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 JustindAllen@yahoo.com.

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

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 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

2018 Volunteer 640x512On Friday, January 12th, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce honored Tenders Fresh Foods with the Lake Norman Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award for 2017. Tenders located at 18341 Statesville Rd in Cornelius is owned by PDQ. 2017 Lake Norman Chamber Board Chair Jay Lesemann presented the recognition to Restaurant Manager Molly Trask.

Lesemann specifically cited their contributions to both the Chamber’s Junior Leadership Lake Norman program and the Hopewell High School Career Day which took place last spring. Assisting in the presentation was Chamber President and CEO Bill Russell.

Below are just a few of the groups that Tenders Fresh Foods worked with in 2017 and their missions along with the specific contribution by Tenders

Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen - (partnered with them for several years)

• Mission/Goal: To help fight hunger in Huntersville and adjacent towns of Cornelius and Davidson as well as in the North Mecklenburg County unincorporated areas.
• Donated food and free cards for Thanksgiving Race, helped raise money to feed children and families at Kids Christmas Party as well as money to put away for soup kitchen daily operations
• Partnered with them for Rotary Christmas Tree Sponsorship in Davidson

Angels of 97 (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: The graduating class of 1997 from North Meck High School suffered the loss of several of its classmates. Between their 10th and 12th grades, this class lost 5 of their classmates to car accidents and illness. Family members as well as friends use a community involved spaghetti dinner, and a golf tournament to raise money to offer scholarships to North Mecklenburg, Hopewell and Hough High Seniors. Hope House
• Donated tenders for Spaghetti Dinner as well as gift cards, free tenders cards and lunches for golf tournaments

Serenity House Huntersville/Mooresville (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: Serenity House is a loving home for terminally ill people – providing living space, practical care, and access to hospice services. We are devoted to the care of dying people and to the support of their loved ones. Serenity House aims to meet the need of people who wish to die at home, but lack the caregiver necessary to achieve that goal.
• Donated gift cards for raffle and free tender cards for place settings at each attendees seat at the Black and White Gala

Hope House:
• Mission/Goal: Realizing that there was no temporary housing support system for this vulnerable group within a 21-mile radius of Lake Norman (including Mecklenburg and the surrounding counties), Dr. Lindquist rallied the entire community to support the vision and mission of Hope House by building and operating a transitional home.
• Food donations to house and being a part of events to help raise money for the house

Davidson College Fraternity Fundraisers: (partnered with them for several years)
• PHI's for GI's- Mission: Support US Armed Forces Trot for Troops 5K, Fall Service Event Sponsorship, Weights for Warriors- Sponsored events with food for after 5k, gift cards, free tenders cards for attendees
• Carolina Drive to Cure Sanfilippo (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: In February 2015, we learned that our daughter, Aislinn, has a rare genetic disorder called Sanfilippo Syndrome. With no available treatment or cure, Sanfilippo will steal her voice, her mobility, her ability to eat. Ultimately, it will steal her tomorrows. We created Aislinn’s Wish Foundation to help find a

Cure for Sanfilippo.
• Fed volunteers for golf tournament and free tenders cards to attendees

Charlotte Rolling Hornets
• Mission/Goal: The mission of the Rollin’ Hornets is to promote independence for both children and adults with physical disabilities and provide opportunities to pursue active, healthy lifestyles in adaptive sports.
• Provided food and cards for tournament as well as food for Christmas Party

The Sandbox (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: Through our CARRE Program we work with families of children with cancer and life-altering illnesses and empower them throughout their healthcare journey. We provide evaluations, education, resources, connections and opportunities in order to meet the unique needs of each family.
• Donated food for families for "Try on Day"

Big Day at the Lake (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: The support of people like you during the past 13 years has enabled us to meet our three goals: Provide a day of fun on the lake for at-risk children, recruit Bigs and raise money for a worthy organization
• Provided food for Bigs and Littles as well as free tenders cards

Cornelius PD/Lake PD (partnered with them for several years)
• Mission/Goal: Keep Cornelius Safe!
• Created "Let's SHAKE on Boat Safety" Program where when police officers pull over boats for boat safety checks, kids and boat drivers will receive a free Tenders Shake card that also states the important parts of boating safety... normally start the boating season out with a kick off at Tenders
• National Night Out- free tenders cards for participants that donate school supplies

Cornelius Parks and Rec.
• Mission/Goal: The Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture (PARC) Department works to enhance the lives of citizens and visitors by providing great parks, natural areas and recreational experiences, from sports leagues and fitness classes to summer camps and art classes.
• Set up for openings, ribbon cuttings etc for multiple events where we donate food/refreshments

Ada Jenkins Center:
• Mission/Goal: Crisis can easily deplete savings and push vulnerable families and individuals further into poverty. Whether someone is facing unemployment or homelessness, struggling in school, or has lost their health insurance, we are here to help. Our Center serves as a resource hub for Northern Mecklenburg county.
• Donated Catering basket for Gala

Lydia's Loft:
• Mission/Goal: We are a community service organization providing clothing and small household items free of charge to those in need. Our clients reside primarily in northern Mecklenburg and southern Iredell county.
• Collected coats at Tenders and donated them to Lydia’s during Christmas Time

Toys for Tots Foundation:
• Mission/Goal: The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
• Collected toys at Tenders and gave to Toys for Tots

Tenders has served these organizations as well as donated food and gift cards to several golf tournaments such as Keep Pounding For Parker, Gus Macker, Children's Schoolhouse, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte Celebrity Golf Tournament, LKN Carolina Cobras 11U, etc.

5k's-sponsoring/donating food and cards to local 5ks such as Run for Green, JDRF Walk... etc.

In addition to these Organizations Tenders hosts family nights/vend events where they donate 10% back to organizations/schools.

Tenders helps organizations with fundraising by selling Charity Cards which schools, and sports teams which can sell to help raise money for their teams.

They also sponsor several sports teams throughout the year with food trade in order to help them from having to spend money on food for teams by hosting pre and post seasons parties here at Tenders as well as vending on site.

For more information, contact::

Molly Trask
Catering and Marketing Coordinator 704-895-6017

Published in Member Spotlight


Jack Salzman Wins National Recognition for Community Service
and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Convention

Salzman 427x640The nomination of Jack Salzman, owner of Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Cornelius, North Carolina, for the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.

Salzman is one of a select group of 47 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 23, 2018. The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, senior vice president and general manager, News, Luxury & Style, TIME, and Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally Financial.

“We salute this exceptional group of nominees for the 2018 TIME Dealer of the Year award,” Russi said. “These dealers are local pillars of strength, leadership and giving, and Ally is proud to celebrate their stories and recognize them for their commitment to ‘do it right’ in their communities.”

In its seventh year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Salzman, 55, was chosen to represent the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 47 auto dealers from more than 16,500 nationwide – nominated for the 49th annual award. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

“The most rewarding part of my retail automotive career has been hiring great people and investing in their future,” nominee Salzman said. “We pride ourselves on searching out quality employees and providing them with the tools and support they need to grow from entry-level jobs up to top management positions within the company.”

A 1980 graduate of Riverview High School in Riverview, Florida, Salzman was the top-rated swimmer in the country for the 200-meter backstroke and competed in the United States Olympic Trials for the summer games in Moscow. He won three silver medals for Team USA in the Maccabiah Games in Israel.

Salzman accepted a full swimming scholarship to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, where he received a degree in business administration in 1985. He then went on to earn a J.D. from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova University (now Nova Southeastern University) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1989.

Rather than working with a law firm, Salzman decided he wanted to own his own business after law school and started a cellular phone agency. While partnering with a local car dealership on a successful promotion, the dealer hired him as a sales manager and he has been in the retail automotive industry ever since. Today, he is owner of two Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealerships in North Carolina, located in Cornelius and Gastonia.

“Providing a great customer experience allows us to continue to grow our business, add more positions and retain quality employees for years to come,” Salzman said. “We are proud to employ a very diverse and loyal staff of 108 employees.” And his hiring practice has earned his dealership the 2012 Champions of Diversity award from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, an honor which is very meaningful to him. Salzman was the 2012 Board Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber and he and his wife Robin received the Duke Citizenship & Service Award of the Year in 2014. 

“We have always sought out great employees regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.,” he said. “As a result of this philosophy, we have been rewarded with extremely low turnover and incredibly caring employees, whom we are able to continually promote to new positions that further their careers.”

Salzman is equally as committed to giving back to his community. “When I purchased the dealership in 2003, my wife and I decided that we wanted to focus our philanthropic time and attention on three areas: animals in need, children in need and women in need,” he said. To this end, he is contributor to the Humane Society of Charlotte (North Carolina), as well as being a founding board member of Lake Norman Humane. And he supports Lake Norman Lucky Cats, which provides trap-neuter-return services, as well as Holly’z Hope, an organization that helps unchain dogs by building fences for homeowners in need.

For women and children, Salzman is a longtime supporter of The Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center in Statesville, North Carolina, and Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center in Charlotte, as well as Amy’s House in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and The Shelter of Gaston County in Gastonia, which both serve battered women and children. “We believe these organizations serve a critical need in our community,” he said.

Other groups Salzman contribute to include Make-A-Wish; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Habitat for Humanity; Susan G. Komen; American Cancer Society; plus many other local groups.

Salzman was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert Glaser, president of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Robin Smith-Salzman, have three children and six grandchildren.

About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is a leading multi-platform consumer media company that engages over 230 million consumers globally every month. The company’s influential brands include PEOPLE, TIME, FORTUNE, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, INSTYLE, REAL SIMPLE, SOUTHERN LIVING and TRAVEL + LEISURE, as well as approximately 60 diverse international brands. Time Inc. offers marketers a differentiated proposition in the marketplace by combining its powerful brands, trusted content, audience scale, direct relationships with consumers and unique first-party data. The company is home to growing media platforms and extensions, including digital video, OTT, television, licensing, international markets, paid products and services and celebrated live events, such as the TIME 100, FORTUNE Most Powerful Women, PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s Sportsperson of the Year, the ESSENCE Festival and the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen.

About Ally Financial Inc.
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial services company and a top 25 U.S. financial holding company offering financial products for consumers, businesses, automotive dealers and corporate clients. Ally's legacy dates back to 1919, and the company was redesigned in 2009 with a distinctive brand, innovative approach and relentless focus on its customers. Ally has an award-winning online bank (Ally Bank Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender), one of the largest full service auto finance operations in the country, a complementary auto-focused insurance business, a growing digital wealth management and online brokerage platform, and a trusted corporate finance business offering capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

The company had approximately $164.0 billion in assets as of September 30, 2017. For more information, visit the Ally press room at https://media.ally.com or follow Ally on Twitter: @AllyFinancial.

Published in Member News

Russell Press compressedThe holiday season is upon us and with it comes the sights and sounds of Christmas. Regardless of your faith, December is often a special month of reflection, generosity, and family. Listening to my favorite carols and songs brings back long cherished memories of family and friends. For many, it's a spiritual season with thoughts of life's purpose. But others face much darker days with the struggle of addition. Providing them and their families, relief from the pain would be the greatest gift of all.

Last week, I attended my weekly Rotary Club meeting and listened as a young lady shared her story of addiction to opioids. The daughter of a Rotarian, she fought through tears as she shared her innermost struggle with substance abuse. She was an honor student, gifted athlete, and popular classmate. Yet, she still felt a lack of esteem and confidence, which led to handfuls of pills that wrecked her life, leaving a wide wake of personal destruction with family and close friends.

I squirmed in my seat as I listened to her recount how her parents tried desperately to reach out with counseling and assistance. But in the end, they were forced to lock her out of their house. It was a story I was all too familiar with as my stepbrother faced the same insidious demons.

The opioid epidemic is now considered the worst drug crisis in our nation's history. These drugs kill more Americans than automobile accidents and opioids now claim more than 27,000 lives each year. Addiction knows no discrimination as every demographic segment has seen a dramatic rise in deaths from overdoses of prescription opioids and heroin.

In 2014, friends from my High School lost their son to his struggle with substance abuse. Their family was close and Hendon was a popular and gifted young man and a talented athlete. Their son was one of the most likeable young men you would ever meet. But again, addiction does not discriminate - and another life ended entirely too soon - and another family faced unimaginable heartache.

Earlier this year, I attended the funeral of a very successful young chamber member. She was the mother of two little girls. Bethany lost a battle that far too many wage. Her family and her faith simply could not compete with the pull of addiction - the momentary high that robs from the future.Pic 1 Opioid Epidemic

The young lady at Rotary ended by telling us how each day is a struggle, but she is winning that battle one day at a time. It takes courage, time and tons of support. Ultimately, the answer must begin with an acknowledgement that there is a problem and there must be resolve to overcome it.

If I could have one gift this Christmas, it would be for our nation to put aside all the petty political bickering and focus on the real threats which face our great country, robbing each of us of our greatest living treasure - the sons and daughters of America.

Country Singer Vince Gill sings a song called, "Go Rest High on that Mountain." In the song, Gill sings, "...only you could know the pain. You weren't afraid to face the devil, you were no stranger to the rain."

Let us hope as we face this year ahead, we do so resolved to ending the addiction crisis threatening our young people. United in a common cause to bring awareness to the issue and compassion to the cause. While we may not win every battle, no one should ever have to face the devil alone.

Happy Holidays and God Bless!

Bill Russell

Published in President's Blog

PHOTO Alexander HS 727x727 480x480On Friday, January 12h at 6:30 pm Chamber officers and members will gather at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius to celebrate this past year of accomplishments and reward key individuals, businesses, and organizations who set the benchmark in the Lake Norman region. The prestigious Cashion Business Person of the Year as well as the Duke Citizenship & Service Award will be presented. 

The theme for the evening is the “A Winning Tradition” as the Chamber welcomes Adam Alexander, NASCAR Race Hub Co-Host and Fox NASCAR Announcer. Alexander, a member of the FOX Sports family since 2006, serves as the play-by-play announcer for FOX NASCAR’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES coverage, a position to which he was assigned in FOX’s inaugural season covering the series (2015). He also co-hosts NASCAR RACE HUB, FS1’s daily NASCAR news and information program, a role he assumed in September 2013.

Alexander also hosts HUBCast, a weekly podcast launched by FOX Sports in mid-2016, in which he is joined by various guests, including some of the biggest names in racing, to debate the hottest topics in NASCAR. He will discuss what it takes to put together and sustain a winning team – something the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has done since 1987.

The Chamber celebrated its “Thirtieth Anniversary” this past September and continues to serve as a catalyst for business growth, bringing the lake communities of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and Mooresville together in a cohesive and regional collaboration.

Entrepreneurship will continue to be a focus for the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce in 2018 as the Chamber works with SCORE and Central Piedmont Community College to promote business incubation and development in the lake region. In addition to Alexander’s remarks, the Chamber will again present The McIntosh Law Firm Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The award is presented annually by firm founder and past chamber chairman Bob McIntosh.

The program includes remarks by outgoing 2017 Board Jay Lesemann, Jr. from Huntersville who will review outstanding achievements of the Chamber as well as induct new Board Chair Joshua Dobi from Cornelius.

Gold Sponsors of the 2018 Banquet include Carolinas Healthcare Systems, Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine, Duke Energy, Novant Health, The McIntosh Law Firm, and Wells Fargo. The Silver Sponsors are Truliant Federal Credit Union and First National Bank. Bronze Sponsors include: EnergyUnited, MSC Industrial Supply, The Range at Lake Norman, and Business Today.

Tickets are $95 per person and available on the Chamber’s website at www.lakenormanchamber.org or by calling 704-892-1922.

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, with 950 active members, serves the business communities of Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, and the greater Lake Norman region.

Caption: Adam Alexander, NASCAR Race Hub Co-Host and Fox NASCAR Announcer will keynote the Lake Norman Chamber Annual Banquet January 12th

Published in Member News

December Month at a Glance Calendar of Events

LNChamber logo New BlueThe below are programs, mixers, and activities of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce for the month of December 2017.  The events are subject to change and members are encouraged to check the current calendar of events for accuracy.  

Nov 30 Dec 1, 2 Christmas in Davidson 6 – 9 pm An annual Christmas Tradition taking place in Downtown Davidson.

Dec 1, 2 A Huntersville Christmas - Christmas Tree Lighting Friday, Dec 1st 6-9 pm Saturday Dec 2nd 2-8 Huntersville Christmas. See Huntersville Christmas for Details.

02 10:00 am Ribbon Cutting, Mooresville Edible Arrangements, 638 River Highway, Suite F, Mooresville. Chamber members are welcome to join our Chamber Ambassadors as we help Edible Arrangements settle into their new location!

02 35th Annual North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade 1:30 The 35th annual North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade begins on the corner of Griffith and Main Streets in Davidson on Saturday, December 2 at 1:30 p.m. and proceeds south on Main Street (Hwy. 115) to Old Canal Street at the entrance to Antiquity in Cornelius. The streets being used for parade staging (Jackson from Depot to Delburg, Waston, and Griffith from Main to Sloan/Beaty) will close starting at 10:00 a.m. Main Street from Beaty Street in Davidson south to the Cornelius border will close at noon and will re-open at approximately 3:30 p.m

05 5:30 pm December Holiday Business Mixer, Body Electric Rejuvenation Center, 19401 Old Jetton Road, Cornelius Network with businesses from Huntersville to Mooresville in this regional networking event.

06 8:00 am Ribbon Cutting, Dynamic Ballroom, 19625 Bethel Church Road, Cornelius Chamber members are welcome to join our Chamber Ambassadors as we welcome the Dynamic Ballroom to our Lake Norman region.

07 8:00 am Leadership Lake Norman – Government / Crime / Law Session – Closed event for the 2017-2018 Leadership Lake Norman Class.

07 5:30 pm 2nd December Holiday Business Mixer, The Junction @ Antiquity, 22415 Market Street, Cornelius. A Business networking event to start off the holiday season!

12 8:30 am BusinessWorks! at the Chamber Topic: “Small Business Trends for 2018.” Join us Tuesday, December 12th as we wrap up the year looking forward to the small business trends for 2018. Jim Vogel with I.M.U. Social Media will share social media strategies and will be joined by other Lake Norman Marketing Businesses as they discuss ways small businesses can showcase and promote their business.

Dec 12 4:30 pm Ribbon Cutting / Jingle and Mingle at Pete and Pop’s Findery 605 C Jetton St., Davidson. Holiday Special for Lake Norman Chamber Members – 25% off (December 12th during event only 4:30-6 pm). Help us welcome a new business to Davidson and the LKN Region and purchase your perfect holiday gift at Pete and Pop’s Findery!

12 6:30 pm Lake Norman Young Professionals “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” at Ass Clown Brewery 10620 Bailey Rd E, Cornelius. Open to Chamber members / employees of chamber members, 21-39 years of age. For more info visit: lakenormanyoungprofessionals.com

13 8:00 am Ribbon Cutting, SocialTEIGH, at Maddy’s Fatty’s, 19905 W. Catawba Avenue, Cornelius. Members of the Lake Norman Small Business Network will join Chamber Ambassadors as we welcome this new business to our community.

14 11:30 am Quarterly Economic Forecast at the Lake Norman Chamber - Randy Marion Room, Presented by Dr. Caleb Stroup, Economics Professor, Davidson College – Lunch included. RSVP Required – 704-892-1922 Presented by Jay Neal and Renee Simpson, Consolidated Planning.

14 5:30 pm The McIntosh Law Firm AND Lake Norman Publications, Combine to present the Chamber’s Holiday Business AfterHours, 209 Delburg Street, Davidson. This is a holiday event you do not want to miss!

18 5:30 pm Board of Directors Social at Harp & Crown 19930 W Catawba Ave, Cornelius. This Board Social includes the 2017 and incoming 2018 Board Members, spouses or special guests. On your own.

19 3:00 pm Brett’s Monthly BizNet Website Enhancement Find out how to utilize the website to enhance your business listing.

22 thru 25 Chamber Offices Closed - Happy Holidays!



Published in Member News

2017 Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Jay Lesemann outlined potential tax reform legislation at the November Focus Friday program. Lesemann’s presentation included last minute edits from the vote approved in the House prior to the Thanksgiving holidays. Lesemann pointed out the presentation included information as of November 16th but was certain to change if the Senate approves a plan and it goes to a conference committee.

IMG 8257 640x480

The PowerPonit Presentation is placed on the Chamber’s website for review and has versions of both the House and Senate Bills which again is certain to change. The purpose of the Focus Friday presentation entitled "2017 Tax Updates Will Congress deliver? - Do we want them to? " presentation was to give business owners, managers, and employees an opportunity to see what specifics of the tax code are subject to change and where there might be common ground.


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 Speaker:

JayJ. A. (JAY) LESEMANN, JR. CPA CGMA is Managing Member of Lesemann CPAs PLLC - a boutique regional CPA firm located in Huntersville, North Carolina. 

For almost 40-years, he has worked with local and multi-national organizations ranging in sales of $50,000 to $2 billion. He has also held positions of Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Director of Information Technology for publicly and privately held companies. He spent four (4) years with Price Waterhouse, L.L.P. in their consulting and system integration practice.

His experience includes initial public offerings, venture capital funding, mergers and acquisitions, managing and directing start-ups, financial system selection and implementation, as well as contract negotiation and turn-around management.

Originally from Gallatin, Tennessee, he graduated from The University of Mississippi with a Bachelors of Accountancy. Mr. Lesemann has been published in various local and regional newspapers as well as articles for Microsoft’s Small Business website.

He is currently Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Past Chair of the North Carolina Association of CPAs Board of Directors. He is a board member of the Lake Norman Educational Foundation



Published in Member News
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