This month’s Lake Norman Chamber Focus Friday will feature the Re-elected Mayors of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville. Mayor Woody Washam of Cornelius will discuss his new board which consists of the incumbents and a former Commissioner Jim Duke and a newcomer Tricia Sisson. Washam will also focus on upcoming infrastructure projects and likely touch on the Cain Arts Center.
While there are no changes to the Davidson Town Board, Mayor Knox will discuss the impact of two successful referendums approved by the voters – the sale of Continuum to TDS Telecom and the approval of a Public Facilities Bond.
Mayor Aneralla was re-elected to his office and welcomes two newcomers to the Board of Commissioners – Stacy Phillips and Lance Munger. Mayor Aneralla will also discuss upcoming issues of the town including transportation projects, education, and land use.
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. The program takes place at the Lake Norman Chamber 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius Suite 201 Randy Marion Conference Room.
The program is presented by Novant Health - Huntersville Medical Center and sponsored by Business Today and WSIC 100.7 FM. The program will be moderated by Public Policy Chair Jason Colvin.
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 900 business members, represents the Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, and greater Lake Norman regional business community.
About Our Speakers:
Mayor Woody Washam: A life-long resident of Cornelius, Woody grew up on Church Street and is still the proud owner of his childhood home. He states that “growing up in Cornelius is an experience that remains in your hear for a lifetime. I am ever so hopeful that I can help bring to future generations the same quality of life experiences that I was so fortunate to have.”
Woody has served the Cornelius and Lake Norman communities as a banker for forty-plus years. Presently, Woody is Senior Vice President, Lake Norman Area for Carolina Trust Bank. His experience helping Cornelius residents and businesses throughout his banking career helps Woody understand the needs of his hometown and the importance of local economic development and the promotion of a business friendly environment.
Woody has worked tirelessly to make a positive impact his hometown. In addition to his service as Mayor, he presently serves Cornelius and the Lake Norman Region as a Board Member of Little Smiles of NC, a charity benefiting North Carolina children who are in hospitals, hospices and shelters across the state, and the local United Way board. Woody’s service to the community has included past stints as Chairman of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Visit Lake Norman, Chairman of the Mooresville –South Iredell Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg and a Past President of Rotary.
First elected to the Town Commission in 2013, Woody finished first in a field of ten candidates and was unanimously selected by his fellow commissioners to be Mayor Pro-Tem. Woody was then re-elected Town Commissioner in 2015 and selected to serve a second term as Mayor Pro-Tem. In 2017, Woody ran for Mayor of Cornelius and was elected without opposition.
As Mayor, and previously as Town Commissioner, Woody has worked tirelessly to ensure a fiscally responsible and financially efficient town government, making sure that your tax dollars are used appropriately and that your tax rate remains the lowest in the region. As a member of the people’s town government, Woody has recognized the need for open communication and transparency in all operations. To encourage this, Woody has hosted regular “listening circles” around town to help incorporate citizens’ concerns and suggestions into town policymaking.
Woody attended Cornelius Elementary School and J.M. Alexander Middle School before graduating from North Mecklenburg High School. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Catawba College, Woody returned home to begin his banking career.
Woody is happily married to Sharon Hobson Washam. They have two adult children, Bryan Washam and Kristin Washam Lachapelle. They are also the proud grandparents of four beautiful granddaughters and one handsome grandson. Woody is a lifetime member of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, where he has been the church organist since 1966.
Mayor Rusty Knox: My love for our Town of Davidson runs deep. The Knox family established roots here in the 1700’s and I am proud of the contributions that my family has made over the years in agriculture, business, education and politics. I am particularly proud of my late father, Russell Knox, who served 12 years as Mayor of Davidson. As a native, I have witnessed many changes to our area over the years. The growth of Davidson and metro Charlotte has made our area a vibrant and attractive place to relocate, settle down and establish roots. The same growth has also created many challenges for our town, and our response to these challenges will define the future of Davidson.
I graduated from North Mecklenburg High School and have a Bachelor of Arts in Health & Physical Education and Parks & Recreation Management with a minor in Special Education from Pfeiffer College. All four years at Pfeiffer I was a left-handed pitcher on the baseball team. In 1994, I decided to join the family business selling real estate for Knox Realty, which is now owned by Allen Tate Realty. Over the years I have traveled every back-road around here looking for that "right" spot for clients to settle down. I am humbled to have been able to help many of our neighbors find a place they can call home. However, my service does not start or stop with my clients. I am a past president of Davidson Youth Baseball and an active volunteer with Ada Jenkins, Angels of ’97, Levine Hospice House, Hope House Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Joe Martin ALS Foundation, the Cabarrus Arts Council, the Davidson Farmers Market, the Davidson Housing Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, REALTOR Care Day, Concerts on the Green and Christmas in Davidson.
Despite my family’s ties to local and state politics, I was not politically active until recent years when I became concerned over a growing number of threats to our town and our quality of life. I’m proud to be an outspoken advocate for preserving the character of Davidson. When Davidson began considering doing a public/private venture called the “Catalyst” project, I got engaged. This would have destroyed historic downtown Davidson, turning it into something along the lines of Birkdale Village. After seeing what the town was proposing, I created a Facebook group called “Paradise Lost” and led a citizen activist group that successfully stopped the project and preserving the fiber of our beloved downtown.
Now I feel that it is time to step up and serve Davidson in a bigger capacity. That is why I am running for mayor. Davidson is a special place to call home, raise children, and to retire. Davidson needs a mayor that is rooted and grounded within the fiber of the town and understands its history and will be able to maintain its integrity and core values.
I remain a proud resident of Davidson, and I have been happily married for 11 years to my wife Danielle. I have 3 children, 2 stepchildren, and 2 grandchildren. In addition to my career in real estate, I have also enjoyed a second career singing and performing music around Davidson and the Lake Norman region.
Mayor John Aneralla: John is the founder of two successful small businesses. In 1997, after moving to Huntersville, John established Buttonwood Advisory Group, Inc., an investor relations consulting firm for small publicly traded companies. He has consulted for public and private companies in a broad range of industries, including aerospace, computer equipment and software, consumer products, manufacturing, medical technology and telecommunications. Then in the fall of 2004, he established Bulldog Asset Management, Inc., an investment advisory firm specializing in asset allocation to achieve individual client needs.
John has also put his 32 years of experience in the financial industry to work for the people of North Carolina. He served five years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, the 10th largest public pension fund in the country. Additionally, he sits on the Investment Advisory Committee for the North Carolina pension system.
A dedicated community leader and volunteer, John has a proven record of service to the Huntersville and Lake Norman communities. He has served as President of the Lake Norman Kiwanis Club, Lieutenant Governor of the Carolinas Region of Kiwanis International and as chair of the Lake Norman Kiwanis committee that brought a new splash park to Smithville Park. Through his membership at Davidson United Methodist Church, John has taught Sunday school and volunteered for a variety of charities. In 2008, he received the Empowerment Community Award from the Westside Organization for his charity work with New Outreach Ministry.
As a lifelong competitive swimmer, John has been active in coaching at all levels of competition. John has also served as a volunteer coach for Davidson College, MAC Masters, Mecklenburg Aquatic Club, the Community School of Davidson Middle School Swim Team and the Birkdale Neighborhood Swim Team. He also helped establish two swim leagues in North Meck and was a member of the SwimMAC Capital Campaign. Additionally, John has served as a volunteer coach for numerous basketball and soccer teams in the Huntersville area and is a past President of the North Meck Soccer Club, now the Carolina Rapids.
John and Nancy, his wife of 30 years, raised their family here in Huntersville. Their daughter Amanda is a graduate of North Carolina State University currently working for Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte. Their son Bennett is an Ensign in the United States Coast Guard stationed in Port Canaveral, Florida. John grew up in Huntington Station, NY; a Long Island town located about 30 miles east of New York City. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Georgia, attending on a full athletic swimming scholarship and earned his MBA in management from Hofstra University in 1986.