News and Updates

Brightway Insurance The Kropfelder Agency

Thursday, April 20, 2017

 Gene Kropfelder (right), Cindy Miller and Michael Rozmus of Brightway Insurance - The Kropfelder Agency cut a ribbon at their new office on April 20, 2017. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board member Melia Lyerly (left) of Lyerly Agency and Megan Kanal of H&M Catering, which provided refreshments for the celebration. 

Kropfelder Agency offers all types of insurance plans

Agency owner Gene Kropfelder and insurance agents Cindy Miller and Michael Rozmus of Brightway Insurance invited Chamber members and friends and others interested to their ribbon-cutting celebration and reception on Thursday, April 20, 2017. The Kropfelder Agency of Brightway Insurance is located at 3826 South New Hope Rd., Suite 3, Gastonia, NC 28056. The drop-in included food and drinks prepared by H&M Catering and a door prize drawing, as well as an opportunity to learn more about the business.

The Kropfelder Agency can provide property, vehicle, life, commercial and umbrella insurance policies to meet their customer’s needs from a wide array of insurance carriers. For more information about the Kropfelder Agency and Brightway Insurance, stop by the office, or call 704.566.0400.  

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 Business networking takes place at all Chamber events, including grand openings and ribbon-cuttings such as the one recently a Brightway Insurance. In this photo, four separate conversations are occurring simultaneously in just one corner of the office. 




Doc's Basement Comic Books, Toys & Games ribbon-cutting

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dr. Sam Wilcox cut the ribbon at Doc's Basement Comic Books, Toys & Games today with help from his wife Michele and daughters Imani, 7, and Keira, 10, and a little extra assistance from Spider-Man and Batman. The Wilcox family also is shown in the photo below.

Superheroes help celebrate the opening of Doc's Basement

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Doc's Basement Comic Books, Toys and Games had everything you possibly could ask for in a Montcross Area Chamber member event -- including superheroes. Batman and Spider-Man swept into the upstairs location of Doc's Basement at 427 Catawba Street in  Belmont to the delight of the children attending as well as the business leaders.

Dr. Sam Wilcox, a physician at Ashley Women's Center, fulfilled a lifelong dream when he opened the comic book store. The highly respected obstetrician still embraces his boyhood fascination with comics and superheroes, and enjoys indulging it with his wife Michele and their 7-and-10-year-old daughters Imani and Keira. And now he has a place to share the experience with lots of other children and adults who frequent Doc's Basement.

In addition to selling comics, toys, games and more, the shop also has a special room where children (and adults) can enjoy playing video games and using virtual reality equipment. 

If you share a fascination for comics, be sure to visit Doc's Basement on Saturday, May 6, for Free Comic Book Day. It's a nation-wide observance by participating comic book shops, and everyone who visits Doc's Basement that day will get a free comic book.

For more information on Doc's Basement and Free Comic Book Day, call 980.283.7297, or visit








Pearlee & Cille's Kids Spa and More Grand Opening

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tom Weathers cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Pearlee & Cille's with his wife Abby and daughters Rachael and Jillian and staff members Alyssa Moss and Brittany Ladue. Also on the front row are Chamber Board members (from left) Robert Aldrich of Aldrich CFO Services, Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency and Jason Ramey of PSNC Energy. The photo below shows a tribute to the late Belmont mayor  Kevin Loftin just inside the entrance to his former home.   

Kevin Loftin's influence lives on at Pearlee & Cille's

Former Belmont Mayor Kevin Loftin, who died with his friend Donna Deitz in a car crash five years ago, hoped his home on Davis Street might someday be used to benefit young people and the City of Belmont, and his nephew Tom Weathers, who inherited the house, has fulfilled that wish. With the help of his wife Abby, daughters Rachael and Jillian and his father Tom, Sr., Weathers has turned the home into a kids spa, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, and venue for birthday parties and business meetings. And there's more to come -- fresh, hot doughnuts soon will be added to the menu.

Chamber members and friends celebrated the new business at a ribbon-cutting and open house on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

The name of the business -- Pearlee & Cille's -- comes from Weathers' grandmothers Pearlee and Lucille. He envisions Pearlee & Cille's as a place young people can gather after school, where parents can drop off children for a few minutes or a few hours with assurance they not only will be cared for but entertained in a fun and safe environment. A place where families can come for refreshments and to relax in the spacious, enclosed backyard, or where groups can celebrate birthdays, church outings or conduct business meetings.

For more information on Pearlee & Cille's, call 704.853.9492. 

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Kumon Math & Reading Center open in Belmont

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Kumon instructor Alex Kellogg and his wife Anastasia, with help from their children Mila, Sasha and Nikolai, cut a ribbon for the new Kumon Math & Reading Center in Belmont during the grand opening and open house. With them are instructors James Whitmarsh, Jan Randall and Sarah Bathon along with some of their fellow Chamber members and friends in attendance. Holding the ribbon are Elaine Dimeo of George Stowe Insurance and Chamber Board member Brad Rivers of the Gaston College Small Business Center. Below is another photo of the Kellogg family.

"We strive to instill in children the motivation to learn on their own"

For more than 50 years, Kumon’s after-school academic enrichment program has helped children achieve success worldwide, and now a center is open in Belmont. The location is in the Main Street Crossing shopping center at 6436 Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont.

Alex Kellogg is the lead instructor, and he celebrated a grand opening and open house with a Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Many Chamber members attended along with students and parents and others interested in learning more about how the Kumon program can benefit students at all levels.

“We strive to instill in children the desire to achieve and the motivation to learn on their own,” Kellogg said. “Whether your child is seeking enrichment, needs help catching up or is just beginning his or her academic career, Kumon is designed to help him or her develop a love of learning.”

Students advance through the program at their own pace. An emphasis on individualized learning helps children become focused, motivated and self-reliant. Instructors monitor each child’s progress to ensure comprehension before moving on to a new concept.  

For more information, call 704.413.1999, or visit  

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TechWorks of Gaston County

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

 Drawing of what a large assembly space for training, seminars and meetings could look like on the lower level of TechWorks. In the smaller photo below, Gaston Innovation Group Executive Director Terry Cox is speaking to more than 100 who attended the brand and design concepts launch for TechWorks of Gaston County.

Technology innovation center being developed in Belmont 

TechWorks of Gaston County is a new name you’ll be hearing a lot, after a local non-profit organization working to build a technology-driven innovation center in Belmont unveiled its branding and design plans on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. 

The site for TechWorks of Gaston County is in the same building where Rivermen Brewing soon will open at 52 Ervin Street, beside the Post Office, in downtown Belmont.  Construction will begin soon to upfit more than 12,000 square feet in the building. Long-range plans include a second location in the Loray Mill in Gastonia. 

Creating jobs in Gaston County by fostering the start-up and growth of technology companies is the objective. TechWorks of Gaston County also will offer in-house coding classes and other training in partnership with local colleges and universities  to grow the local workforce to meet the demands of an increasingly digital economy. 

Gaston Innovation Group (GIG)  is the non-profit organization leading development of TechWorks of Gaston County . Dr. Steve Hannon of Hannon Orthodontics chairs the GIG Board of Directors. Most of the initial funding for the project came from Gaston County, with participation by the City of Belmont and private sources. Gaston Innovation Group is pursuing additional grant funding.(Download the press release.)

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 One of several co-working spaces planned for the main level at TechWorks of Gaston County.

Cotton Candy Factory opens in Belmont

Monday, March 27, 2017


Holy Angels CEO Regina Moody, with help from resident Edwin Forest, who was celebrating his 59th birthday, cut a ribbon officially opening the Cotton Candy Factory for business on North Main Street in Downtown Belmont. They are joined by other Holy Angels residents and staff members, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Montcross Area Chamber representatives and others. In the smaller photo below, customers spin their own cotton candy.

New shop may be Belmont's "sweetest" business

Belmont's newest "sweet spot" opened for business on Monday, March 27, 2017, with a ribbon-cutting and open house for the Cotton Candy Factory at 21 N. Main Street. A long line of shoppers eager to get inside stretched down the sidewalk throughout the afternoon.

A retail and vocational education outreach of Holy Angels, the new shop is next door to Cherub's Cafe, another Holy Angels business, which has been serving great food and providing opportunities for Holy Angels residents to work with supervision for more than 20 years.

In the colorful and whimsical Cotton Candy Factory, customers can spin their own cotton candy, purchase 25 flavors of pre-packaged cotton candy, buy "penny-candy" in dozens of varieties by the pound, enjoy Tony's ice cream and the giant gumball machine and choose from a wide assortment of other products.

Holy Angels CEO Regina Moody spoke at the grand opening along with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. The Montcross Area Chamber assisted with the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Regular hours for the Cotton Candy Factory are 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 704.825.0416. 

 First customers pack inside the colorful and whimsical Cotton Candy Factory shop. 


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.

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