News and Updates

Business Buzz Breakfast

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pitching their businesses at the Chamber breakfast were (seated, from left) Susan Gauff of Lake Wylie Bedding, Jeff Davenport of Davenport Design & Print, Sam Kline of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, Jean Penner of Shining Hope Farms, Melissa McAtee of Landmark MD, Billie Wright of Visiting Angels, Suzanne Patz of Patz Promotional Products and Allison Cottingham of Belmont Realty. Standing, from the left, are Heidi Schmidt of Anchored Soul, Joe Giarmo of Open Broadband, Thomas Bailey of The Residence at Tailrace Marina, Sean Walker of Confianz Global, Bill Osborne of Right at Home, Jen Colangelo of Tastebuds Popcorn, Patrick Larkin of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Robert Aldrich of Aldrich CFO Services, Rob Dibble of Ace Learning & Consulting, Ty Ryan of That Loving Space, and Kim Sprenger O'Cain of Kim's Professional Painting. 

Speakers reflected wide variety of Chamber member businesses

Broad diversity among the Montcross Area Chamber member businesses was on full display when the Business Buzz Breakfast program on Sept. 22, 2017, was "Pitch Your Business." Nineteen members presented 90-second pitches describing their business in rapid succession. CaroMont Health is the sponsor of Business Buzz.

Presentations by two of the Chamber's newest members were given by a representative of Open Broadband, a technology firm bringing super-fast gigabit internet service to Gaston County, and also by Anchored Soul, which encourages customers to get out on the lake on a paddle board and also their lines of casual fashion and jewelry.

Click here for a list of all 19 companies, with addresses and phone numbers. 

Business Buzz Breakfasts are held several times each year at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont. Speakers and others who came out to learn about their fellow Chamber members enjoyed breakfast from Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds. 




Center for Advanced Manufacturing dedicated

Friday, September 15, 2017

After six years of planning and fund-raising, Gaston College officials dedicated an $8 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) on Sept. 15, 2017. Located at the entrance to Gastonia Technology Business Park in Dallas, the 21,000-square-foot facility houses labs, where students are learning skills required in the high-tech manufacturing plants of today and tomorrow, such as robotics, computer-aided design, alternative energy, industrial systems technology and many more. Shown cutting the ribbon is Dr. Patricia Skinner, president of Gaston College. Also participating in the ceremony are (from left) Fred Jackson, chairman of the Gaston College Foundation Board of Directors; Dr. Jim Watson, chairman of the Gaston College Board of Trustees; and Virgil Cox, dean of Engineering & Industrial Technologies.  

New Center for Advanced Manufacturing totals 21,000 square feet. 

First MACC Low Country Boil a sellout

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Chamber’s first low country boil was a huge success on Sept. 14, 2017, at the Gaston County Wildlife Club on Lake Wylie, with a sellout crowd of more than 100 attending. Saltwater Markets provided the meal and major sponsors included Creative Solutions Special Events, Gaston County Jaycees, Carey Roberts Design, York Chester Brewing and Gaston Arts Council. Sponsor representatives are shown in the photo above. In front, are Shannon Thomas and Lauren Taylor of presenting sponsor Creative Solutions Special Events. Others, from left, are dessert sponsor Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design, beer sponsor Jarvis Roberts of York Chester Brewing, Brad Thomas of Creative Solutions, Traci Burries of table sponsor Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds, Chamber President Ted Hall, artist sponsor Kim George of Gaston Arts Council, entertainer  Caleb Davis, Andrea Schrift of title sponsor Gaston County Jaycees; and table sponsor Ryan Schrift of R.J. Schrift Private Asset Management. The Chronicle Mill and Choice USA Vending also were table sponsors.  

Please thank our sponsors

  • Creative Solutions Special Events - Presenting Sponsor
  • Gaston County Jaycees - Title Sponsor
  • Carey Roberts Design - Dessert Sponsor 
  • York Chester Brewing - Beer Sponsor
  • Gaston Arts Council - Artist Sponsor
  • Table Sponsors: The Chronicle Mill - Choice USA Vending - R.J. Schrift Private Asset Management - Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds  


Image Source Photography hosts "Network After Work"

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Image Source team (from left) Bristol Crider, owners Scott and Dodie Huffman, Josh Gaddis, Mika Christopher and Lisa Jackson in front of their gallery and studio during "Network After Work."  In the photo below, Dodie Huffman (right) is presenting one of several valuable door prizes, this one a free business head shot photo session, to Shari Miller of Bai Shen Acupuncture. (Photos by John Jacob)

Chamber guests make contacts, win prizes and enjoy refreshments 

Dodie and Scott Huffman and the staff at Image Source photography in Belmont hosted members and friends of the Montcross Area Chamber for "Network After Work" on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Many business connections were made, as the large crowd enjoyed refreshments, took home some outstanding door prizes and learned about the many services offered at Image Source.

Image Source, known originally as Image Gallery, began in downtown Gastonia and relocated to 132 N. Main Street in Belmont several years ago. The six-member team at Image Source specializes in commercial, wedding and event photography, executive and lifestyle portraits and video services. For more information on Image Source, call 704.689.8968, or visit

Network After Work receptions are hosted at least once each month by a Chamber member business or organization. The purpose is to inform members about a fellow Chamber member and provide opportunities to make business contacts. There's no charge to attend and non-members with an interest in the Chamber or the host business are welcome.   

See more photos on Facebook.

Brookline Homes corporate office relocates for more space

Friday, August 25, 2017


Scott Dirkschneider cuts ribbon with members of the Brookline Homes team, including canine mascots Leonardo and Raphaela, affectionately known as the company "barchitects." Brookline representatives, from the left, are Lind Goodman, Juliana McPherson, Jamie Mahool, Brad Albrecht, Jennifer Galvin, George Katsanos, Scott Dirkschneider, Andi Dirkschneider, Eric Dirkschneider and Megan Mull. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board member Jason Ramey of PSNC Energy and Belmont Downtown Director Vicki Davis. 

At only 3 years old, Brookline Homes is growing rapidly

Rapidly growing Brookline Homes greatly expanded its office space and gained storefront windows to display photos of model homes on one of Belmont's busiest streets with its recent move to 425 E. Catawba Street. Owner Scott Dirkschneider and the Brookline team celebrated the move with an open house and Chamber ribbon-cutting on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

After decades of experience working in the home-building industry for large and small companies, Scott started Brookline Homes in 2014. His company is building homes now in some of the area's best known neighborhoods, including Eagle Park, Water's Edge and Stuart's Landing. Brookline just finished construction in Mountain Island Village and will be starting new projects soon in the Villages at Cramerton Mills in Cramerton and Aberfoyle Village in Belmont. 

The Catawba Street office houses corporate operations for Brookline, while the sales staff works from model homes in each of the neighborhoods. For more information, call 980.277.1306, or visit

See more photos on Facebook.


40 "Get Ready Gaston" forum participants meet for follow-up

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gaston Economic Development Director Donny Hicks facilitated a 90-minute discussion of ideas stemming from the "Get Ready Gaston Forum on Preparing for Growth" when 40 participants in the forum re-convened a week after the event.

Session focused on ideas stemming from forum for elected officials

Preparing for growth in Gaston County was the topic for discussion on Thursday morning, Aug. 24, 2017, when 40 elected officials, city managers, planners and economic development professionals met to follow up on ideas stemming from a “Get Ready Gaston” forum held a week earlier at Belmont Abbey College. The forum follow-up took place at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont, with Gaston Economic Development Director Donny Hicks facilitating. The Montcross Area Chamber coordinated both meetings, with financial support from Carolinas HealthCare System. More than 100 elected officials and other leaders from all parts of Gaston County attended “Get Ready Gaston.” The objective of both meetings was “to help Gaston County leaders become better informed about and prepare for the impact of growth as Charlotte expands to the west.”

Cherubs Cafe crew celebrates with ribbon-cutting

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Helping Holy Angels CEO Regina Moody cut the ribbon are Cherubs Cafe crew members Martha, Katie and Loraine. Holding the ribbon are Cheryl (left), who was celebrating her birthday, and Taylor. In the photo below, Regina and Torrance with a tray of "Griscuits," a new invention and menu item at Cherubs Cafe.

"Believe There Is Good In The World," new slogan at Holy Angels

Downpours postponed the ribbon-cutting ceremony when Cherubs Cafe celebrated its grand re-opening last week in downtown Belmont with a Chamber "Network After Work" reception. But you can tell from the smiles when the rescheduled ribbon-cutting took place this morning that excitement is still in the air at Cherubs.

Wearing their new "Believe There Is Good In The World" shirts, the Cherubs Cafe crew along with staff members from Cherubs Candy Bouquets and Cherubs Cotton Candy Factory teamed up with Holy Angels staff members for the ribbon-cutting.

A renovated dining room and kitchen greeted returning customers and newcomers when Cherubs Cafe reopened after renovation. Expanded evening hours will keep the café open until 8 o’clock, and new menu items have been added, including a new invention at Cherubs called "Grisquits," As the name implies, grisquits are made of grits and cheese fried in the shape of muffins.

Cherubs Cafe and next-door neighbors Cherubs Cotton Candy Factory and Cherubs Candy Bouquets are vocational outreach programs of Holy Angels, providing job opportunities and community interaction for residents.

Cherubs Café, at 23 N. Main Street in Belmont, offers a wide range of catering services and is open for breakfast and lunch and with a limited menu until 8 o'clock most evenings. For more information, call 704.825.0414, or visit





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