Russell’s Ramblings

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

Corporate Executives Examine Workplace Learning

Lake Norman corporate executives received a briefing this month from representatives of the North Carolina Department of Labor and Central Piedmont Community College. The Executive RoundTable, sponsored by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Commission, brought together approximately 24 area executives.

Jerry Broadway – Lake Norman EDC, Pamela McGimpsey, Apprenticeship Consultant with NCDOL, Mike McGee, with CPCC’s Corporate Learning Center, and Bill Russell with the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.

Jerry Broadway – Lake Norman EDC, Pamela McGimpsey, Apprenticeship Consultant with NCDOL, Mike McGee, with CPCC’s Corporate Learning Center, and Bill Russell with the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce.

Mike McGee, with CPCC’s Corporate Learning Center spoke about Apprenticeship Charlotte and specifically what employers can do to create a talent pipeline of productive employees.  Joining McGee was Pamela McGimpsey, Apprenticeship Consultant with NCDOL. McGimpsey pointed out that the Apprentice and Training Bureau works to promote the development, registration and completion of apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs providing N.C. employers with quality trained and highly skilled workers.

Michael Arcidiacono, Manufacturing Manager for Max Daetwyler Corporation, was a participant in the forum. Daetwyler, a Huntersville firm, has a very active and recognized apprenticeship program. Arcidiacono told those in attendance, “At Daetwyler, our goal is to meet our customer’s needs and keep our employees’ ahead of the technology curve. Skilled individuals are hard to find to fit specific needs. Apprenticeship2000 allows us to grow an experienced workforce from within. Our company culture, standards and ideals are all part of the training. The program not only teaches our apprentices to be responsible students and employees but excellent stewards for the program. Graduates in their respective fields have the ability to design, machine, document and assemble parts on demand.”

Arcidiacono added, “ This makes each person and the company much more flexible to changes in trends and ever changing market conditions. The apprenticeship program allows us the time to expose our employees to every facet of our business so they can be useful in any area and they understand every aspect of how to meet the customers’ requirements.”

Earth Fare, located at 14021 Boren Street in Huntersville, was the Breakfast Sponsor of the event. For more information and the presentation itself, visit the Lake Norman Chamber’s website at www.lakenormanchamber.org.

Additional Links

Apprenticeship Brochure

Veterans Brochure

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December 21, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Promise to Keep

MLK and RFK

MLK and RFK

The last few weeks have had many of us sharing our perspectives on the elections and the state of our economy. Nearly every day since the election, Chamber members have inquired what does the future hold for our businesses.   The more I think about today, and tomorrow, I cannot help but be drawn to the events of the past…

On April 4, 1968, two hours after the assignation of Martin Luther King, Jr., Senator Bobby Kennedy spoke to a crowd composed of black and whites in Indianapolis. He said to the angry crowd, “Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and our people.”  Bobby’s words that night likely prevented a riot which swept other areas of our country.

Just a few months later on June 5th, Bobby himself was killed and the hope he spoke of during his 82-day campaign seemed shattered and for many of us the innocence of America was lost.

I was an eight year old and I still remember dad driving us home from the YMCA after a day of swimming and basketball when I heard the news.  I recall asking dad, “Why would anybody want to shoot Bobby?” as if we were on a first name basis.  To this day, I remember my dad’s ashen look back, trying to grasp words for the thoughts he struggled to find.  “I don’t know son.  I really don’t know,” he replied.

It’s been 45 years since that summer and even today, I wonder what might have been had history taken a different course.  I think 1968 was the year America lost sight of its greatness.  We had returned from a war to end all wars, became the world’s most influential country, and stood as a beacon of hope and freedom.  We loved Ike, visited Camelot, and had a Great Society.

It started to unravel with the death of a president, coming apart at the seams with Vietnam, and it was almost unbearable with the loss of King and RFK. We lived through Watergate and Nixon’s lies, betrayal, and malaise.  If Reagan encouraged us with his optimism and promises that America’s best days lay before her, Bill Clinton’s scandal left us to wonder if that promise was only a hollow dream.

I am not sure we have ever recovered from the summer of 1968 and today the partisanship in Washington threatens to drive a stake in our great republic.  A very real “Fiscal Cliff” with looming tax deadlines, an unsure economy, and a monumental federal debt faces our generation and the generations to come.

With the last election only weeks behind us, our country has not been this divided since the summer of ’68.  Yet, in the midst of uncertain markets and international unrest – there is hope and unbridled opportunity if we have the courage to seek it out…together.

ann marieAs we head into the season of giving, I cannot help but recall the words of President Clinton.  While he wrestled with personal challenges, his words spoke of promise:  “Somewhere at this very moment a child is being born in America. Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family and a hopeful future.  Let it be our cause to see that child has a chance to live to the fullest of her God-given capacities. Let it be our cause that when this child is able, she gives something back to her children, her community and her country. Let it be our cause that we give this child a country that is coming together, not coming apart, a country of boundless hopes and endless dreams, a country that once again lifts its people and inspires the world.”

As business and community leaders, let us enter the holiday season with a spirit of compassion for those who need a helping hand and approach the end of 2012 with a renewed promise in the future.  As Senator Kennedy asked, “Say a prayer for our country and our people” in a place called ‘Hope’ – a country of endless dreams which inspires the world…again.

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

 

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lake Norman Chamber President’s eBrief Newsletter for Dec 7, 2012

Chamber Members & Stakeholders:

 Chamber 25th Annual Gala and Awards     Dinner Set For Thursday, January 24th at  Havana Banquet & Ballroom

You will not want to miss the Lake Norman Chamber’s 25th Anniversary Awards Gala set for Thursday, January 24, 2013 at the Havana Banquet & Ballroom.  The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with a VIP Cocktail Reception for Sponsors and will include beer, wine and  hors d’oeuvres.  The remainder of the evening will include a plated dinner and formal program beginning at 6:45pm.

In honor of the 25th Year Anniversary, we’ve built in some surprise guest speakers and awards you will not want to miss.  This year will focus on “Growing Business, Involving the Community, and Touching Lives.” Please help us honor some of the distinguished members and volunteers of our business community.  For more information on sponsorships please visit the website www.lakenormanchamber.org or call Brett Zabek at 704-892-1922.

Chamber seeking 2013 Expo Sponsors

The region’s largest business trade show is set to make its return to the Davidson College Belk Arena on Friday, March 8th from 11 am until 5 pm. The Chamber has again signed up many of its marketing partners who will promote the sponsors and event.  Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Randy Marion Automotive are back as the Presenting Sponsors and MI Connection, Lake Norman Magazine, and Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville are Gold Sponsors.  Piedmont Natural Gas and Carolinas Healthcare System are Silver Sponsors.  Also on board marketing the show is The Herald Weekly as a Silver Sponsor and Bronze Sponsors Currents Magazine, Business Today / Cornelius Today, and the Lake Norman Citizen. (A full listing of Bronze sponsors to date will be listed on the Chamber’s website next week.)

The Chamber is seeking additional sponsors, both Silver (Limited to five) and Bronze Sponsors.  2012 sponsors will be contacted to renew their sponsorships which include the benefit of directing their booth placement, VIP event, and recognition on marketing material including the Chamber’s homepage and Expo website. Deadline for sponsorships is December 31st and payment must be received by January 31, 2013.  Download and reserve your sponsorship in the lake’s largest business trade show at: 2013 Lake Norman Business Expo.

Community Corner

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with many of our outstanding local businesses during this holiday season.  VisitLakeNorman’s Visitor’s Center and the Chamber of Commerce is a drop off point both for Toys for Tots and a Pet Supply Donation Drive.  To show your support for Toys for Tots, please bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Lake Norman Visitors Center (Chamber & Visit Lake Norman 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius) by December 14th, 2012. Toys for Tots will distribute all toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Pet Supplies are also being accepted through December 24th with the KobeCares project.  For more information see the Chamber’s website.

For What it’s worth-

A couple of weeks ago Cornelius Commissioner John Bradford and I called on 19 local Cornelius businesses, stopping in to see how the business was doing and how the town and chamber might be able to assist.  Of the 19 businesses,16 were local chamber of commerce members.  This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to do the same with Huntersville Commissioner Danny Phillips with 12 businesses.  (We intend to make similar visits in Davidson next month).

More visits are planned with John and Danny in the next couple of weeks.  Overwhelmingly the feedback has been extremely positive.  Business revenues have improved over 2011 and most of our businesses expect an even better 2013.  That sense of optimism exists with both service and retail businesses.

While signage concerns were cited in both towns, and the businesses in the Sam Furr Rd / NC 21 quadrant were concerned if not distressed with the new “Quad Left” configuration, overall business is picking up at the lake.  That is why it so is very important that each of you, when you consider your holiday shopping needs, please Shop Lake Norman and support you local merchant!

From the NorthLake Mall to retail centers in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooreseville – we likely have that perfect gift for a family member or friend.  The staff of our retail stores are our neighbors, family members and friends and they in turn look locally for their local services: from banking to healthcare, insurance to real estate.  Bottom line – it pays to shop local.

Both Commissioner Bradford and Phillips run small businesses themselves – one a real estate and property management office and the other a retail store and I deeply appreciate their willingness to take time to visit out local businesses with me and listen as some of you share both your success stories and concerns.

Danny Phillips, as many of you know, runs the family-owned  Old Store Produce at 14720 Brown Mill Road (Huntersville) at the Corner of Hwy 73 and Beatties Ford Road.  The other day when I took Danny back to his store, it was bustling with activity as people were shopping for their Christmas Trees (starting at just $39), wreaths, and produce.

It’s exciting to hear business is doing better at the lake and each of us can play a part supporting our local merchants.  Shop Local this holiday season and remember the job you might be saving – might be your own!     

Bill Russell

December 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Donations Help Those in Need – Drop Boxes at Chamber for Toys for Tots and Pet Supply

KobeCarescomThe Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with many of our outstanding local businesses during this holiday season.  Visit Lake Norman’s Visitor’s Center and the Chamber of Commerce is a drop off point both for Toys for Tots and a Pet Supply Donation Drive. 

To show your support for Toys for Tots, please bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Lake Norman Visitors Center (Chamber & Visit Lake Norman 19900 West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius) by December 14th, 2012. Toys for Tots will distribute all toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.  Connie Ouellet, a new Chamber member with All About Flowers and Balloons is coordinating the Toys for Tot drive and said, “Christmas is a time to be thankful for everything you have and to give to those in need. Please bring in new unwrapped toys for any gender or age and help make a kids holiday wish come true.”

In addition Elizabeth Morgan, who is working with the Chamber as the Director of Membership Resources, is helping coordinate a Pet Supply Donation Drive.  The Cornelius Animal Shelter is the local shelter and and Officer Tre Nodine is the  local animal control officer in Cornelius. “The Cornelius Shelter takes care of and adopts as many local dogs and cats as they can with a very small staff and limited funding,” stated Morgan. North Meck Animal Rescue is one of the largest animal rescue’s in North Carolina and has been in existence for 14 years. All their animals are adopted out with all their shots, micro chipped and spayed or neutered procedure complete.  They average over 300 rescue’s and adoptions every year.  

Lakeside Sports and Chiropractic Center & Motorsports Rehab is the organizer and lead presenter of Kobe Cares.  For a list of pet supplies needed and for more information visit http://www.kobecares.com/.  The Pet Supply Donation will run through December 24th.

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment