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Gaston Gazette

Gaston business groups merge into one
Bill Poteat
The Gaston Gazette
The merger of the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Gaston Development Corp. is now official.
The name of the new entity? The Gaston Business Association.
Details of the merger and the new brand for the Gaston Business Association were revealed to members Thursday at a "Good Morning Gaston" Zoom meeting.
Patrick Mumford, formerly chief of the Greater Gaston Development Corp., will serve as president and CEO of the Gaston Business Association.
Steve D'Avria, former CEO of the Gaston Regional Chamber, will be the new organization's chief operating officer.
"This merger was not a financial decision," Mumford told the group. "And, it is not a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This merger is designed to reach more businesses and to do it in a better way."
The merger, Mumford noted, resulted in the loss of no positions from either of the previous agencies.
In addition to Mumford and D'Avria, the staff for the GBA includes Membership Services Director Angie Saunders, Public Relations Director Jamie Banks, Events Director Andrea Grenier, Strategic Initiatives Director Vincent Ginski, Business Manager Jenni Rhodes, and Office Manager Freida Pollock.
The executive board for the new organization will include co-chairmen Chris Peek of CaroMont Health and Greg Botner of Wilbert Plastics. Other officers include vice chairman Dan Boyd of Alliance Bank, treasurer John Forgan of Pinnacle Financial Services, and secretary Lucy Talley of The Gaston Gazette.
Other board members include Dara Hartman of Sharp Business Systems, Kerri Massey of Holy Angels, Eric Clay of Coldwell Banker Commercial MECA, Moses Nueman of NB Tech, Joel Long of GSM Services, John Hauser of Gaston College, Terry Cox of TechWorks Gaston, Brian Gwyn of Atrium Health, Janet Sytz of Beverly Knits, and Jim Morasso of Webb Custom Kitchen.
The priorities of the new organization, which were determined by a survey of its membership, Mumford said, will be to drive economic diversification, promote business success, influence the business environment through advocacy in Raleigh, Washington D.C. and in the Charlotte metro area, and enhance the county's workforce.
"We will not meet all these goals in the next year," Mumford said, "but what we will do this first year is what is most important for our long-term success."
Mumford explained that funding for the Gaston Business Association will come primarily from membership dues. "That is our core, long-term sustainable revenue stream."
Thursday morning's meeting also saw the first public display of the Gaston Business Association’s logo
"We wanted a brand that is bold, modern, and differentiated," Mumford said, "and we worked with the Lyerly Agency in Belmont and with a group of our stakeholders to bring it about."
The new brand features the interlocking letters G, B, and A, with the blue G representing the chamber's past, the green B representing the Greater Gaston Development Corp.'s past, and the orange A representing the future.
Beneath the letters, in purple, are the words, "Connect. Commit. Collaborate."
The Gaston Business Association also has a new website, www.gastonbusiness.com.
"Check out the website," Mumford urged. "We welcome your feedback and your suggestions as to how to make it better."
Bill Poteat may be reached at 704-869-1855 or bpoteat@gastongazette.com.
 

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