Russell’s Ramblings

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

It was Serious Fun…Serious Business!

Bill Russell, NC House Speaker Thom Tillis, and Jerry Broadway

At the November 15th meeting of the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation, Executive Director Jerry Broadway informed the Board of Directors he would retire and step down from his position sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

I was very fortunate to serve on an interview panel in 2006 with then Chamber Chairman Randy Marion as we met with several qualified candidates and selected Jerry to serve as the second executive director of the EDC. Jerry impressed me with his easy-going nature and the marketing skills he possessed as we looked to position the lake region as the place to grow and locate your business.

Jerry, along with Sally Ashworth of Visit Lake Norman, and myself represented the three North Mecklenburg business organizations as the chief executive officer.  While Jerry focused his efforts on primary job creation, Sally and her organization marketed the region for events to bolster travel and tourism revenues and the chamber of commerce served as the advocate of business and a resource for small business development.

One of my former Chamber Chairmen spoke of the Chamber, EDC, and Visit Lake Norman as the three-legged stool – each leg dependent on each other as we supported economic and business growth at the lake.

Jerry, Sally and I often joked about such a comparison but we also knew it to be very true.  There is no question the chamber would not be successful without a strong economic development organization and we all benefit greatly from the travel and tourism market at the lake.

Since the creation of the EDC, all three organizations have complimented each other well.  As the executive at the Chamber, I can attest first hand it is not always easy to balance the needs of a regional organization.  While we have three towns which work well together and have much in common, each also has its unique identity and needs.

Jerry Broadway, Bill Russell, Senator Kay Hagan, Sally Ashworth, John Hettwer, Woody Washam, Randy Marion

Jerry Broadway hit the ground running as he worked closely with the new Commerce Station Business Park and helped Pactiv (Prairie Packaging) set up their operations.  Over the next few years Jerry worked with business expansions such as Rubbermaid and more recently recruited ABB as well as  Davidson’s MSC Industrial supply to name just a few.

Some time in the next few months Jerry Broadway will end his tenure at the Lake Norman Regional EDC.  He was at the helm during the most challenging time for business and perhaps in our lifetime.  Jerry Broadway will leave our EDC and our region stronger than he found it.  His legacy is the jobs he helped create and the new families who now call Lake Norman home because of his efforts.

In the non-profit world in which Jerry, Sally Ashworth and I work, we would all like to think that the tree we plant today will bear fruit in the days ahead and that our work makes a difference.  There is no question – Jerry Broadway has changed the face of our community and the way we do business at the lake.  He’s made more than a difference – he’s touched lives.

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November 16, 2012 - Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , ,

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