Organizers plan Huntersville chamber


Feb. 16. Jill Swain, the former mayor of Huntersville, is the new executive director of Huntersville Connection, a 501c6 organization that voted today to transition to the Huntersville Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Swain, board members include Jeff Neely, a former Huntersville town commissioner, and Raquel Crespo, assistant general manager of DDR, the real estate management company behind Birkdale Village.

The organization is effective as of the vote today. The group is working toward completing a business plan and sharing with participants.

Bill Russell, CEO of the Lake Norman Chamber, said he was not concerned about the new chamber in the midst. “The Lake Norman Chamber was formed 28 years ago to be a regional chamber of commerce serving the businesses of Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius, and, as we grew, we included Denver, and even Charlotte. This announcement has no impact on the Lake Norman chamber because we will continue to be the chamber that services the communities Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius,” Russell said.

Much of the chamber business today has to do with perceived value. Where businesses almost automatically joined chambers years ago, simply on the basis of geography, that’s not the case any more, Russell said.

“The uniqueness of Huntersville Connection has been our ability to create partnerships among our participants that benefit each entity. Our goal has been to give a sense of community to the local businesses, so that everyone works together toward overall benefits. When the business community understands that they are each other’s cheerleaders, we’ve seen that customers respond,” said Crespo, board president.

The organization has grown since its inception. Originally intended as a roundtable for area destinations, organizers added businesses as well. Meetings have been held on the third Tuesday of each month at rotating locations and participation has been free.

The organization will move to a fee-based model with “affordable” membership dues. Planned are a website and more events, like the Fall Into Huntersville festival held annually and discussion forums.

“Huntersville’s population is now over 54,000 and it looks like that the growth will continue. Creating the Huntersville Chamber of Commerce, which will work with other area Chambers of Commerce, effectively moves our business community into a more proactive growth position for the future,” Neely said.

Swain is in charge of transition plans, including membership recruitment, website development and name change issues. More info: [email protected] or [email protected], on Facebook at Huntersville Chamber.


6 Responses to “Organizers plan Huntersville chamber”

  1. Do not be fooled folks. Jill Swain is a tax and spend liberal who enjoys nothing more than controlling other people and their money. Beware. Remember…she wants all to be subject to 50 years of $20 tolls/TAX.

    Posted by Kyle Jenkins | February 17, 2016, 1:49 am
  2. Am not a business owner. Just a resident that is interested in the continual growth of Huntersville. Also seeing our town and the people all headed in the right direction. One that all of us can live in and prosper.
    Congratulations to all involved.

    Posted by James A. Thomas | February 17, 2016, 1:54 am
  3. i look forward to joining on behalf of my small business. Jill and Jeff are good people.

    Posted by John Marek | February 17, 2016, 4:53 am
  4. As a Huntersville business owner, I am always happy to see a pro-business organization emerge but…this one is more divisive than helpful to our regional interests. The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has generally done a good job of promoting Lake Norman (and Huntersville). Based on the selection of leadership for this new organization, I wonder if it is not an effort by the Charlotte Chamber to attack our Lake Norman unity on critical infrastructure issues.

    Posted by Vince Winegardner | February 17, 2016, 1:45 pm
  5. I too wonder if this is not a way for the pro-toll Swain to attack the anti-toll Lake Norman Chamber. It does appear to be intended as divisive.

    Posted by Phil | February 20, 2016, 5:23 pm
  6. Huntersville has the very Best in a Chamber……Piece-mealing the purpose would be a drastic mistake. I have followed the progress of the effort and results ofthe NM Chamber and have always supported the Chamber..
    Being a NM Rotarian…….I ask yoursupport for the NM

    Posted by Charles | February 27, 2016, 5:02 am

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