LKN Chamber recognizes business leaders

Joel Olsen receives Business Person of the Year award from 2023 LKN Chamber Chair Douglas Marion and Bobby Cashion representing the Cashion family. The award is named for the late Robert T. Cashion. Photo: John McHugh/Ocaid Photography

March 26. Joel Olsen with O2 Group Ventures was named the Business Person of the Year at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last week.

Olsen is the CEO of O2 Group Ventures which focuses on profitable ventures in sustainability. Joel and his wife Tonje also operate several other businesses including Sun Raised Farms, Aderis Energy, The Montgomery Sheep Farm and The Lovill House Inn.

O2 was an early entrant in the solar industry and helped shape state and federal clean energy policies that made North Carolina the second largest market of installed solar by 2018. Joel and Tonje have worked closely with local businesses, neighbors, farmers, government staff and elected officials in each project community to maximize the local benefit of each project O2 develops. Their innovative and sustainable approach have influenced the clean energy industry nationwide.

Entrepreneur of the Year

The 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year was presented to WSIC owner Justin Ckezepis. A local realtor and attorney, he purchased the station earlier last year and has made changes to improve the reach and programming format of the station.

Rod Beard of Charlotte Payroll was recognized as outstanding board member while Case Warnemunde of Bella Creative received the chairman’s distinguished service award.

Montez Pogue of Fifth Third Bank, was recognized as the ambassador of the year while David Keith of ArtisanDirect was recognized with the servant leadership award. Stacie Bright with Advanced Wealth Strategies was named the volunteer of the year.

For a report on community leaders recognized by the chamber, click here.

2023 board chair Douglas Marion presided over the event. Former Cornelius Mayor and NC Sen. Jeff Tarte was formally installed as board chair.

Justin Ckezepis, owner of WSIC, receives The McIntosh Law Firm’s Passion to Succeed Award for the 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year from Douglas Marion and Bob McIntosh. Photo: John McHugh/Ocaid Photography


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