News and Updates

Six mayors speak at Chamber Business Buzz breakfast

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mayors speaking were (from left) Cramerton Mayor Will Cauthen, Gastonia Mayor John Bridgeman, McAdenville Mayor Jim Robinette, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey and Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough. Stanley Mayor Andrew Quinley was unable to attend.

Communities share common interests; stress need for collaboration 

Six mayors representing five of the Montcross Area cities and towns in eastern Gaston County and the city of Gastonia spoke at the Chamber’s Business Buzz breakfast this morning. CaroMont Health was the sponsor. . 

Mayors participating were Will Cauthen of Cramerton, Charlie Martin of Belmont, Sandy Railey of Lowell, John Bridgeman of Gastonia, Bryan Hough of Mount Holly and Jim Robinette of McAdenville. Stanley Mayor Andrew Quinley was unable to attend. 

Each mayor spoke about accomplishments and challenges in his or her municipality, and a question and answer period followed with mayors responding to questions from the audience of more than 60 Chamber members and friends. 

All of the mayors reported on new businesses opening in their communities. The importance of planning to accommodate growth and the work each town is doing in that area was a topic addressed by all of the mayors. 

Other topics covered included transportation projects, new neighborhoods being developed, the controversy over a site for a new Belmont Middle School, greenways and the need to connect them, the need for future light rail connection to Charlotte, the Catawba Crossings and Wilkinson Boulevard bridges, summer concerts coming up and more.

Business Buzz breakfasts are planned several times each year by the Chamber to address issues of interest to the business community in Gaston County. Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds provided the breakfast.


Chamber Board Chair Bill Ingram of Regions Bank welcomes members and friends to Business Buzz breakfast.

Art of Jan Craft on exhibition at Chamber office in Belmont

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Artist Jan Craft (center) at the opening reception for her exhibit at the Montcross Area Chamber, with (from left) reception sponsor Kevin Randall of Northwestern Mutual, Chamber Board Chair Bill Ingram of Regions Bank, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Kim George, executive director of the Gaston County Arts Council. In the photo below, Jan Craft (right) at the reception beside her 10-foot sculpture “Whimsical Cycle” with May Carter Barger.

Art exhibit can be seen at Chamber weekdays, 8 - 5

Noted Gaston County sculptor Jan Craft is the latest artist to exhibit her work in the offices of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main Street in Belmont. The exhibit, which runs through May, opened with a meet-the-artist reception attended by more than 100 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Kevin Randall of Northwestern Mutual sponsored the reception. 

Belmont resident Jan Craft is a metalsmith artist whose work ranges from jewelry to large outdoor sculptures. She created the 29-foot-tall work titled “Spirit” in front of Stuart Cramer High School and also the 14-foot sculpture titled “Full Bloom” in front of CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Mount Holly. 

This is the sixth in a series of art exhibits in what is becoming known as the “Chamber Gallery” in Belmont. Gaston County Arts Council Executive Director Kim George coordinates the exhibitions on behalf of the Chamber. She also serves on the Chamber Board of Directors. 

The exhibit is open to the public during business hours, 8 – 5, Monday through Friday.  For more information on Jan Craft and her art, visit



Kevin Randall Northwestern Mutual Ribbon-Cutting

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Financial Advisor Kevin Randall, with his wife Jessica and daughter Ava, cut a ribbon to celebrate his Northwestern Mutual office at 9115 Harris Corners Parkway, Suite 400, Charlotte, NC 28269. Backed by a team of eight, his office provides clients a wide range of services such as business continuation planning, risk management, succession planning, retirement planning, financial planning, benefits planning, life insurance and many more. In the photo, are local artist Jan Craft, whose work is on exhibit now at the Chamber, and several Chamber Board members, including (holding the ribbon) Geanina Neal and Board Chair Bill Ingram of Regions Bank, Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, Kim George of Gaston Arts Council, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Board Treasurer Jim Crisp of Clearbrook Advisory Services. For more information on Kevin Randall and Northwestern Mutual, call 704.494.8063, or visit


Sun's Up Scuba ribbon-cutting & open house

Thursday, March 16, 2017

 Mike and Sundae Dowdle cut a Sun's Up Scuba theme cake to share with Chamber members and friends at their grand opening and ribbon-cutting. In the photo below, Cramerton Mayor Will Cauthen congratulates the Dowdles and welcomes Sun's Up Scuba to Cramerton. 

The sun's up every day at Sun's Up Scuba

Owners Mike and Sundae Dowdle like to say "the sun's up 7 days a week at Sun's Up Scuba," and the sun sure was shining for their Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Thursday, March 16, 2017. A large crowd of Chamber members and friends, plus Sun's Up customers and others attended to network, enjoy refreshments and learn about the wide range of products and services available at the shop.

Sun's Up Scuba occupies one of four commercial sites in front of South Fork Village Apartments on Wilkinson Boulevard. The shop is in the town of Cramerton, but has a Belmont address at 900 G-01 South Fork Village Drive.

Sun’s Up Scuba provides PADI dive lessons, dive and snorkel gear, kayak and paddle board rentals, scuba gear service/repair and travel planning. Visit for more on the business, or call 704.829.3455.

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Mike and Sundae Dowdle cut a ribbon at the grand opening of Sun's Up Scuba with Cramerton Mayor Will Cauthen and lots of Chamber members and friends looking on. Holding the ribbon are Chamber board members Robert Aldrich (left) of Aldrich CFO Services and Chris Kennedy of Kennedy Business Solutions.

Bai Shen Acupuncture & Sole Reflection

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Network After Work sponsors Lynn Wilcox-Galbato from Sole Reflection and Shari Miller with Bai Shen Acupuncture (front, center) with members of the Chamber Board of Directors (from left) Melia Lyerly Brad Thomas, Chris Kennedy and Ryan Clarke.

Chamber members and friends learned about two businesses while, making new business contacts and enjoying great food and beverages on Thursday, March. 9, 2017, when Bai Shen Acupuncture and Sole Reflection at 684 Park Street Belmont, hosted "Network After Work." Food for the reception was provided by H&M Catering of Mount Holly.

Founded by Shari Miller in 2008, Bai Shen Acupuncture is dedicated to providing services focused on creating health using the natural healing abilities of one’s own body through Classical Chinese Medicine.

Sole Reflection promotes balance and normalization of the body naturally; reduces stress and brings about relaxation and improves circulation and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Reflexology is the science of involuntary response to stimuli of the foot. 

For more on Bai Shen Acupuncture, call 704.825.1584, or visit For more on Sole Reflection, call 704.995.8136, or visit

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Elements of Empowerment organization debuts in Belmont

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Belmont Mayor Pro Tem Martha Stowe and City Manager Adrian Miller are presenting the check to Elements of Empowerment Board Chair Delta Sanders and Vice Chair Vince Hill. At left are group treasurer Lakisha Spears and secretary David Neeley. And at right is Hampton Inn-Belmont Sales Director Stephanie Prysiazniuk.

On the last day of Black History Month, a new non-profit organization that originated around a festival celebrating the end of slavery in America debuted by hosting a Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce “Network After Work” reception with the Hampton Inn in Belmont.

Elements of Empowerment started as a small group of volunteers working to coordinate the Juneteenth celebration in Belmont’s Stowe Park. Now with its non-profit status secured, the group was ready on Feb. 28, 2017, to celebrate, and many Chamber members and friends were eager to take part.

During the event, the new non-profit received a $2,300 check from the City of Belmont to reimburse some of the expenses for coordinating the next Juneteenth celebration on June 17.

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2017 Chamber Member Directory published today

Friday, February 24, 2017

Copies mailed or delivered to all Chamber members

Click to read the directory online

All members of the Montcross Area Chamber had their business contact information delivered today to the homes and offices of more than 23,000 subscribers to The Gaston Gazette. The Chamber's 2017 Member Directory, a 48-page, full-color publication, was produced and printed by the Gazette and published as part of today's issue of the newspaper.

Information about more than 530 Chamber members is organized by business category to make it easily accessible to consumers, who will use it throughout the year to find Chamber members providing needed products and services. 

The directory also includes a review of recent Chamber activities and accomplishments, a look ahead to 2017 and articles and photos on recent Chamber award recipients.

A copy of the directory has been mailed, or personally delivered, to every member of the Chamber. Copies also are available at the Chamber office in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main St., Belmont.

The directory soon will be available on the Chamber website. 

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