johnson and Business Coach Titus Bartolotta.

Meet our Team
2018 Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors


A62V5908bw 457x640Shelley Johnson – Owner, LePage Johnson – eXp Realty

Shelley Johnson has a great passion and drive to create an exceptional client experience and this started when she began her real estate career in 2004 while living in Maryland. Shelley and her husband Kevin decided they wanted to live their dream of lake living and moved to Lake Norman in 2008. She immediately started building her real estate business during the toughest real estate market in recent history….in a market where she was unknown.

In 2012 Shelley and her business partner Craig LePage joined forces to create LePage Johnson Realty one of the leading real estate firms in the Lake Norman/Charlotte region. They concluded 2017 with the team selling $90 Million in real estate which is nothing more than a measurement of the number of families the team has helped. The team prides themselves on exceptional marketing, a proven process to help clients net the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of stress. This formula for success has been created through years of experience and knowledge of the quickly changing real estate environment.

One of the reasons Shelley excels in real estate is because she loves to help others. Shelley works to serve several organizations in the Lake Norman area. She is the Vice Chair for the Cause Committee and on the Board of Directors for the Lotta Foundation an organization who helps mostly children in need and in general the organization just wants to do “A Lotta Good.”

The Lake Norman Humane Society is another organization she holds dear to her heart with her love of animals and desire to help them find loving homes. She is also involved with LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), Charlotte Humane Society, Make-A-Wish and numerous others. In general if there is a need and Shelley knows about it you will find her getting involved anyway she is able to help.


Titus Bartolotta – President, Collaborative Solutions GroupTitus BW 640x621

Titus Bartolotta is a business professional, entrepreneur, philanthropist, husband to Christina, and father to Josiah, and Noah. Titus has demonstrated local community leadership in many areas. One of which is birthed out of his own life experiences of struggle and overcoming poverty. Bartolotta is the founder of a local charity geared towards helping struggling children and families. This organization is called “The Lotta Foundation” and its mission is to “Do A Lotta Good” by helping families have a hand up in life.

With many years of both small and corporate business experience, studies in business management, seminary, culinary arts, and professional business coaching training, Titus is a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer, and Coach who is the business owner of a local business coaching firm called “Collaborative Solutions Group”. In addition to CSG, Titus has worked to develop what has become a fast growing and powerful networking organization called “Business Leaders United”. This is a membership based organization with chapters across the Lake Norman and Charlotte region. Bartolotta is the Founder and President of BLU. This New York native has become a true Carolina man after planting roots here for over 20 years. He enjoys sports, art, live music, local cuisine, and making a meaningful impact on local community.


Published in Member News

Edited Joshua Inside 527x640Friday evening, January 12th, Joshua Dobi, CFP was installed as the Chairman of the Board of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce at the Thirtieth Annual Meeting of the Chamber.

Dobi has established the following as his Chairman's goals for the 2018 Board of Directors:

Chair Priorities

• Continue to develop the Partners in Education under the Lake Norman Education Collaborative to increase member business engagement.

• Promote tools and education opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups, including leveraging relationships with groups like LaunchLKN

• Enhance communication to members and marketing to community on events and information about the Chamber to promote engagement and participation

• Continue Board Engagement with members – continuously seeking ways to offer our membership a ‘+1

• Review (and revise where necessary) our Chamber pursuits and events to ensure (1) profitability to the Chamber and (2) active member engagement

Joshua has served the last two years on the Board of Directors as Chair of the Chamber's Public Policy Division and this past November Business Today conducted an in-depth interview with the 2018 Lake Norman Chamber Board Chair.

About Joshua Dobi

Joshua started in the investment management/financial services business when he was still in college at the young age of (19) in Pittsburgh, PA. He began as an independent advisor and continues in that space, more than (20) years later, to this day as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) professional in his current firm - Dobi Financial Group, LLC.

Joshua is the founder, principal, and president of Dobi Financial Group (DFG) in Cornelius. DFG maintains offices in both Cornelius and in Pittsburgh, PA, and has five (5) team members in addition to Joshua. DFG currently has clients in (32) states and (3) countries.

In addition to business responsibilities, Joshua is also involved in numerous endeavors in his community. He currently sits on the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce board of directors and serves as their Vice-Chairman for Public Policy & Chairman-Elect. He also sits on the Session as an Elder at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Cornelius and as Chairman of the Finance/Stewardship Committee. He has served previously on the boards of the North Mecklenburg Rotary club (serving in the position of Secretary), the national Presbyterian Lay Committee, and the Little Smiles of North Carolina charity. He sits on the ECO Presbyterian Retirement Plan Oversight Committee, serving in an advisory capacity to a (300)+ church denomination. He also has been involved politically, involved in numerous municipal campaigns and chairing The John Bradford Committee for Representative Bradford’s two successful campaigns for NC State House District 98.

Joshua lives in Cornelius with his wife, Kerri, and their two (2) children – Emily (age 6) and Caroline (age 4).

Published in Member News

2018 Dist Service 640x512The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce recognized Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville at the 30th Annual Meeting of the business association held Friday, January 12, 2018. On hand to accept the recognition was Executive Director Lauren Fike and Coordinator Emily Cunningham. 2017 Chamber Board Chair Jay Lesemann, a local Huntersville CPA, shared his personal thoughts with the 200 business and community leaders attending, “As a CPA, an area of interest for me personally, is Financial Literacy. As a Huntersville resident and business owner, I have long been impressed by an attraction here in town that does an outstanding job preparing our children and acclimating them to our community environment – Discovery Place Kids, Huntersville.

DPK, which opened in 2010, is one of the most unique and interactive museums in the region to take your kids to keep them engaged and inspired. Discovery Place Kids accommodates children as young as infants and as old as ten years. From the grocery store stocked with Publix food to the full-sized fire truck—not to mention arts and crafts areas, a water table, and puppet show areas—there’s seemingly no end to the ways to expand your child’s mind.

Emily Cunningham, Coordinator for Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville states that 86% of their attendance (Discovery Place as a whole) comes from North and South Carolina residents with 500,000+ visitors attending in 2017. Records indicate that over 50% of visitors return for at least another visit within the year. DPK – Huntersville accommodated 150,000+ (of the 500,000 total) visitors this past year.

The Chamber’s Adult and Junior Leadership Programs annually tour the facilities located at 105 Gilead Road in Downtown Huntersville.

Pictured with Lauren Fike and Emily Cunningham are Chamber Board Chair Jay Lesemann and Chamber President Bill Russell. Photo by John McHugh / Ocaid Photography.

For more information on Discover Place Kids - Huntersville, visit their website or call 704-(704) 372-6261

Published in Member News
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