News and Updates

Belmont Yoga Celebrates Grand Opening

Friday, February 19, 2021


Downtown Belmont studio sells local art, health products and more

Owners Michelle LoSardo and Cory Miller, surrounded by team members, clients and friends, prepare to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Belmont Yoga on Feb. 19, 2021. The yoga studio and storefront at 37 Glenway Street is the first business to open in the new North Main Station commercial building.
Heirloom Restaurant, which is relocating from Charlotte, plans to occupy most of the remaining space in the building.
In addition to yoga classes, the new studio includes a shop selling artwork by area artists and handmade items such as candles,jewelry, health and beauty products along with yoga supplies, beverages and more.
Yoga classes are offered on a drop-in basis, and clients also have the option of short and long-term memberships.
Holding the ribbon are, at left, Belmont Downtown Director Phil Boggan and Montcross Area Chamber Board Chair Gordon Quarles of Blue Harbor Bank. For more information on Belmont Yoga, visit, or call 704.829.8114, 
North Main Station owners Steve Pepitone and Talia Simons (left) with Belmont Yoga owners Cory Miller and Michelle LoSardo.

Bill Dixon's legacy lives on in Belmont

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bill Dixon (holding the shovel) was president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce when he broke ground for a new home for the Chamber in October 1967. The ground-breaking ceremony was for the building at 26 East Woodrow Avenue in Belmont, now home to NC Farm Bureau Insurance. Others in the photo are, from left, contractor Bob Rankin, Jack Neely, Chamber executive secretary Yvonne Hill, Howard Walls and Dick Cromlish. The photo was published in the book "Between Two Rivers," which commemorated Belmont's centennial in 1995. The photo below is Bill Dixon decades later. 
(This article appeared on the Chamber's Business Update page
in the Gaston Gazette on Feb. 14, 2021.)
The name of a subdivision announced recently in North Belmont honors the late William A. (Bill) Dixon, Jr., who was a leader in the early days of Habitat for Humanity in Gaston County. When Dixon Village becomes a reality, it will include eight to 10 homes occupied by Habitat families in a blended community off Hickory Grove Road that will total 28 three-and-four-bedroom homes, most of which will be purchased by first-time owners.  
Click this link for the Gaston Gazette article on Dixon Village: 
Before there was a Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County, there was a Habitat program in Gastonia that began in 1988, with satellite programs in Belmont, Mount Holly and Cherryville. All four programs merged in 2000 to form Habitat of Gaston County.
Bill Dixon was a pivotal volunteer leader of the Belmont Habitat program, serving seven years as president and many more as construction coordinator. Decades of experience as a real-estate broker, land developer, home builder and appraiser equipped him well for that responsibility. An Army veteran and 1950 Davidson College graduate, Dixon joined his father at Dixon Oil Company before starting his own business in 1959. 
In addition to his contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Dixon was devoted to many areas of community service. He was a member of the Belmont Rotary Club and president in 1959. He was a founding member of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce (now operating as the Montcross Area Chamber) and served as president in 1967. In 2005, he received the Chamber's Citizen of the Year Award. He was named American Legion Outstanding Citizen for his work in Habitat. A long-time Scoutmaster, who also held district and council leadership positions, he was awarded the Silver Beaver from the Piedmont Council. He served Belmont First Presbyterian Church in many positions including 23 years as an active elder, clerk of session and Stephen Minister.
William Alexander (Bill) Dixon, Jr., who retired in 1996 and died at age 80 on April 3, 2007, was married 56 years to the late Carol Dixon, who died on Christmas Eve in 2016. "Lasting Words," a collection of his meditations and devotions was published by the First Presbyterian Church of Belmont in 2009. 
Naming this unique Habitat for Humanity community in Belmont for Bill Dixon is a fitting tribute to a man who served others throughout his life and whose work continues to make a difference long after his passing.     
(For information on volunteering on this or other Habitat projects or applying to become a Habitat homeowner, visit or call 704-864-6536.)

Chamber officers and directors for 2021

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Gordon Quarles of Blue Harbor Bank elected Board chair

Montcross Area Chamber members elected Gordan Quarles to chair the Board of Directors in 2021 during a virtual general membership meeting. Quarles, who is a senior vice president of Blue Harbor Bank, has an office on Catawba Street in Belmont.

Other officers elected were Chair-Elect Natasha Gilbert of Chick-fil-A of Belmont, Treasurer Wil Neumann of Gaston Capital Partners, Secretary Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and Past-Chair Health Jenkins of the Town of Stanley. The five officers constitute the Chamber’s Executive Committee.

Also elected were seven new members of the Chamber Board. They are: Del Barajas of Barajas Company, Marc Burns of Techtheon Global Solutions, Malissa Gordon of Piedmont Lithium, Ray Hardee of The Pointe Church, Paul Lowrance of McKenney Family Dealerships, Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, and Martha Wegner of Duke Energy.

Chamber President Marc Jordan presided over the election and provided an update on recent and future Chamber programs and activities.

The following returning Board members will continue their service in 2021: Del Murphy of CaroMont Health, Brad Wruble of Belmont Eye, Julie Roper of Dominion Energy, Todd Garrett of Holy Angels, Emily Wilson of Atrium Health, John Robinson of Wellzesta, Heather Woodson of Gaston College, Andrea Sipka of Schooley Mitchell, Paige Kilburn of BB&T Bank, Lindsay Lockett of Gaston Christian School, Andy Mercer of Finial Homes, and Chris Etherton of Gaston Printing & Signs.

These non-voting advisory directors also serve on the Board in 2021: Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Stanley Mayor Steven Denton, McAdenville Mayor Jim Robinette, County Commissioner Ronnie Worley, Mount Holly Economic Development Director Greg Beal, Cramerton Town Manager David Pugh, Gastonia City Manager Michael Peoples, and Gaston County EDC Vice Chair Dick Cromlish.

Fish Geeks - The Local Fish Store opens in Belmont

Saturday, December 19, 2020


Matt Wiegert cuts the ribbon with Josh Smith and Angela Wiegert at the opening of Fish Geeks - The Local Fish Store along with Belmont city officials, family members, employees and others. 

Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony part of the celebration  

Fish Geeks - The Local Fish Store in downtown Belmont celebrated its grand opening with a Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Owners Matt and Angela Wiegert and Josh Smith offer a wide variety of freshwater and saltwater fish, aquariums, koi fish, ponds, supplies, food, maintenance and more in the space formerly occupied by Happy Dog Cafe & Boutique at 26 N. Main Street.

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Hefferan and council member Marc Seelinger were on hand to welcome the new business.

Matt and Josh are South Point High School graduates, and Matt has 26 years of experience working at a fish store in Gastonia.

Fish Geeks hours are 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. For more information, call 704.829.8333, or visit the website, which is coming soon, at

Owners Josh Smith (left) with Matt and Angela Wiegert. (Gaston Gazette photo by Mike Hensdill)






Marc Jordan named MACC president

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

First day on the job will be December 15 

The Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce announces the hiring of its new President, Marc Jordan. Jordan will begin work on Tuesday, Dec. 15. 

Jordan has more than thirty years of experience consulting and working as a leader for numerous local, regional and metropolitan chambers of commerce. He was previously recognized by his peers as Chamber Executive of the Year in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Jordan also served as president of state chamber associations in North Carolina and Tennessee. 

“We are excited to have Marc Jordan lead the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce as our president,” said Heath Jenkins, board chair. “His experience, passion, collaborative spirit and leadership abilities make him the perfect fit for our organization.” 

Most recently, Jordan served as president and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and CVB where he grew the membership base and raised $5 million for a capital campaign and other programs. While there, he earned a five-star Chamber/CVB accreditation. 

“I am honored, appreciative and excited to have been selected to join the leadership team of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce as the new president,” Jordan said. “I was immediately drawn to the dedication and commitment of the volunteer leadership and staff. I’m anxious to begin my new duties and get to know our members and the unique communities we serve in Gaston County.” 

A search committee consisting of numerous past board chairs and led by Shannon and Brad Thomas of Creative Solutions interviewed candidates. Shannon Thomas remarked, “Marc’s resume with his impressive credentials quickly rose to the top of our stack. Once we interviewed him, we knew he was the person with the skills and attitude to lead us forward.”

Grateful Paws open in Belmont

Friday, December 4, 2020



Grateful Paws owner Chuck Vachris prepares to cut the ribbon with his sons Gabriel and Luke.

Grateful Paws celebrates grand opening with ribbon cutting

Owner Chuck Vachris and the staff at Grateful Paws in Belmont celebrated their grand opening recently with a Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Grateful Paws is at 38 E. Woodrow Avenue, providing pet grooming, boarding and supplies. Additional services include spa days and a training program for future groomers. Amy Caldwell is the manager. Several groomers from the former Happy Dog Café in Belmont have joined the staff at Grateful Paws.

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, City Council member Marc Seelinger and other local elected officials were on hand for the celebration. Mayor Martin welcomed Grateful Paws to the community.

For more information on Grateful Paws, or to book grooming or boarding services, call 704.825.5987.



All kids love a parade

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

(Photos by Del Barajas of 

Little faces lit up while "Cruising Thru Christmas - Belmont Style"

When it comes to a Christmas parade, the faces of children light up just the same whether the parade is traditional or one adapted to prevent the spread of a deadly virus during a global pandemic.

Many Gaston County parades were cancelled this year because of the coronavirus. But Belmont chose to stage a reverse parade, which was called “Cruise Thru Christmas – Belmont Style.” That meant all of the parade entries including about a dozen professionally decorated floats, the Santa Claus float included, were parked along Main Street on the afternoon of December 1.

Hundreds of cars, trucks and golf carts, most loaded with excited children, paraded down the opposite side of the street. The children laughed and cheered and waved just as they always have in other years when sitting on the curb eating cotton candy or huddled among the crowd on the sidewalk as the parade rolled by.

It was a refreshing reminder how adaptable children are. And big smiles on their faces proved the grown-ups enjoyed it, too. 

(The Chamber coordinated the parade for the City of Belmont.)



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