News and Updates

Right at Home packs Stowe Building for ribbon-cutting

Thursday, May 4, 2017

 Onloookers cheer as Bill and Karanda Osborne cut a ribbon symbolizing the grand opening of Right at Home. With them, at left on the front row, are Bill's brother Michael Osborne and Karanda's parents Bob and Joanie Mills, with staff member Yolanda Robinson at right in green dress. Holding the ribbon are Montcross Area Chamber Board members Chris Kennedy of Kennedy Business Services (left) and Jason Ramey of PSNC Energy.

Caring for people motivates Right at Home owner Bill Osborne

Caring for people is what motivates Marine Corps and Iraq veteran Bill Osborne and what led him to start a business called Right at Home, which provides in-home care for those who need assistance,

Bill, his wife Karanda and Right at Home staff members hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration on May 4, 2017, with members and friends of the Montcross Area and Gaston Regional Chambers of Commerce. Offices for Right at Home are in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main St., Suite 107, Belmont, NC 28012. The lobby and hallways were filled with more than 60 who attended to learn about Right at Home, to network and to enjoy refreshments. Drawings for valuable door prizes also were a big hit. 

After his military service, Osborne spent more than a decade in the medical field as a respiratory therapist at Duke University Hospital and as a member of a critical care flight team working for a Charlotte healthcare system, He is eager to apply his passion for helping others to serving those in need of in-home care throughout Gaston County.

For more information on Right at Home, call 704.412.3366 or visit  

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Sake Express Opens New Restaurant in Lake Wylie

Monday, May 1, 2017

 Cutting Ribbon are owners Linda Park (left) and Lisa Nguyen. Others from left are Sake Express staff members Bethany McGinnas and Victoria DiPietro, with Thomas Garrone and Jane DuBois (holding ribbon), Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design, Gaston Chamber CEO Anissa Starnes and Membership Director Angela Saunders, Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall, Michael Park, Sally Dunn of Alliance Bank, Susan Gauff of Lake Wylie Bedding, Elaine Dimeo of George Stowe Insurance, Tommy Pope, Tisha Walker, Doug McSpadden of McSpadden Custom Homes, Michela King, and Lisa Jubenville of the Lake Wylie Chamber.

Lake Wylie boasts largest Sake Express location

Entrepreneur sisters Linda Park and Lisa Nguyen have opened their fourth and largest Sake Express Japanese Steakhouse in Lake Wylie in the Mill Creek Commons center near Walmart and Lowes. The address is 5360 Hwy. 557, Clover, SC 29710.

The new restaurant is 4,900 square feet, which is larger than the Belmont, Mount Holly and Gastonia locations. Members of three area Chambers of Commerce -- Montcross Area, Gaston Regional and Lake Wylie --  came together to celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting on Monday, May 1, 2017. Hours are 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on Sake Express Lake Wylie, call 803.610.0146, or visit

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Belmont Walmart unveils a new look and new services;

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Lt. Joe Quin (left) and Sgt. Jason Davis of the Belmont Police Department present the colors as Walmart associate Michael Crawford sings the National Anthem. Store Manager Rusty Evans, a Cramerton native, is at right.

Grand Re-opening features free samples, specials, family activities 

A bright new look and new customer services were unveiled this morning at Belmont’s Walmart, and the store announced contributions to several local organizations including the Montcross Area Chamber. 

The grand re-opening activities and free samples continue through the weekend.  Pay and go and pick up services are among the new features being introduced. 

Store manager Rusty Evans, a native of Cramerton and a South Point High School graduate, led the program, introducing local store associates and regional Walmart officials. Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin spoke about Walmart’s many contributions to the community. 

Check presentations included a $2,500 grant to the Montcross Area Chamber to support the Chamber's work to create jobs by helping small businesses grow and helping entrepreneurs start successful new businesses. A $2,000 grant went to the Belmont Historical Society, and $1,000 contributions to the Belmont Police Academy and the Piedmont Council Boy Scouts of America. 

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26-year Walmart associate Loraine Stowe cuts the ribbon with store manager Rusty Evans. 

Belmont Trolley group hosts Chamber members and friends;

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Board members of Belmont Trolley are (from left) Nate Wells, Jennifer Church, Rob Pressley, Ashley McCallister, Ryan Schrift and Rod Smallwood. Behind them is Belmont Historical Society President Fred Dixon in his trolley motorman uniform. He’s a former motorman on the Charlotte trolley and is eager to serve in that role for Belmont’s trolley. 

Belmont’s 1913 trolley star attraction at Network After Work

Chamber members and friends got a unique opportunity to see the Belmont trolley, the Stowe Park Special train engine and the City of Belmont Public Works building during Network After Work on April 27, 2017. The Belmont Trolley organization hosted the event to raise awareness of the work to restore a 1913 trolley and return it to service on the former Piedmont & Northern Railway between downtown Belmont and Belmont Abbey College. 

Belmont Trolley, a non-profit, volunteer organization, raised funds to purchase the trolley in Canada and move it here by truck. It’s now stored and undergoing restoration in the city’s Public Works building at 1401 E. Catawba Street. Additional funds must be raised to complete the work. 

Trolley Board Chair Rob Pressley told more than 100 attending the event that the vision includes a downtown Belmont building to store the trolley and to serve as a trolley and train museum, giving the city a unique new attraction for residents to enjoy and to draw tourists. 

For more information on Belmont Trolley and how you can support the project, call 704.914.7730, or visit the group's Facebook page at: 

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International Express moves corporate office to Lowell

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

International Express President and CEO Howard Shope cuts ribbon with Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Michelle Reese, Ashley Hodge and Vice President James Childress.

International Express brings 24 jobs to Gaston County

International Express has bought a 77,000-square-foot building in Lowell and relocated its corporate offices and 24 jobs to Gaston County from the airport area of Charlotte. A grand opening and Montcross Area Chamber ribbon-cutting were celebrated with a lunch for clients, staff, vendors and friends on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the large warehouse facility at 141 Robins Street in Lowell.

International Express retains its Charlotte facility and also owns a building in Atlanta. President and CEO Howard Shope led tours of the Lowell building, including recently renovated offices, and talked with guests about the wide variety of cargo, warehousing and other services provided by the company.

In the photo, Howard Shope is cutting the ribbon with Michelle Reese, Ashley Hodge and Vice President James Childress and Nancy Childress. With them are Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey and Lowell City Council members Candy Funderburk and the Rev. Thomas Gillespie. Other International Express staff members visible in the photo are Deborah Ray, Ricky Pope, Robin Blalock, Morgan Tyler, Derick Pope, C.J. Shope, Rodney Adams, Dennis Creed, Jackson Childress, Zachary Childress, Kellie Hart, and Phil Morton and Tim Key of Carolina Premier Bank. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Robert Larrison of Carolinas HealthCare System and Jennifer Church of the Chronicle Mill and Church Realty.

For more information on International Express, call 704.424.5454, or visit

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 CEO Howard Shope and Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey.


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








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