News and Updates

Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sue Looysen has just cut the ribbon, with Susan Maddie to her right and Jim Looysen (second from right). Other members of the Maddie Looysen team include Scott Looysen, Brandy Chandler, Amy Holsclaw, Bill Kincaid and Lisa Wilson. Holding the ribbon, are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and former Board Chair Bryan Dalton of 321 Equipment Company.


Jim Looysen and Susan Maddie have formed Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance and opened an office at 2519 E. Ozark Ave., Suite 2, in Gastonia.

They hosted an open house and Montcross Area Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 18, 2019. Clients, friends, family and Chamber members filled the offices and enjoyed refreshments and fellowship, while learning about the new agency.

"Our goal as an agency is to build long-lasting relationships with those in our community,"Jim Looysen said, "but also to anyone in North Carolina and South Carolina. We are excited for the opportunity to help with insurance questions and concerns that customers might have." 

For more on Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance, call 704.864.0270.

Watch the ribbon cutting video.

See more photos on Facebook.

Jim Looysen speaking about Maddie Looysen Allstate at the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony.



The Teacher Box celebrates 10th anniversary

Friday, June 14, 2019

Owners Libby Stines (left) and Lou Ann Gibson cut the ribbon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Teacher Box and the relocation of the business to Cramerton.  


The Teacher Box celebrated on June 14 and 15, 2019, its 10th anniversary and its new location in Cramerton at 225-B Market Street.

Festivities included a 15% discount, gifts for the first 25 customers on Saturday, and lots of other specials and activities from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Chamber coordinated a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon, and Light FM 106.9 broadcast live from the parking lot earlier in the day.

A big hit at the celebration was Mrs. Fakely's amazingly life-like "food" made from felt. Visitors also brought summer pajamas (all sizes infant to adult) to donate for children in foster care in Gaston County through The Least of These Carolinas.

For more on The Teacher Box, call 704.868.8269, or visit 

Watch the ribbon-cutting video

See more photos on Facebook.



The Lodge Tavern & Tap ribbon cutting

Friday, June 14, 2019

General Manager Allison Jennings leads the cheer after cutting the ribbon at The Lodge Tavern & Tap. With her are owners Chuck Craig, Chad Shumate and Jeff Pfaff along with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services and Brad Frazier of Belmont Abbey College.


A big crowd of Chamber members and friends came out on Friday, June 14, 2019, to welcome The Lodge Tavern & Tap to downtown Belmont and to try some great samples from the menu.

Mayor Charlie Martin welcomed the new business to Belmont, and General Manager Allison Jennings spoke for The Lodge, which is at 101 Kenwood St., Belmont, NC 28012.

For more information, call 704.461.8044, or visit

Watch the ribbon-cutting video.

See more photos on Facebook.



Chamber golf tournament coolest ever

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks team won first place. Accepting were Tommy Padgett (left) and Gerald Duncan. Also on the team were Chad Carpenter and Tony Beaver. Cramer Mountain Club General Manager Jon Meyers is at left and CaroMont Health Board Chair Donnie Loftis is at right.

Perfect weather led to low scores in 14th annual tournament 

The 14th Annual Montcross Area Chamber Golf Tournament on June 13, 2019, was the coolest ever, with a tee-time temperature in the 60s and the awards lunch ending before the thermometer hit 80. After 13 years of tournaments in the 90s to 100 range, it was a welcome change. The tournament was played at Cramer Mountain Club. 

The foursome from Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks took full advantage of the favorable conditions, posting the lowest score in the captain's choice tournament and taking home first-place trophies and prizes.Playing on the team were Gerald Duncan, Tommy Padgett, Chad Carpenter and Tony Beaver.

Two-time past winning team Chick-fil-A of Belmont won a coin toss for second-place honors after finishing in a tie with the Gaston Christian School team, which got the third-place prizes. Playing for Chick-fil-A were Tony Gilbert, Benny Bowles, Lee Dorn and Chris Carver. On the Gaston Christian School team were Thomas Griffin, Levi Kettelhutt, Eric Clay and Cassidy Brauns.

Caromont Health was the presenting sponsor, with support from additional major sponsors McKenney Chevrolet, Sheriff Alan G. Cloninger, Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks, Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds and Chick-fil-A of Belmont. 

Trophies also went to: Chris Carver for men's longest drive, Rosalind Arbuckle for women's longest drive and Chuck Newman for senior longest drive. On two closest to the pin holes, the winners were Randall Newton and Chuck Newman.


CLICK HERE for the tournament program listing sponsors and teams.

See more tournament photos on Facebook. 

See (and download) team photos



Chick-fil-A of Belmont team won second place.

Gaston Christian School took third-place team honors.






Summer Concerts 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019


Northstar Real Estate opens in Belmont

Friday, May 31, 2019

Rick Gooding is cutting the ribbon to celebrate the opening of Northstar Real Estate in downtown Belmont. Just behind Rick is the owner Dan Peck. More Northstar team members are, from left, Hunter Wilson, Brett Carraway, Amanda Garverick, Ali Fournier and Erika Mendoza. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and Belmont Downtown Director Phil Boggan. 

Covering the entire Charlotte area and upstate South Carolina 

Northstar Real Estate opened its first Gaston County office in downtown Belmont on Saturday, June 1, following a Chamber preview and ribbon cutting ceremony the afternoon before. The address is 26 North Main Street. Rick Gooding is broker-in-charge of the Belmont office, and Dan Peck is the owner. 

A complete interior renovation was completed just in time for the grand opening, which attracted between 100 and 150 visitors for tours, refreshments and prizes. Additions include a reception area, conference room, several offices and individual work stations.

Welcoming the new Chamber member and Belmont business at the ribbon cutting were Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and Downtown Director Phil Boggan.

Agents already working from the new office are Brett Carraway, Erika Mendoza, Ali Fournier, Amanda Garverick and Hunter Wilson. 

More information available at 704.817.2080, or

See more photos on Facebook.










McKenney Chevrolet hosts Chamber for Network After Work

Thursday, May 30, 2019

McKenney General Manager Clif Calvert  (center) with MACC Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and some of those attending the networking event pose with the star of the evening -- the new and improved Chevy Blazer, which is back in showrooms and selling fast after a 14-year absence. 

McKenney GM Clif Calvert reports sales are strong

The new Chevy Blazer was the focus of Network After Work Thursday afternoon at McKenney Chevrolet in Lowell. The Blazer was last available in 2005, and a completely updated version is back on the market now. McKenney General Manager Clif Calvert told Chamber members and friends about the features of the new Blazer and invited them to check out several models on display in the showroom. 

Network After Work is presented at least once each month and is sponsored and hosted by a Chamber member. The purpose is to make business connections, learn about a fellow Chamber member business and to enjoy some good refreshments. 

More photos on Facebook.

 McKenney GM Clif Calvert showing the new look of the 2019 Chevy Blazer.

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