Brad Rivers between Mona Fore and Shannon Thomas (right) just after receiving
a copy of the Chamber resolution. At left is Brad's wife Pat Rivers.
(Montcross Area Chamber photo by Jillian Chitwood.)
His work helped create and preserve thousands of local jobs
Long-time director of the Gaston College Small Business Center Brad Rivers, who retired in 2020, was honored recently by the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years of service to small businesses in Gaston and Lincoln counties.
A resolution of appreciation was presented on March 6, 2021, at the grand opening of a new and larger home for Mona's Boutique & Gifts in McAdenville, a business Rivers has counselled since before its founding more than three years ago. Owner Mona Fore thanked Rivers for contributing in a major way to the success of her business.
Presenting the resolution was former Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events, another business Rivers has advised and assisted for many years.
After receiving an undergraduate degree at N.C. State and an MBA at UNC-Greensboro, Rivers worked in, managed and owned businesses in manufacturing, retail and construction before becoming director of the Small business Center at Gaston College in 1999. In that position, he shared his knowledge and experience with hundreds of start-up and small business owners and managers throughout Gaston and Lincoln counties.
The resolution credits Rivers for helping to create and preserve thousands of local jobs and notes he has served the Chamber by counseling member businesses, leading workshops and seminars, serving on the board of directors, moderating candidate forums and advising on business and community issues. He received the Chamber's Harley B. Gaston, Jr. Public Service Award in 2013.
Rivers also was recognized for volunteering his service on many boards and committees, including years of work leading to the creation of the Gaston Innovation Group, of which he was a founding board member, and which was responsible for developing the technology innovation center known as TechWorks of Gaston County.
In conclusion, the resolution states: "The Board of Directors of the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce does hereby recognize and honor the contributions of Brad Rivers to the businesses of this area, to the Chamber and to the betterment of Gaston and Lincoln counties, and wish for him a long and rewarding retirement."