News and Updates

Lyerly Agency shares tips on getting customers

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Eager to learn new ways to find customers, more than 50 attended the Chamber Lunch & Learn presented by Elaine and Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency at Estia's Kouzina in Belmont.

Lyerly Agency, now headquartered in Belmont, has has been in business in the Charlotte region more than 40 years, providing public relations, advertising, marketing and branding services to small local businesses, major corporations, national organizations and government. Melia Lyerly is COO of the business and her sister Elaine Lyerly is CEO.

Thank you to Elias Rauch Media for contributing photos to this album.

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Chamber's 14 annual Member Directory published

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Directory delivered to every reader of the Gaston Gazette

With a moving photo of Cramerton's Veterans Memorial on the cover, the 14th annual Montcross Area Chamber Member Directory was published and delivered to every reader of The Gaston Gazette on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.

The 68-page directory was the largest published since the Chamber and Gaston Gazette first partnered on the directory project in 2006.

The full-color magazine features alphabetical and categorical listings of all Chamber members at no cost to members. More than 30 businesses and organizations also supported the publication by purchasing display ads.

The directory is a valuable information resource for consumers listing names, addresses and phone numbers for the providers of a vast array of products and services in Gaston and neighboring counties. 

The directory also has information on the Chamber, including a review of 2018, a look ahead to 2019, a list of officers and directors and articles on 2018 Chamber award recipients announced at the 59th annual celebration earlier this month. 

Thank you to the advertisers who supported the publication and to the staff of the Gaston Gazette, which sold the ads, designed, produced, printed and delivered the directory.

The Cramerton Veterans Memorial, which was dedicated in 2018 after years of planning and fund raising, features a soldier uniformed in Cramerton Army Cloth, and his daughter saluting the American flag.  


Spruced Goose Station open in McAdenville

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Holy Angels celebrated the opening of Spruced Goose Station in McAdenville with a Chamber ribbon cutting and Network After Work event on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.

The Spruced Goose Station, a partnership between Holy Angels and Pharr, opened for business on February 20, with the coffee, ice cream and restaurant section open 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, serving breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, specialty coffees and desserts and more. An upstairs gift shop and art studio will be open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with shirts, cards, candles art items made by Holy Angels residents and more. Customers will be served by supported Holy Angels employees.

Create a BIG 2019 by thinking SMALL

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Chris Kennedy presenting to a full house at Chamber Lunch & Learn at Nellie's.
Kennedy Business Solutions owner Lunch & Learn speaker
Chris Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Business Solutions, shared the things he's learned while overcoming adversities and growing his business with an overflow crowd  at the Chamber's February Lunch & Learn series at Nellie's Southern Kitchen in Belmont.   
Among topics he covered were:
  • Why New Year's resolutions don't work.
  • How to make a few small shifts in your thinking to experience the best year of your life.
  • A simple strategy you can use to blow past your competition.
  • Understand the two most powerful forces in your life that drive your behavior.
  • The success axiom. How NOT to be be a one-hit wonder.

Kennedy Business Solutions provides Visa/MC card processing services and many other programs and services.

Hear the audio of Chris Kennedy's presentation. 




Shannon Thomas chairs Chamber Board for 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Chamber officers (from left) Shannon Thomas, Melia Lyerly, Heath Jenkins, Paul Lowrance and Carey Roberts.

 More than 260 fill Grand Hall for the annual celebration

Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events was elected to chair the Montcross Area Chamber Board of Directors during the 59th Annual Celebration and Membership Meeting on Feb. 5, 2019, in the Grand Hall of the Mount Holly Municipal Complex.

A sellout crowd of more than 260 Chamber members and friends attended the reception, silent auction, dinner and program. CaroMont Health was the presenting sponsor. 

Also elected to serve on the Executive Committee were Chair-Elect Heath Jenkins of the Town of Stanley, Secretary Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, Treasurer Paul Lowrance of McKenney Business Management and Past-Chair Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design.

New members elected to the Board of Directors were Natasha Gilbert of Chick-fil-A of Belmont, Jonathan Yandle of BB&T - Mount Holly and Katy Windell of McLean Funeral Directors. 



From left, Shannon Thomas, Heath Jenkins, Katy Windell, Paul Lowrance, Carey Roberts, Jonathan Yandle, Natasha Gilbert and Melia Lyerly.


Chamber presents major awards at celebration

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

From left, Peter Cassidy receiving Business of the Year Award from Janet Sarn; Timothy Roberts (left) presenting EPIC Award to Mark Cramer, Vincent Ginski and Chris Peek; and Don Doctor (right) receiving Public Service Award from Brad Thomas. In the photo below, right, Ted Hall is receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine presented by Melia Lyerly.

NC Long Leaf Pine honor goes to Chamber president

Three major awards were presented by the Montcross Area Chamber during the 59th Annual Celebration on Feb. 5, 2019. And in a surprise addition to the program Chamber President Ted Hall was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, an honor conferred by the Governor of North Carolina for distinguished community service.

Receiving the Chamber's Business of the Year Award was Carolinas Rehabilitation - Mount Holly. Presenting for award sponsor South State Bank was Market President Janet Sarn, and accepting was hospital Administrator and Atrium Health Vice President Peter Cassidy. CLICK HERE to read more about the award.

Greater Gaston Development Corporation (GGDC) was the recipient of the EPIC Award, which is presented by the Chamber to an individual, business or organization that is "Entrepreneurial, Progressive, Innovative and Collaborative." The award was sponsored by Cottage Keepers and presented by owner Timothy Roberts. Accepting were GGDC Executive Director Mark Cramer, Strategy and Operations Associate Vincent Ginski and Board Vice Chair Chris Peek. CLICK HERE for more on the award and the GGDC.

The Harley B. Gaston, Jr. Public Service Award was presented to Don Doctor of Cramerton in recognition of his service to the community and to the economy of Gaston County by conceiving the plan and leading the,campaign to restore Cramer Mountain Club after a long period in foreclosure.The award is named for a founder of the Chamber, who was a long time attorney, judge and public servant in Gaston County. CLICK HERE for more on the Public Service Award. 

At the conclusion of the celebration program, former Chamber Board Chair Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, announced that N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper had conferred upon Chamber President Ted Hall the state's highest civilian honor the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in recognition of his commitment to community service throughout a 47-year career spanning journalism, self-employment in management recruiting and almost 14 years at the Chamber of Commerce.

N.C. Rep. John Torbett had planned to present the award but was unable to attend because the Legislature was in session in Raleigh. 


 Hall was joined on stage by other recipients of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, from left, Brenda White of Belmont, Stanley Town Manager Heath Jenkins, CaroMont Health Board Chair Donnie Loftis, Gaston County Commissioner Ronnie Worley and Greater Gaston Development Corporation Executive Director Mark Cramer. 







Sageworks founder Brian Hamiilton speaks at Belmont Abbey

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Brian Hamilton speaking to a large group of business people and students at Belmont Abbey College. In the smaller photo below, Hamilton (left) is at Gaston Christian School, where he spoke at lunch with a group of community leaders. With him are GCS Head of School Dr. Marc Stout, Chamber Board Chair Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design and Ray McKenney of McKenney Business Management. 

Brian Hamilton Foundation based in Raleigh but going nationwide

Almost 200 people eager to learn more about starting and operating successful businesses came to Belmont Abbey College on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, to hear a highly successful entrepreneur speak on “Entrepreneurship: Unlocking the Door to Economic Opportunity."

Speaking at the free program was Brian Hamilton, who co-founded Sageworks, the first financial technology company in the nation and the largest provider of software to U.S. banks. He sold the company to a leading private equity firm in 2018 and has turned his attention to growing the Brain Hamilton Foundation, which helps bring entrepreneurship to people who would not otherwise have it, including veterans, students, and inmates. 

In this talk, he outlined why entrepreneurship is one of the best alternatives for building wealth and how you can do it with limited resources. Sponsors of the program were the Business Leadership Institute at Belmont Abbey, the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce and TechWorks of Gaston County.

Hamilton made five presentations during his full day in Gaston County, speaking at Stanley Middle School in the morning, to a group of community and business leaders at Gaston Christian School during lunch, and to GCS middle-school and high--school students in the afternoon before the evening program at Belmont Abbey College.  

Brian Hamilton is a regular guest on Fox Business and CNBC and is a frequent contributor to many national media publications including Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines. The Brian Hamilton Foundation is based in Raleigh but is poised to grow nationwide. 

For more information, go to:


Students were eager to talk with entrepreneur Brian Hamilton after his presentation. 




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