Lake Norman Chamber News

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

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

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

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

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

Please email, fax, or mail your nomination to:

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

Fax 704-393-5313


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

Published in Member News

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

Each week the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce selects a Chamber Member - Business or Nonprofit, that is Making a Splash at the Lake. This wwek we have selected Beds for Kids, an outstanding Lake Norman nonprofit!

IMG 2086Beds for Kids is a non-profit that was founded in 2011 in Charlotte with a mission to provide beds and essential furniture to children and their families in need. In December of 2015 Beds for Kids combined resources with The Bin, which had been located at First Baptist Church of Huntersville, and opened a second location in Cornelius at 11020 Bailey Road, Suite D.

Beds for Kids empowers families with children by delivering beds and essential furniture items to supplement the family’s resources as they rise out of poverty and into self-sufficiency. Knowledgeable social workers employed by our referring agencies vet and then refer their organization’s clients with requests to supply all bed and furniture items needed. These referring agencies are essential in that these families have been provided supportive housing, but are without necessary furnishings to make their house a home. The primary referring partners for the Lake Norman location are The Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson and the Hope House Foundation in Huntersville.

Careful research has been done and strategic partnerships have been established in order to create the best business practices to effectively develop new levels of self-sustainability for the clients we serve. Our clients are often working, but rarely have the additional income needed to purchase beds and basic furnishings for their home. It is Beds for Kids desire to serve every household through an empowerment model and with dignity. Each family is served one time and the beds and furniture that we deliver not only fills their homes with tangible items, but also fills their homes with hope that they are on their way to becoming more self-sufficient and furnishing futures for their children. The Lake Norman location has directly impacted 514 individuals, delivered 363 beds and 6,240 total bed and furniture units.

The beds and essential furniture items delivered are either new or gently used and have been generously donated by individuals, institutions and corporations. If you have gently used beds or furniture that you would like to donate to children and their families in need in the Lake Norman area please call 980-422-1192 and select option #9 for the Lake Norman location, or send an email to There are also opportunities for volunteers to assist in picking up beds and furniture from donors, cleaning furniture in the warehouse and delivering beds and furniture to children and their families in need. If you are interested in volunteering at Beds for Kids Lake Norman please contact us at

Published in Member Spotlight

142 640x369The Lake Norman and Statesville Chambers of Commerce will be hosting a candidates training program for individuals interested in future elected office. The Greater Statesville / Lake Norman Academy of Political Leadership is an introduction to campaigning for local, county, and state office. The three day session will be held on three Saturdays in April/May (April 29, May 13 and 20). It will be held at the Chambers of Commerce and WSIC Radio in Statesville. The program is intended to assist civic-minded citizens who are considering running for political office to campaign in an ethical and effective manner.

The Greater Statesville and Lake Norman Chambers are non-partisan business associations who do not endorse or support candidates for office. However, the chambers believe strongly in the principles of good government and hope to increase the number of business-minded elected officials with the skills and political acumen to provide the servant leadership which advances our community and region.

Session I Laying the Groundwork for your Campaign will feature individuals who have served on a local, county or state elected capacity. The session will also discuss developing the message, as well as hear an informative presentation from Dr. Susan Roberts, PHD from the Davidson College Department of Political Science on Campaign Ethics.

Session II: Communication will provide the participant with an opportunity to create and record a thirty second radio advertisement as well as participate on a mock radio interview hosted by WSIC 100.7 FM Radio. This will take place at the radio station at 1117 Radio Road Statesville.

Session III: Nuts and Bolts focuses on the specific details on filing for office including fundraising, polling, voter trends, financing, filing, and turnout.

The Lake Norman Chamber hosted a Lake Norman Candidate Training in 2003, 2005 and most recently with Statesville in 2015. Graduates of the 2015 program included current Cornelius Commissioner Michael Miltich and Huntersville Commissioners Dan Boone and Mark Gibbons. All three were newcomers to the political scene when they entered the candidate training program. Past participants include current Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy, Political PAC Chair (Committee for a Better Lake Norman) John Hettwer, and United States Senator Thom Tillis.

David Bradley, President of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce, states the partnership with the Lake Norman Chamber allows the chambers to perform an important community service. "We are excited to collaborate with the Lake Norman Chamber. It is our hope that the candidate training program will provide a foundation for a diverse pool of candidates who would be of service to our growing region. We are fortunate to have outstanding individuals currently serving our local towns, county, and state. However, if an opening for a board seat is available, we need qualified and informed candidates vying for that position."004 640x446

Senator Thom Tillis, a graduate of the 2003 Lake Norman Candidate Training Program added, "In 2003, I participated in the Lake Norman Program as I prepared to run for my first elected office on the Cornelius Town Board. The sessions provided valuable insight into campaigning for public office and proved very helpful developing my message and strategy. I would highly encourage prospective candidates to apply for this program which examines the skills, leadership, and requirements needed of our elected officials."

Participants will be selected by an application process with consideration given to be a diverse group. It is limited to six applicants from Mecklenburg County and six applicants from Iredell County. The cost of the three session program is $95 per person and includes meals. Applications must be received by Friday, April 14 and those accepted to the program will be notified by Monday, April 17.

Interested candidates can apply online at or The program is presented by EnergyUnited and sponsored by Duke Energy and WSIC 100.7 Radio.

Click here to apply for the Candidaite Training program

Published in Member News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Speaker: 

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

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

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

Published in Member News

House Bill 2Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Member:

On Monday, at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Lake Norman Chamber Board of Directors, our leadership discussed the controversial issue House Bill 2 (HB2). Regardless of partisanship, many people agree that the unintended consequences of this legislation have had a dramatic economic impact as well as created a negative national perception of North Carolina.

At a recent meeting of Corporate CEOs held by your Chamber and Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation, we heard first hand from our corporate executives and human resource personnel who shared their concerns on the impact it was having on their company operations and image. We have also had discussions with members of our hospitality industry who have felt the lost revenue from cancelled meetings and events.

Our economic developers also point out that the consequences of HB2 have resulted in lost jobs and corporate relocations. While some of these announcements have been reported in the media, there are other instances of companies removing North Carolina from a short list of possible expansions or relocations.

In response to Gov. Cooper’s call for a compromise repeal of House Bill 2, House Bill 186 - a bipartisan bill to repeal HB2 - was filed last week by Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Local Representative John Bradford was a sponsor of the legislation. In short, House Bill 186 would repeal HB2 while prohibiting local governments from regulating private restroom facilities.

After careful deliberation, our Chamber issued the following response: “The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the early bipartisan effort towards the proposed House Bill 186. We commend those leaders who are working to address this issue and hope for continued dialogue and collaboration to reach a solution.”

The proposed bill has been met with criticism on both sides of the political aisle, with conservative groups stating that the bill does not go far enough to protect citizens in public restrooms and liberal groups stating that it still leaves the door open for discrimination against transgender individuals in private bathrooms.

This past Tuesday, I participated in a Press Conference in Raleigh organized by Representatives Bradford and Dulin. Business leaders representing business and commerce, the hospitality industry, sports marketing, and real estate were all represented. I believe Bob Morgan of the Charlotte Chamber and myself were the only two local Chambers present at the Press Conference though many have signed on with their support of the Bill or encouragement of continued dialogue on the subject.

This is a critical issue facing our state. The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, while currently not committed to endorsing or supporting HB 186, believes it is a foundation for discussion.

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide our elected leadership with the feedback and encouragement needed and ensures North Carolina remains a great place to live, work, and conduct business.

W.E "Bill" Russell, CCE, IOM

President & CEO

Published in Member News
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