YOUR Membership at Work

The first three months of 2022 have been jam-packed for YOUR Union County Chamber as we work to champion business growth and business prosperity throughout Union County. 

We made big strides in our Public Policy and Diversity and Inclusion Programs, along with welcoming new Board Chair Denise White, Facility Executive & Chief Nursing Officer for Atrium Health. 

Read below to see YOUR membership at work. 

CHAMBER BOARD CHAIR DENISE WHITE COMMENTS

Denise White, 2022 Chamber Board Chair Atrium Health

Our Union County Chamber has started a new year with a continued focus on making Union County a great place to live, work and do business.  As the 2022 Board Chair, I am honored to serve and excited to share with you a few key areas the Chamber Board and Chamber staff will be working on this year.

We entered 2022 with a new Strategic Plan that will further the Chamber’s mission to champion business growth and business prosperity throughout Union County. The plan contains three focus areas:

1. Deliver Value to Members

2. Catalyze Business Growth

3. Build Organizational Capacity

The Chamber Board, along with Chamber staff have been working behind the scenes on elements of the strategic plan as well, evaluating the needs of our membership and the business community at large. These evaluations will continue, and have already led to improved awareness of how the Chamber can best help create a thriving community across Union County.  We‘ve seen great progress already this year with the addition of Brian Francis as the Chamber’s new Advocacy Consultant, along with the inaugural Union County Minority Business Makeover contest.  The work on the Strategic Plan will be ongoing and will include opportunities for feedback from our valued Chamber members. Please be on the lookout for items including surveys in your email.   

We are looking forward to a great year for our Chamber and our community.  Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

PUBLIC POLICY

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Since forming over 5 years ago, the Public Policy Committee has had a vision of creating a Legislative Agenda to guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts.  Their work became a reality when the committee, led by Terry Sholar from Perry, Bundy, Plyler, & Long, LLP, drafted the Legislative Agenda the Chamber Board approved in March. 

This Agenda is meant to be a living document that will help strengthen our advocacy efforts to ensure everyone who does business or lives in Union County enjoys a thriving local economy and excellent quality of life. 

The main principles of the Agenda focus on infrastructure, along with workforce, and tax and regulation. You can read the main principles below, and click on the image on the right to see the full agenda.

The Chamber supports policies, programs, and initiatives that provide adequate, cost-effective public and private infrastructure essential for business development, growth, and prosperity throughout Union County.

The Chamber supports policies, programs, and initiatives that provide an adequately trained, available workforce for all business and industries including future expansion in Union County.

The Chamber opposes taxes and regulations by any jurisdiction that hinder or interfere with business growth, development, and prosperity in Union County or that place Union County businesses at a disadvantage when competing with businesses outside Union County.

Learn more about the Legislative Agenda, and how it will strengthen our advocacy efforts at the Public Policy Luncheon on 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

ADVOCACY CONSULTANT

With the Board approval of  the Legislative Agenda, we will be able to strengthen our voice so we are more effective in advocating for business-friendly public policy.
 
A valuable resource in those efforts is our new Advocacy Consultant Brian Francis, owner of  Francis Consulting Services, LLC. Brian was instrumental in helping fine-tune the Legislative Agenda with the Public Policy Committee. Going forward, Brian will produce regular videos for us that will be sent out in the weekly member Business Builder emails. These videos will update you on our public policy efforts, and developments in Raleigh and Washington. 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Colette Hagan, owner of Perfect Fit Cleaning Services, LLC is in receiving extra help growing her business, thanks in part to the Union County Minority Business Makeover Contest. YOUR Chamber hosted the contest in partnership with the South Piedmont Community College Small Business Center. 

An independent committee, inclduing José Alvarez and Carlos Zepeda with Prospera, Dr. Sergio Castello from  Wingate University, Fedder Williams with South Piedmont Community College, and Linda Hughes from The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte, selected the winner from dozens of applicants. 

Perfect Fit Cleaning Services, LLC  owner Colette Hagan will receive 50 hours of professional services, consulting, advertising and promotion. 

“This win means a lot to me because I am a new business owner.” Colette shared when she was surprised at the Chamber with the winner announcement during National Entrepreneurship Week in February.

“It will bring different people and will bring jobs in the community…and will bring different revenue for my business.”

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPEAKERS BUREAU

Members of the Chamber’s Workforce Development Task Force returned to classrooms to introduce students to the excellent career opportunities in the trades and manufacturing fields.  Representatives from ATI Specialty Materials, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Plastics Division and UCHRA took over classes at Cuthbertson and Piedmont Middle Schools in February, and March. They shared hands-on presentations about the wide variety of career opportunities at their organizations.

Along with introducing students to career options before they reach high school, this program helps them become aware of and develop the soft skills employers are looking for. Students were engaged in the presentations, and shared rave reviews of the presenters.  

Representatives from several additional companies will take a turn in April as well. 

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS LEADERSHIP SKILLS SERIES

The Young Professionals of Union County kicked off a year of developing leadership skills with two powerhouse speakers. The focus of all the luncheons this year will be on helping attendees develop the particular leadership character skills and traits that employers are looking for as they hire an increasing number of young professionals. 

We began the year with Phil Jones, President of Darnel Inc., at the January Luncheon. Phil discussed the fact that change is inevitable, but growth is intentional. He discussed the need to think about how current performance is shaping future potential. He suggested leaders need to develop themselves first before determining how to lead others to a better place. Finally, once you have those skills developed, you figure out how to grow your business, or your role in your organization. He also stressed the importance of growing in the ability to achieve results through others. 

 

In February, we had a full crowd for Martha Wegner, District Manager for Duke Energy Corporation. Martha has spent her entire career at Duke Energy and its predecessor companies. She shared how being her authentic self was part of what helped her move up through the ranks at Duke Energy. Martha encouraged the young professionals to work to increase their self-awareness, both in knowing what they bring to the table, and in being aware of areas for growth. She also shared a practical and insightful suggestion to never say or email or text something you wouldn’t want to see in the media or read in the courtroom. 

 

The focus on leadership skills will continue at the remaining luncheons this year, including the June 21 session, where Seth Goldwire, Vice President of Operations for the new Atrium Health Union West Hospital will share his professional journey and lessons learned. You can register for that event at the link below. 

THE WORK CONTINUES

It is YOUR partnership and YOUR investment that makes all of this work to champion business growth and business prosperity throughout Union County possible. 

Read the 2021 Q4 update here.

Read the 2021 Q3 update here.

Read the 2021 Q2 update here.

Read the 2021 Q1 update here.

Read the 2020 Q4 update here.

We mean it when we call it YOUR Union County Chamber.