Russell’s Ramblings

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

Who built this city…

Charlotte 2012

In a few days, more than 35,000 people are expected to fill the Charlotte region for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Our hotels will be filled and Lake Norman businesses are excited about the prospects of getting a boost in sales.  When asked recently what I thought of the national convention held in our backyard, I replied, “For the Chamber, it isn’t about being a red state or blue…at least for the weeks ahead, Lake Norman’s water’s will be green!”  Anyway you look at it, the exposure, attention, and spending will be great for the Charlotte region and our local economy.

Those who know me, and most of you do, know that I love politics.  While a conservative, I am just as much an admirer of Bobby and John Kennedy as I am of Lee Atwater. When you get right down to it, politics is about relationships and the art of the deal – the essence of business.  So it is perhaps only natural I have a love and fascination for both.

In late July, one of our own local business members made national news reacting to the words of President Obama.  In a speech, President Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that…”  Rion Homes President, and Lake Norman Chamber member, Nicole Goolsby pointed out – “Yes she did!”  Nicole responded she took out a $15,000 loan on her credit card and set up a desk in her bedroom 12 years ago.  From there Nicole built a solid business and gave back to the industry by serving as the president of the Lake Norman Home Builders Association.

Nicole was one of literally hundreds who responded with their story.  America is built on entrepreneurship, small business, and hard work. If I added a “PS” to any of their statements it would be government doesn’t solve economic problems.  People and businesses will if government simply gets out of the way.

The President indeed said those words. However, he actually said more than that.  He had begun the conversation by saying there are a great many successful people but you didn’t get there on your own.  If you read the context of his speech in its entirety, he wasn’t trying to take away from the small business owner or entrepreneur.

Bill Russell addressing participants in Junior Leadership Lake Norman – High School Juniors, our future community and business leaders

A sentence lost in his speech that he actually said was, “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have… that allowed you to thrive.”  It’s unfortunate we live in an age when people take words out of context, lift one or two sentences from a speech – disregarding others, or read into letters or emails their own interpretation offering their unique and often biased spin.

Within days of the President’s speech, parodies were made on the old Jefferson Starship song “We built this city.” Those of us who remember the classic 1985 song, might also remember a verse that said, “Don’t tell us you need us, ‘cos we’re the ship of fools – Looking for America, coming through your schools.”

The political season and sometimes politics in general brings out the ship of fools in many of us.  Let’s hope the kids in school now don’t allow us to be their mentors in how best to govern. Perhaps they will take note on how to do a better job when its their turn at the helm.

Lost in all that hoopla was the President’s closing line – “We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people… You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Red or Blue – that’s at least one thing we should all agree on.  Together we built this city and we’re all in it together!

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August 31, 2012 Posted by | Chamber of Commerce, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lake Norman Chamber to Give Away Flat Screen TV at Biz Expo

Join Us Monday March 5th for the Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo   10:00 am until 5:00 Pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena

Visitors as well as exhibitors will be eligible to win a 42″ Insignia – Plasma Flat screen television donated by Best Buy in Mooresville simply for visiting with some of the many businesses exhibiting at the Lake Norman business trade show.  Guests will be encouraged to visit at least twenty-five percent of the exhibitors (35 booths), getting cards initialed from the exhibitors, and then turning in the cards at the registration table.  A $1 donation will be solicited for the Chamber’s Junior Leadership Lake Norman program – a nine month program the chamber conducts for high school juniors

The 2012 Business Expo, is the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s signature event, and will be held Monday, March 5th at the Davidson College Belk Arena from 10 am until 5 pm.  The Expo is presented by Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.  Gold Sponsors include Lake Norman Magazine and MI Connection.  Silver Sponsors are The Herald Weekly, M&M Graphics, and Carolinas Healthcare System.  Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend

More than 2,000 people are expected to attend with approximately 135 businesses and 25 non-profits exhibited in what has become the Charlotteregion’s largest business trade show.  Lunch will be provided by three Lake Norman restaurants: Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails, Fox and the Hound Birkdale, and the Honey Baked Ham Company & Café will serve meals for $8 including beverage.  Tickets can be purchased at the Expo or in advance at the Chamber.  The restaurant menu can be found at www.lakenormanexpo.com

Special event activities will take place throughout the day including dance exhibitions by the Havana Banquet and Ballroom and a Business Fashion Show coordinated by Vickie Stevens. A highlight of the fashion show is participation by area elected officials and business leaders.  The Carolina Raptor Center will also be present with Birds of Prey and area arts and cultural facilities.

Bill Russell, president of the Chamber said, “The Business Expo, now in its eleventh year, is an excellent opportunity for local businesses and non-profits to showcase their products, services, and organizations to the community.  It has also become a tremendous networking opportunity as we re-establish old friendships and create new relationships.

Bill Russell presents the 2011 Best of Show to Wendy Moran and the staff of Peoples Bank

The Chamber at 4:00 pm will draw for the Television as well as offer awards for the most outstanding exhibitors: Best of Show, Most Creative, and Most Professional Booths.  You do not have to be present to win the flat screen television.

For a complete listing of sponsors and exhibitors, directions, and other information see the Expo website at www.LakeNormanExpo.com or call the Chamber for more information at 704-892-1922. The Chamber offices will be closed Monday for the show.  Anyone needing to reach the Chamber can contact Bill Russell at 704-650-8987 cell.

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