Thursday, July 9, 2020
Making appointments and taking walk-ins now
The newest CaroMont Health Urgent Care opened for patients on Tuesday, July 14, at 8 a.m. in Belmont at 1223 Spruce Street, which is just off Highway 273 South (Park Street). The completely updated 4,950-square-foot facility has eight exam rooms, plus lab and X-ray rooms. CaroMont Health officials celebrated completion of the practice with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday morning, July 9. Cutting the ribbon is Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. Others (from left) are: CaroMont Health Vice President of Operations Ryan Campbell, Executive Vice President Dr. Costa Andreou, former Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall, Chamber Director of Member Services Julie Bowen, CaroMont Administrative Resident Tommy Roache and Director of Urgent Care Services Jared Dyson. Hours are 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week. Appointments are being taken now online at www.caromonthealth.org/checkin.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
The Montcross Area Chamber team posed with Hall in the Chamber office before the parade. They are (from left) Interim President Teresa Rankin, Chief Volunteer Elizabeth Atterberry, Member Services Director Julie Bowen and former Member Services Director Andrea Schrift. (John Jacob photo) Below, Teresa and Liz wave and ring bells as the parade passes. (GarlandBurks Marketing photo)
At 5 p.m. on June 30, 2020, a retiring Ted Hall left his office for the last time as president of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce and walked right into a surprise parade organized in his honor.
City of Belmont Police Department vehicles and a city fire truck escorted him through downtown, sirens screaming, with socially-distanced Chamber members and friends lining Main Street and waving signs and ringing bells in appreciation for his 15 years of service.
Chamber colleagues Teresa Rankin, who now is the interim president, Member Services Director Julie Bowen and Chief Volunteer Officer Elizabeth Atterberry pulled off the surprise parade as an alternative to a large indoor gathering because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Hall accepted the Chamber post on a part-time basis in 2005, planning also to continuing operating his management recruiting business. But the Chamber became his full-time passion and membership began to grow rapidly. Over the 15 years, MACC membership increased from 84 to 544 members, with members throughout Gaston County and western Mecklenburg County.
Of the parade, Hall said, “It was the honor of a lifetime to have so many Chamber friends stand on the street in the hot summer sun just to say thank you and wish me well in retirement. I will never forget that short ride, all of those masked faces with what I know were huge smiles underneath, and the waves and cheers and good wishes. An incredible end to what truly has been an incredible journey.”
Hall plans to continue helping out as a Chamber volunteer, especially during preparations for relocating Chamber office this month from the Stowe Building across Main Street to the Belmont City Hall building.
Leaving work at the Chamber on his last day as president, Hall responds to the crowd.
Hall family gathered in front of their business Belmont Realty. From left John Cottingham, Chase Chriscoe and Mollie Lund, Richard Atkinson, Allison Cottingham, Sybil Atkinson, Jeremy Hall and Eddie Serrano. (Wil Neumann photos)
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Making connections was on my mind in early 2005, when my wife Freda and I were thinking of moving to Belmont to be closer to our daughter and grandson.
I learned the value of connections as a rookie reporter in the early 1970s at the Morganton News Herald. Later, as editor and publisher at The Shelby Star, connections became even more important.
It was being in business for myself after leaving the newspaper field when I discovered connections often made the difference between survival and failure in the business world, and I had made many of those connections through my association with the Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce.
So, as we began learning about Belmont, I started looking for the Belmont Chamber, because that’s where I knew I could make connections quickly in a new community.
After a little searching, I found the Chamber and almost instantly connected with a small circle of dedicated Chamber officers who began connecting me to a rapidly growing group of equally enthusiastic community leaders.
Soon I began what would be the capstone to my 48-year career, and making connections for the Belmont (four years later to become Montcross Area) Chamber of Commerce became a full-time passion. Those connections grew from a handful to the 84 members of the Chamber in spring of 2005, to 169 by the end of that year, to 544 members today, and to thousands of individuals connected to those members, plus thousands of other friends of the Chamber and local, state and national leaders.
As I began to venture beyond Belmont to Cramerton, Lowell, McAdenville, Mount Holly and Stanley, it became clear to me that more needed to be done than just working to connect people and businesses. Our cities and towns weren’t talking with each other. Ancient grudges over forgotten incidents still were being harbored. If eastern Gaston County was going to withstand the influx of new residents stemming from Charlotte’s explosive growth, our communities had to be better connected so they could communicate, collaborate more and cooperate to solve their mutual challenges and seize their opportunities.
That’s when the Montcross Area Chamber found its mission. It wasn’t to have the most members, the fanciest offices, the fattest bank account. It was to be a champion for BUILDING BRIDGES; the kind of bridges that connect people, businesses and communities and enable them to trust each other, partner on projects, share ideas and succeed together.
We changed the Chamber logo to include the names of all six cities and towns in the Riverbend and South Point townships. We developed an annual visitor and newcomer welcome guide featuring all six towns on every cover and information on all of them inside. We created advisory director seats on the Chamber Board for the mayor or manager of all six municipalities, and scheduled time at every Board meeting to hear about the accomplishments and issues in every community. We scheduled periodic breakfast meetings where the mayors and managers held roundtable discussions, often identifying new ways they could work together to obtain better outcomes for their citizens.
It wasn’t long before the fences and defenses separating our communities began breaking down, and a new spirit of cooperation began to grow. The benefits of that we see every day in the tremendous vitality of all of our Montcross area communities today, even in the way they are supporting each other in the health and economic battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I prepare to retire on June 30 for the sake of my health and love for my family, officially concluding this amazing chapter of my working life, it’s the bridges we’ve helped build and the fences we’ve helped break down that will mean the most to me and that I always will consider the greatest contribution of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce during the past 15 years.
Thank you to every Chamber member, former member, officer, Board member, volunteer, staff member, advisor and friend of the Chamber with whom I’ve had the honor of taking this incredible journey.
I’ve avoided mentioning names because I couldn’t list the thousands who should be recognized, but I cannot fail to thank Teresa Rankin and Elizabeth Atterberry.
Teresa has carried the VP title for the 13 years we have been teammates in this venture. And I’ve always known it is her love for Chamber work, her strength of character, her caring for people and her ability to see clearly the obvious solution to the thorniest of problems that has formed the bedrock of our organization.
And to Liz, who became my friend and greatest Chamber volunteer on my first day in Belmont in 2005, and has worked shoulder to shoulder with the Chamber staff on every major project and just about every event for all these years, we could not have done it without you.
I look forward now to becoming a loyal member of the Montcross Area Chamber volunteer team and helping build a few more bridges.
2005 - 2020
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Greenway starts in Tuckaseege Park
Mount Holly city officials, Friends of Greenways (FROGS) and Mount Holly Community Development Foundation leaders teamed up recently to celebrate opening of the 1.2-mile Catawba Riverfront Greenway, which begins at Tuckaseege Park. The new greenway, part of the Carolina Thread Trail, is an important link in Mount Holly’s long-range plan to build a continuous 10-mile greenway along the west bank of the Catawba River from the Mountain Island dam to Belmont. Cutting the ribbon is City Council member Phyllis Harris, with from left (in background) Bret Baronak representing the Carolina Thread Trail, Mayor Bryan Hough, Foundation Vice President Karen Kleiner of Anatomywise, FROGS founding member and former chairman Scott Griffin, FROGS founding member Bob Suttenfeld, City Manager Danny Jackson, former Foundation board member Cindy Michael, Foundation Board President Randi Moore and Martha Wegner of Duke Energy. (Banner News photo by Alan Hodge.)
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Ted Hall Teresa Rankin
Chamber of commerce veteran Teresa Rankin has been named interim president of the Montcross Area Chamber upon the retirement on June 30, 2020, of President Ted Hall after 15 years of service. Rankin has been vice president of the Chamber for the past 13 years.
“Teresa is so knowledgeable and so well respected that she was the obvious choice,” said Chamber Board Chair Heath Jenkins, who added that Rankin does not wish to be considered as a candidate for Hall’s permanent replacement.
A search committee was appointed earlier this year, but its work was interrupted when the COVID-19 crisis began. “Teresa will provide a strong sense of leadership and continuity until that person is selected,” Jenkins said.
Rankin has nearly 30 years of chamber experience, having worked 15 years for the Gaston Regional Chamber before joining the staff at the Montcross Area Chamber in 2007. Between the two positions, she served as the first executive director of First Things First, a nonprofit service organization in Gaston County.
Friday, June 12, 2020
Mona Fore and her daughter Hannah at Mona’s Boutique & Gifts at 115 Main Street in McAdenville have been in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic to share in videos how they successfully embraced online marketing just as their business was being forced to close for in-store customers. Back open now, their online sales continue to be strong.
Mona gives Hannah credit for making online marketing work for their business, getting most of their products photographed and posted online for shoppers to purchase.
Their first video appearance was in a presentation for Gaston County officials arranged through the Gaston Business Task Force. That led to a call from a Charlotte television station, another video and valuable publicity. Most recently the mother-daughter team was interviewed by Tech Works of Gaston County Executive Director Terry Cox for an in-depth YouTube video in which they go into detail about how they made online marketing work for their business.
More on Mona’s at www.monasonmain.com.
For anyone thinking of adopting online marketing, you should watch the YouTube video. It can be seen on the TechWorks website at: www.techworksgaston.com/events. Here's a link to watch the video now: