Chamber names most business friendly leaders
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce honored local commissioners voted by chamber members as the most business friendly.
At a Nov. 10 luncheon at the NorthStone Country Club, several turned out to honor Laurie Venzon of Davidson, Sarah McAulay of Huntersville and Jim Bensman of Cornelius for fostering a “healthy business environment” in their towns.
The officials were selected for the awards after 163 of nearly 800 surveys were returned to the Chamber.
“It’s my privilege to be considered for this award,” McAulay said. “I not only believe in bringing in a wide variety of businesses to Huntersville, but I believe it is very important to retain those businesses.”
Cornelius Commissioner Bensman won the award for the third time in a row, an accolade that will probably be his last as commissioner after he did not seek his sixth term this election.
“As a local business owner myself, I know what local businesses are going through,” said Bensman. “I am just glad I could help out.”
North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis made a special appearance as keynote speaker for the event, and spoke at length not only about his mindset for the upcoming session of the state legislature, but also about the importance of public service.
“I love and hate politics,” Tillis said. “But I love public service.”
Tillis spoke about the need for more Americans to get out and volunteer in their local governments. Touching on the subject of the past week’s elections, Tillis reminded public officials that even though they won the election they cannot forget the people who helped put them there.
“That you got elected doesn’t make you smarter than you were the day before,” Tillis said. “But it just means you’ve been given a responsibility to serve the community.”