Lake Norman Chamber News


011 640x557The 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 constituenciesRobert Bush

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.


Published in Member News


Pic B Small Biz of Year 1 640x427Topic: Best Business Practices with the 2017 Small Businesses of the Year

In a special presentation of BusinessWorks!, we have assembled a panel discussion of Best Business Practices with the owners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year and the Finalists. Join Tom Getts, partner in Consign on a Dime – the 2017 Small Business of the Year, Steve Gilbert, owner of Omega Learning of Lake Norman, and Rob Bennett with Aloha Paddle & Surf as they discuss the management, marketing and sales strategies that set them apart from the competition.

This year the BusinessWorks! Program is brought to you in collaboration with SCORE – America’s Small Business Counselors. The program will be facilitated by Chamber President Bill Russell and those who attend will be allowed to ask questions of our small business panelists. Join us for BusinessWorks! Tuesday, July 11th at 8:30 am at the Chamber – Randy Marion Conference Room.

Photo: Tamara Mullis, a co-owner of Consign On A Dime and Showplace 28 Fine Furniture, receives the 2017 Small Business of the Year from Chamber Board Chair Jay Lesemann. Also pictured is Jim Vogel, Chair of Business Growth and Development and Cornelius Commissioners Woody Washam and Jim Duke. Photo courtesy of John McHugh / Ocaid Photography.


Published in Member News

** TRAFFIC ADVISORY From the Town of Huntersville **

Hambright Road Bridge To Close To Make Way For Vehicle and Pedestrian Improvements

Huntersville(July 6, 2017) – The Hambright Road bridge in Huntersville will close on July 16 after 10 p.m. as part of the construction of the new I-77 Express Lanes. Crews will safely remove the current bridge and begin construction of a new bridge at this location. Construction is estimated to last approximately 18 months. Traffic on I-77 will not experience a detour. Overnight lane closures and traffic shifts will occur on I-77 during this period.

No local traffic will be able to cross over the Hambright Road bridge during construction. A permanent detour for local traffic will be in place as follows:

Local traffic travelling from west of I-77 will take Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road or Alexanderana Road to Statesville Road to access Hambright Road on the east side of I-77. (See detour maps below)

Local traffic travelling from east of I-77 will take Statesville Road to either Mt. Holly Huntersville Road or Alexanderana Road to access Hambright Road on the west side of I-77. (See detour maps below)

The new bridge will provide a direct connection to the I-77 Express Lanes and will increase capacity with two travel lanes in each direction, one turning lane in each direction, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Motorists are encouraged to pay close attention when approaching the work zone, obey the posted speed limit and work zone signs, and allow extra time to reach their destinations safely.

We encourage people to sign up to receive lane closure and traffic advisory information, and the latest information on the project.

You can also follow us on social media at:

I-77 Mobility Partners on Facebook I-77 Express Lanes

I-77 Mobility Partners on Twitter @I77XPRSLanes

Once the project is complete, dedicated express lanes will run adjacent to the existing general purpose lanes. The number of general purpose lanes will remain the same as today. Drivers will have the choice of using the express lanes to avoid travel delays, the general purpose lanes or a combination of both. Vehicles with three or more occupants (including the driver) and equipped with a transponder may use the express lanes for free. The full 26-mile project is slated to be completed in 2018.

Published in Member News

Leadership XX 640x368The 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

Caption: Leadership Lake Norman XX at the overnight retreat held last fall at Camp Bethelwoods.


Published in Member News

BIGDAY13logoDid you know July 22 has been proclaimed Big Day at the Lake Day by the NC Legislature? How cool is that?

You can be part of it by signing up to be a Boat Host, or a volunteer.

Big Day at the Lake, which has a 13-year record of helping Big Brother and Big Sisters of the Central Carolinas, needs Boat Hosts to take at-risk kids out on the lake for a morning of fun. Each “Little” comes with a “Big”—a built-in chaperone—AND a signed waiver.

The Big Day at the Lake organizers—all of them volunteers—expect as many as 200 kids, which means at least 120 Boat Hosts are needed July 22. We need you! This is a fun AND meaningful way to give back.

To register as a Boat Host (or to volunteer), go to: www.bigdayatthelake.comBig Day pic 640x427

The day starts at 9 am at your dock, boat ramp, marina or a yacht club. Pair up with a friend or a group for even more fun. Big Day at the Lake has safe harbors organized (PYC, for example) as well as Boat Captains who can help with meeting up. Sorry, no jet skis for this event.

After a morning of sun and fun, join in the picnic lunch at Duke Energy Explorium. It’s amazing.

Dave Yochum can answer any and all questions about being a Boat Host. His number is 704-895-1335.

Photo courtesy of Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

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Expo TV 640x480Karen Forster, Event Specialist for Spare Time Huntersville, won the 50” VIZIO Flat Screen TV that the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce gave away as the grand prize of the Chamber Business Bingo. The Business Bingo was held at the Chamber’s Business Expo, Wednesday June 7th at Davidson College Belk Arena. It was donated by Sam’s Club – Mooresville. Visitors to the Expo were asked to stop by 16 pre-selected booths and completed cards were drawn for various door prizes. The Grand Prize was the flat screen VIZIO TV.

Forster, a resident of Cornelius, has been employed by Spare Time Huntersville for sixteen years. The Family Entertainment Center is located at 16317 Statesville Rd and has been an exhibitor of the Chamber’s signature event, the Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo, for the last four years.

“The Business Expo is a great networking opportunity allowing me a chance to catch up with existing contacts, meet new friends, and create awesome community connections,” Forster said. This year’s event allowed her to make 30-40 new contacts which may book holiday parties, company events, birthday parties and fundraisers. Forster admits to being a ten year member of Sam’s Club and often frequents the Mooresville location given its proximity to the business in Huntersville. “I would recommend Sam’s Club 100% to anyone looking to save money on retail items for your home or office,” she added.Bx Expo TV 640x480

Presenting the TV to Karen was Bill Russell, President of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. Also pictured is Michelle Ricketts, Membership Coordinator and John Borzoni, Membership Team Leader for Sam's Club in Mooresville.

Published in Member News

DuckworthShawn 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
$4 Mimosas

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!"


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As just announced by Davidson College and in The Charlotte Observer, Davidson is making a major investment in regional innovation:

The Hub@Davidson.

The Hub at Davidson 320x93The Hub is a cutting-edge, LEED-certified facility that aims to both connect with and help build a vibrant Lake Norman-area technology, innovation and entrepreneurship community. In a former textile factory, Davidson will bring together students, faculty, companies, and community partners under one roof, leveraging the intellectual capital of the college and the unique history and architecture of the property.

But The Hub is more than a building. Davidson is creating a community of innovation — and the first of its kind led by a liberal arts college. In addition to physical space, Davidson is building programs, events, and providing consulting services in key areas like design thinking and lean startup. In sum, the college’s goal is to build a movement — a nexus for campus and community to come together and lead the way in innovation and accelerated growth for our region.

As one example, The Hub’s inaugural program — R+D² — pairs companies with student-faculty teams on structured engagements. Davidson teams will provide real-world problem-solving and project support at much lower cost than industry sticker prices. If the R+D² program isn’t a fit for a Chamber company, we would love to discuss the possibility of sponsorships for The Hub to directly support the mission of advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities and leaders in tech jobs.

We know our communities, businesses and educational institutions face a shared need to prepare for the challenges of a rapidly changing economic and innovation landscape. This is Davidson’s contribution.

If you'd like to find out more about getting involved with The Hub through R+D², sponsoring or partnering in programs for the local business community, please email with any questions. You can also visit The Hub’s website to keep up with its developments at

Published in Member News

adopted seal for web2Focus 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.

charlesknoxCharles 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

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.ZG pic for Rotary Program 480x640

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.


Published in Member News

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Dashiell
Howard Alan Events

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 

Arts Fest Resized 640x237

(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: 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 or call 561-746-6615.


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