Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Special Events will again take Center Stage at Lake Norman Chamber’s Business Expo

Expo is Monday March 5th at Davidson College Belk Arena

A dance exhibition will be featured at the expo

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo will be held Monday, March 5, 2012 at the Davidson College Belk Arena (200 Baker Street, Davidson, NC) 10 am until 5 pm.  There is no admission charge and the public is invited to attend.  This year’s event features 135 businesses and 25 non profit civic clubs, human service organizations, and regional attractions.

Bill Russell, president of the chamber of commerce, says business is bouncing back as the Expo has filled up and organizers are adding additional booths for vendors.  “We are excited to have some of our real estate and home builders back that we were missing in the last couple of years,” says Russell.  “We are also lining up some great activities both at the Expo and the post event wrap up.  The chamber invites everyone, whether a local business owner or employee, as well as seniors and stay at home mom and dad’s, to participate in the region’s largest business trade show.”

This year‘s Business Expo will feature dancers from the Havana Banquet and Ballroom giving demonstrations at 11 am and 2 pm.  There is also a Business Fashion Show taking place at 1 pm that will involve area elected leaders and business executives.  The show coordinated by Vickie Stevens includes area boutiques such as The Olive Branch, Le-Mu-El Woman’s Couture & Design Boutique, Peek-A-Boo Couture, Sanary Alba Boutique, The Fashoenista, Designing Brides, Classic Bride & Formals, Savvy Salon, and Halo Salon.

Models for the show include North Carolina Senate candidates Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte and John Aneralla, Cornelius Commissioners John Bradford and Dave Gilroy, Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain and Commissioner Melinda Bales, Davidson Commissioner Laurie Venzon, business leaders Arlene Arciero, Bill Ellison, and Bill Russell as well as the Miss Lake Norman and Junior Miss Lake Norman.

Approximately two dozen non-profits will be present including the Carolina Raptor Center, Davidson Community Players, Latta Place Plantation, SCORE, and civic groups such as the Kiwanis, Lions, and Rotary Clubs among others.

To encourage public participation, Best Buy in Mooresville has donated a 42″ Insignia – Plasma Flat screen television.  Guests will be encouraged to visit at least twenty-five percent of the exhibitors, getting cards initialed from the exhibitors, and then turning in the cards at the registration table.  A $1 donation will be solicited (not required) for the Chamber’s Junior Leadership Lake Norman program – a nine month program the chamber conducts for high school juniors

Exhibitors and guests will also be invited to a special post event reception at The Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse located at 215 S. Main Street in Davidson from 6 to 8 pm.  Appetizers will be furnished along with a cash bar as the business to business networking continues in a relaxed atmosphere

For more information, visit the Lake Norman Expo website at www.lakenormanexpo.com or call the Lake Norman Chamber at 704-892-1922.

February 29, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lake Norman’s Version of Show and Tell

Mrs Hope's First Grade Class - Bill Russell, Finley Rd Elementary School

Nearly everyone has experienced “Show and Tell” whether it was when you were a student or perhaps assisting your child or niece with their homework.  When I was a youngster at Finley Road Elementary School in Rock Hill (SC),  I was asked to bring something or someone to school that week of significance to me to share with the rest of the class.  I have never been accused of being overly humble, even as a child, and I decided the best person to bring to show off – was me!

As the first-born child, my mother Sarah took great pains to detail every significant event of my childhood.  My baby book was filled with photos, captions detailing the event, locks of hair, and special cards and mementoes.  I can still recall taking the baby book down from the shelf and stripping many of the photos from the album and creating my own “Show and Tell” project.

That week I shared with my classmates the most significant moments of my life displaying the photos my mother worked so hard to compile.  Not satisfied with mom’s captions, I created new explanations for each photo, with my own creative and adventurous story.

Much to my mother’s chagrin, those photos never made their way back to where they belonged, perhaps strewn across the playground some 45 years ago.  Needless to say, she wasn’t at all happy with me about that.  

Bill Russell and Pat Golden, 2011 LKN Business Expo

On Monday, March the 5th, more than 160 of our Chamber members have the opportunity to “Show and Tell” at the largest business trade show in the Charlotte market.  Our Lake Norman Business Expo is designed for businesses to tell their unique stories and showcase their business.  If you are an exhibitor, no other venue can give you greater exposure and opportunity than the Expo.  If you are not an exhibitor, please come out and see Business at its Best and support the lake’s retail and service businesses.

By the way, my mother has always had the last word on the “Show and Tell” incident.  At significant family gatherings, mom has reminded my brother and sister why their baby book was not as detailed as theirs.  “It is because how bad your older brother was as a child.  You have Billy to blame,” mom constantly reminds them on this and many other countless examples.

I always respond that I was just breaking her in good for my future siblings.  While my exercise was not what my teacher had in mind, the Lake Norman Business Expo is our business communities’ moment to shine. I encourage everyone to participate – sharing the event through your social media and word of mouth and I’ll see you at the Expo!

For more information Visit the LKN Business Expo website or call the LKN Chamber at 704-892-1922.

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We Need Behavioral Health Hospital in Huntersville

Proposed Huntersville Hospital

Set to be voted on by the Huntersville Town Board this month is a 66-bed behavioral health hospital to be built by Carolinas Healthcare Systems.  CHS officials reviewed the need for the facility last summer at a Lake Norman Chamber Focus Friday.  Del Murphy, vice president of Carolinas Healthcare System’s management company pointed out to business leaders that an average of 20 to 30 patients are held in emergency departments and general acute beds at CMC hospitals in Charlotte, awaiting psychiatric bed placement.  There are simply not enough beds to service our growing county.

A few weeks ago, I attended and spoke at the Huntersville Town Board Public Hearing on the topic.  The Town Hall was overflowing with spectators as well as residents from one of the local neighborhoods.  Most of the residents were there to speak against the project.  They were not against the idea of a hospital – “Just not in my backyard.”

 I listened intently as the hospital administrators and health care officials were questioned by Huntersville Town Board Members and Planning Board staff regarding traffic patterns, roads, buffers, walls, and even landscaping.  The residents themselves then took the podium to speak about home values and the notion they were not informed, even though this issue was written about in the papers this summer.

Grandmamma Feemster - "Tillie"

Given the chance to speak, I wondered aloud why we spent so much time speaking to infrastructure and so little time focusing on people.  I pointed out in the little research I did on the topic, I learned that 1 in 4 families has at least 1 family member with a behavioral health issue.  Certainly behavioral health has touched my family with a grandfather who succumbed to Alzheimer’s and a grandmother who dealt with dementia until we lost her a year ago this month.

Looking around the room, I pointed out that many there that evening were likely being treated for some type of behavioral health problem. In my 2-minute remarks, I reminded the commissioners, as well as the residents, that the people who would be treated in that facility are their neighbors, friends, co-workers and perhaps family members.

Lake Norman Aktion Club - Winter Coat Drive

In addition to my role at the Chamber, I have the opportunity to work with kids with disabilities.  Actually these young people in our Aktion Club are individuals 18 years of age or older.  However, they remain – “my kids.”  They are often referred to in society as special needs.  I learned long ago, they don’t want to be treated special.  They only want to be treated the same.

In a community of 47,000 people and a region that’s home to tens of thousands more, we need this critical healthcare facility.  While a small minority may fear what they do not know, I fear what we will lose as a community by not focusing on people who need our support when it comes to quality health care –  and at a time, when they need our support the most.

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Social Causes | , , , , , | 3 Comments