Lake Norman Chamber adds advocacy leaders to Board of Directors

Published Monday, March 11, 2019
by Bill Russell

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has added two former elected officials to the Board of Directors.  Karen Bentley, MHA is a Certified Executive Coach and President of Bentley Consulting Group, LLC.  Bentley’s first involvement in public life in the region was as an advocate for neighborhood schools, followed by dedicating eight years to representing 200,000 constituents in north Mecklenburg on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. During that time she worked aggressively to ensure that the Lake Norman region received adequate funding to build schools, parks, greenways, and other critical infrastructure.  Additionally, she was instrumental in obtaining Board support to conduct a “redo” of the 2011 property revaluation resulting in the refund of over $100 million to Mecklenburg County residents.

Also added to the Board is former North Carolina Senator Jeff Tarte. Tarte is the current Co-founder and owner of Zennergy, a manufacturer of custom engineered water valves. Tarte is also the former Chairman and Co-Founder of Applied Revenue Analytics, international healthcare consulting firm.  Tarte served three terms as the Mayor of Cornelius as well as a member of the Mecklenburg County Metropolitan Transit Commission, and three terms as State Senator.

 Bill Russell, President and CEO of the Chamber believes the addition of Karen Bentley and Jeff Tarte provides the chamber with greater resources when it comes to advocacy on behalf of the 900-member business organization. “The chamber is not a partisan organization. We do not represent the interest of either political party. However, we take our charge of being the voice of business very seriously. Both former Senator Tarte and Commissioner Bentley have a deep background into healthcare, education, transportation, and taxes and with issues such as the Mecklenburg County Reval and current challenges to our transportation infrastructure, we need their critical insight and relationships into county and state government on our team. These additions to our Board will strengthen our ability to advocate for the businesses of Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius and the greater Lake Norman region.”

 Professionally, Karen Bentley has held several leadership positions in the healthcare sector over the course of three decades, and is currently the CEO of Bentley Consulting Group, LLC, a firm specializing in Stakeholder Engagement/Reputation Repair, Government Relations, and Executive Coaching.  Karen holds a Masters of Healthcare Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and currently serves as Chair of the Huntersville Educational Options Study Commission.  Additionally, Karen serves on the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority, where she is Chair of the Budget Oversight Committee.

Former Senator Tarte co-authored a book published by Wiley & Sons, Information Technology for Integrated Health Systems, on managing information technology and organizational dynamics within multi-hospital health care environments. His areas of expertise are in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, revenue cycle management, contract negotiations and project management.

 He was selected by CIO Magazine as one of the top 100 Information technology executives in the United States. North Carolina Tech recognized Senator Tarte as the North Carolina “2018 Public Leader of the Year.”