Tuesday, June 30, 2020
The Montcross Area Chamber team posed with Hall in the Chamber office before the parade. They are (from left) Interim President Teresa Rankin, Chief Volunteer Elizabeth Atterberry, Member Services Director Julie Bowen and former Member Services Director Andrea Schrift. (John Jacob photo) Below, Teresa and Liz wave and ring bells as the parade passes. (GarlandBurks Marketing photo)
At 5 p.m. on June 30, 2020, a retiring Ted Hall left his office for the last time as president of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce and walked right into a surprise parade organized in his honor.
City of Belmont Police Department vehicles and a city fire truck escorted him through downtown, sirens screaming, with socially-distanced Chamber members and friends lining Main Street and waving signs and ringing bells in appreciation for his 15 years of service.
Chamber colleagues Teresa Rankin, who now is the interim president, Member Services Director Julie Bowen and Chief Volunteer Officer Elizabeth Atterberry pulled off the surprise parade as an alternative to a large indoor gathering because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Hall accepted the Chamber post on a part-time basis in 2005, planning also to continuing operating his management recruiting business. But the Chamber became his full-time passion and membership began to grow rapidly. Over the 15 years, MACC membership increased from 84 to 544 members, with members throughout Gaston County and western Mecklenburg County.
Of the parade, Hall said, “It was the honor of a lifetime to have so many Chamber friends stand on the street in the hot summer sun just to say thank you and wish me well in retirement. I will never forget that short ride, all of those masked faces with what I know were huge smiles underneath, and the waves and cheers and good wishes. An incredible end to what truly has been an incredible journey.”
Hall plans to continue helping out as a Chamber volunteer, especially during preparations for relocating Chamber office this month from the Stowe Building across Main Street to the Belmont City Hall building.
Leaving work at the Chamber on his last day as president, Hall responds to the crowd.
Hall family gathered in front of their business Belmont Realty. From left John Cottingham, Chase Chriscoe and Mollie Lund, Richard Atkinson, Allison Cottingham, Sybil Atkinson, Jeremy Hall and Eddie Serrano. (Wil Neumann photos)