The following Letter to the Editor was written and appeared in the April 16th issue of the Lake Norman Citizen in regards to an article which appeared April 9, 2010 “Rebranding talk: Is the ‘lake’ history.”
Last week’s article in The Lake Norman Citizen cited discussion among some community leaders about the most appropriate regional brand for the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville communities. These community leaders cited the ULI’s recent recommendations to revise our use of “The North Corridor,” to be more inclusive of Charlotte, as a mandate to revise our regional brand. As a member of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission, I believe the most compelling recommendation of the committee was to continue our collaboration, inclusiveness and regional cooperation.
I have been fortunate to serve as the president of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce since 1996. During my tenure, I have witnessed our evolution as a dynamic and diverse region. I believe there are three significant catalysts for our unprecedented growth and prosperity:
• Our proximity to Charlotte provides us with the arts and cultural resources that are the foundation for our excellent quality of life, and the Queen City’s corporate and business district is the heart of our economic engine.
• Our transportation resources such as Interstates 77 and 85, along with Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, serve as the arteries which are critical to sustain our economic health and quality of life. Other Charlotte neighboring communities have the aforementioned resources, yet they have not quite enjoyed our economic vitality. So what’s the missing ingredient? The lake!
• Lake Norman is Charlotte’s lake. It is our lake. It is more than the 520 miles of majestic shoreline on 32,510 acres. It is a region recognized as the best in business by Site Selection Magazine (Mooresville). It has received accolades from Business Week as one of the Best Affordable Suburbs in the Country (Cornelius and Huntersville). It is home to one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. Our lake is recognized by sports and recreation enthusiasts as among the best lakes in the country. However, to many of us, it is simply the place we call home.
I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy, and I paraphrase — Those who look only to the past, or present, are sure to miss the opportunities of the future. — Lake Norman is that future. The article also cited Davidson residents who questioned whether an association with the lake was prudent in a proposed branding for the Town of Davidson. I attended that meeting and was astounded when another resident questioned whether Davidson College should also be deleted from the new campaign. The Town of Davidson distancing itself from Davidson College is as absurd as claiming residents of Huntersville do not recreate or benefit from Lake Norman.
Lake Norman is the common bond that ties our communities together. It is a great place to live, visit and grow your business. The real strength of our community is the ability to see past the municipal and county boundaries that can become limitations for some. However, the only real limitations are those we impose upon ourselves.
— Bill Russell, CCE
Bill Russell is the President and CEO of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce with 1,100 members in the Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, and greater Lake Norman region.