News and Updates

Gaston Arts Council hosts Network After Work

Thursday, April 11, 2019

 

At Network After Work, from left, are Gaston Arts Council Executive Director Kim George, "Loss World" author Mary London Szpara, singer/songwriter Kelly Z, Park Street United Methodist Church Pastor David Hiatt and Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall.    

Business, art, church communities come together

Gaston Arts Council Executive Director Kim George succeeded in bringing together the business community, arts community and church community in a single Chamber Network After Work event on April 11, 2019.

She arranged for the Arts Council to host the monthly Chamber networking reception in the Family Life Center at Park Street United Methodist Church in Belmont, where she also scheduled several artists to exhibit their work, and booked a theatrical performance of "The Loss World Monologues 2.0" immediately following the reception. 

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Kelly Z performed the one-woman play, adapted from a book by Mary London Szpara, who also attended and led a discussion after the performance. The book and play are based on her writings about the grief she experienced, and still experiences, after the death of her husband. More information available here: www.lossworld.com

For more on the Gaston Arts Council, call 704.853.2787, or visit www.gastonarts.org.

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Kelly Z performing following Chamber Network After Work reception.


Wilcox Realty Group & Wilcox Homes

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Owners Jeremy and Kerianne Wilcox are cutting the ribbon, with (from left) Cramerton Town Manager David Pugh, Cramerton Commissioner Susan Neeley, Kim Baker, Amy Maier and Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events.

Realty firm has grown to 19 agents in first year at new location

Just a year after opening its new offices, Wilcox Real Estate Group has grown to 19 agents. With its partner business Wilcox Homes, owners Kerianne and Jeremy Wilcox celebrated  the anniversary with an open house and  Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony on April 10, 2019, from noon until 1 p.m. A large crowd of Chamber members, clients, friends and guests turned out to celebrate the occasion and enjoy refreshments. The offices are at 4109 South New Hope Rd., Gastonia, NC 28056. For more on Wilcox Realty Group, call 704.909.8600, or visit www.wilcoxre.com; and for more on Wilcox Homes, call 704.771.1113, or visit www.wilcoxhomesllc.com.

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TechWorks of Gaston County opens in Belmont

Friday, April 5, 2019

 

Cutting the ribbon at the TechWorks of Gaston grand opening today were (from left) Liz Crabill, deputy assistant secretary of commerce, for the state of North Carolina, TechWorks Executive Director Terry Cox, Gaston Innovation Group Board Chair Dr. Stephen Hannon, Gaston County Commission Chairman Tracy Philbeck, and N.C. Sen. Kathy Harrington. Beside them (at left) are Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall. At right, are Belmont City Manager Adrian Miller and Gaston Regional Chamber CEO Steve D'Avria. 

Four years of work took TechWorks from a vision to reality 

More than four years of hard work, long meetings and fundraising paid off in a big way for Gaston County today when the TechWorks innovation and technology center opened in downtown Belmont.

he center is furnished and ready to provide work space to attract and support present and future technology entrepreneurs and provide technical training to boost the job skills of people of all ages. 

More than 200 were on hand for a ribbon cutting and program and to see the beautifully renovated 14,000-square-foot space in a former textile building at 52A Ervin Street. Congressman Patrick McHenry spoke as did Liz Crabill of the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Sen. Kathy Harrington, County Commission Chairman Tracy Philbeck and Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. N.C. Rep. John Torbett also attended.  TechWorks Board Chairman Dr. Stephen Hannon and Executive Director Terry Cox cut the ribbon assisted by a robot built by local high school students, which delivered the scissors.

More than $2 million from the state, Gaston County, Belmont and corporate and foundation grants have brought TechWorks from a concept to reality. TechWorks already has made it possible for gigabit speed internet service in Belmont provided by Open Broadband, and for free public Wi-Fi downtown. Plans are being developed to spread the service to other cities and towns across the county.

This is the Iced Java robotics team from Mountain Island Charter, which built the robot that delivered a pair of 18-inch scissors for the ribbon cutting photo today. In the small photo above, Terry Cox and others react as the robot goes into spin cycle mode in celebration of the successful ribbon cutting.


Hanks Realty Group celebrates 1st anniversary,

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Matthew Hanks is cutting the ribbon with his wife Susan, children Gabe, Anna and Jonah and Mo Sallah. Beside Susan are her parents Ray and Becky Cline, and on Matthew's left his parents Myra and Greg Hanks. Holding the ribbon are Montcross Area Chamber Board members Wil Neumann, left, of Gaston Capital Partners and Dr. Brad Wruble of Belmont Eye. 

Mo Sallah to lead new commercial division at Hanks Realty Group

Matthew Hanks, with his family and team of 18 agents, celebrated the first anniversary of Hanks Realty Group in a big way and also introduced a new HRG Commercial division of the business on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The firm’s offices are in the New Hope Business Center at 3826 S. New Hope Road in Gastonia.  A large crowd attended to offer congratulations, enjoy refreshments and witness the ribbon cutting.

Mo Sallah has joined the team to lead the new HRG Commercial division. For more information on Hanks Realty Group, call 704.931.8480,or visit www.hanksrealtygroup.com.

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Gaston County commissioners discuss issues

Friday, March 22, 2019

 Commissioners participating were (from left) Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck representing Dallas Township, Jack Brown of Gastonia Township, Ronnie Worley of South Fork Township, and Bob Hovis of Crowders Mountain Township. Unable to attend were Vice Chairman Chad Brown of Riverbend Township, Tom Keigher of Gastonia Township and Allen Fraley of Cherryville Township. Lisa Clement-Bryant (second from right), director of employer clinical services at CaroMont Health, presented the sponsor welcome, and Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events presided.

Impact of growth major topic at Business Buzz breakfast

Growth and its impact on transportation and schools occupied much of the discussion as four members of the Gaston County Board of Commissioners met with about 50 members and friends of the Chamber at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont on Friday morning, March 22, 2019. CaroMont Health sponsored the program, which was the Chamber’s first Business Buzz breakfast  of the year. 

Commissioners participating were Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck representing the Dallas Township, Ronnie Worley of South Fork Township, Jack Brown of the Gastonia Township and Bob Hovis of the Crowders  Mountain Township.  Unable to attend were Vice Chairman Chad Brown of the Riverbend Township, Tom Keigher of Gastonia Township and Allen Fraley of Cherryville Township. 

The need for the Catawba Crossings bridges connecting southern Gaston County to the airport area of Mecklenburg County was mentioned by all of the commissioners and by member of the audience.  Concerns were aired about the potential for gridlock stemming from the planned widening of Interstate 85 and replacement of the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge crossing the Catawba River. 

There was discussion about the need for a program here like Pennies for Progress, a sales tax that is helping fund local highway projects in York County. 

The need to find more dollars and better strategies to efficiently build new schools and repair and improve existing school buildings also was discussed. 

A high degree of enthusiasm was expressed for light rail being extended from Charlotte into Gaston County, along with recognition that the service would come at a considerable cost. 

Commissioners were surprised more questions weren’t raised about the recent property re-evaluation, which saw values increase countywide by an average of more than 20 percent. 

Chamber Business Buzz breakfasts are planned several times each year on issues of local interest. 


Belmont Historical Society hosts Network After work

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Belmont Historical Society President Stan Cromlish (center, back) with BHS Board members and members of the Artifacts & Collections Committee, who greeted guests and responded to questions at the Chamber event.  From left, are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events, Ginger Feimster, Carol Tomlinson, Leigh Ford, Eva Ann Via, Laura Egeln, Stan Cromlish, Gearl Dean Page, Debi Goldsmith, Edna Walker, Martha Page, Claudina Ghianni Toole, Kathy Johnson and Elizabeth Atterberry. 

120-year-old Stowe family homeplace houses Belmont's history

Chamber members and friends of all ages came out Thursday when Belmont Historical Society hosted a Network After Work reception at the Cultural and Heritage Learning Center at 40 Catawba Street in Belmont.

BHS President Stan Cromlish welcomed the visitors to a 120-year-old house filled with thousands of historic treasures. Some of those featured were vintage garments, hats and jewelry from the 1920s made by Melva Gullick Neal, who later was principal at Belmont Central Elementary.

Tours were conducted of the restored and furnished 1920s mill village house. Historical Society volunteers were stationed in each room to answer questions. The arrowhead and artifacts collection donated by local historian Jack Page, who was on hand to talk about his finds, was popular with young and old alike.

Belmont Historical Society's motto is: "Preserving the past for the sake of the future."

The Learning Center is maintained and staffed a few hours each week entirely by volunteers, and the Historical Society always is eager to hear from anyone who loves local history and has some time to give. Call 704.825.4848.

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Lyerly Agency shares tips on getting customers

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Eager to learn new ways to find customers, more than 50 attended the Chamber Lunch & Learn presented by Elaine and Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency at Estia's Kouzina in Belmont.

Lyerly Agency, now headquartered in Belmont, has has been in business in the Charlotte region more than 40 years, providing public relations, advertising, marketing and branding services to small local businesses, major corporations, national organizations and government. Melia Lyerly is COO of the business and her sister Elaine Lyerly is CEO.

Thank you to Elias Rauch Media for contributing photos to this album.

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