Current Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman Michael “Dale” Sherrill began his service to the city of Claremont, in some capacity or another, for these past 29 years. He was born in Mooresville North Carolina, and grew up in the Sherrill’s Ford area, where he attended Sherrill’s Ford Elementary and Brandy’s High School. After his initial education he went on to attend Appalachian State University and double majored in both Finance & Banking, as well as Marketing, after which he went on to complete a Master’s degree in Economics.
Mr. Sherrill started working in the Claremont area in a part time position during the summer for CommScope, a company that’s goal is to make communication faster, easier and more efficient for today’s world. He has now been with the company for 45 years! He has never worked for another company and has no desire to ever change that. After starting as help in the manufacturing facility, he has proceeded to work his way up to Director of Marketing before being stepping out to become President of a separate company within CommScope called Vextra Technologies. Naming the company himself, Mr. Sherrill got the name “Vextra” by taking the “v” from the word “value” and adding it to the word “extra” to create the term Vextra.
Mr. Sherrill started his service to the City of Claremont working on the Planning and Zoning Board in 1990, where he served for 18 years. When PJ Stanley sadly passed away in 2009, Mr. Sherrill was asked to finish out the remaining term of two years on the city council, and he accepted. After finishing out that term Mr. Sherrill ran for election and has served two more terms since then. In this last term he was elected as Mayor Pro Tem in addition to his seat on the council. He has also served as the Claremont delegate for the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG). Mr. Sherrill’s goal is to keep a good mix of residential areas and businesses in the city limits, while also keeping taxes low and growing the area’s industrial park. He enjoys hearing what others think in order to make the best decisions possible for the city and would love to see more people get involved to help make things even better and work toward a common goal.
Additionally, Mr. Sherrill was charged with, and now helps run, the PJ Stanley Committee, which sponsors the PJ Stanley Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship provides tuition assistance to graduating High School students and Community College students who are perusing careers in the police, EMS, rescue, and fire fields. PJ Stanley was a leader in the Claremont community and worked throughout his life to make a positive difference in these fields.
In his personal life away from work and service to the city, Mr. Sherrill has been with his amazing wife Sandy for 43 years. He met her on the dance floor in the Viking Lounge in Hickory, NC, and they haven’t looked back. Together they have 3 sons, two of whom live here in North Carolina while the third lives in Virginia, and all three are pursuing careers of their own. In his spare time, Mr. Sherrill enjoys reading suspense novels, playing golf, spending as much time as possible with his family, and traveling with his wife Sandy. He has a very unique bucket list, including a desire to finish hiking the Appalachian Trail, which he has already hiked about 400 miles of the southern portion. One day soon he hopes to finish hiking the remaining 1,800 or so miles.
After living here for so many years and traveling the world, Mr. Sherrill still believes the City of Claremont is the best place to live and raise a family, with the uniqueness of being a small city with big time goals. He is a man who loves serving and loves his city.
Claremont Councilman Lee Miller was born on January 1st in 1972, as the first baby to be born in the new year at Catawba Memorial Hospital. He grew up in Claremont and attended Claremont Elementary School, then Catawba Middle School during a time when about two thirds of students were sent to Bunker Hill High School and the other third went to Bandy’s High School. Now, there is a middle school for each high school, but Mr. Miller was one of the two thirds of students who went on to attend Bunker Hill High School. After high school he attended Catawba College and earned a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Education. From there Mr. Miller went on to get a master’s degree in Administration from Appalachian State University.
Mr. Miller is a Claremont native, born and raised in the city limits, as was his father Gary. His mother Sheila Miller still resides in the city, because both she and Councilman Miller’s father, who passed away in 2007, both said they could never imagine living anywhere but Claremont. One special memory Mr. Miller has of his childhood in Claremont is riding his bike to town to meet with his friends and family. Together they would play basketball, buy candy from local stores like Wayne’s Superette, and play football games in the St. Mark’s Church yard. While at Catawba college Lee met Amy, and they married in 1996. They have 2 children together, who were also raised in Claremont. His son, Seth, is a sophomore at Western Carolina University and his daughter, Marlee, is a sophomore at Bunker Hill. In his spare time, Mr. Miller enjoys fly fishing and reading.
Professionally, Lee is the Principal at Bunker Hill High School. His first work experience came working for his dad, then at a summer camp at Oxford Elementary as a camp counselor. This early working experience probably contributed to his desire to get into education later in life. During college Mr. Miller worked as a student teacher at East Rowan High School. He got his first teaching job at St. Stephens High School, then in 1998 he moved to teaching at Bunker Hill. After a few years he became the Assistant Principal at Bunker Hill and stayed there for a few years before taking a Principal job at Arndt Middle School in 2014. In 2018 he returned to Bunker Hill High School as the new, current Principal.
Mr. Miller has always been interested in how best to serve his community and help the local people. In 2015 he found out that DB Setzer was not going to run for a council seat again, and no one else was going to file for it. He was encouraged to run for the newly vacated seat, which he won, and he will have served his full term at the end of this year. To him, being a councilman means always being informed on the needs of the citizens, and how to relate to them. He strives to understand what is needed in order to improve how people live in the city and keep everything running in good order. It is a constant progression, and he is continually learning new ways that things can be done. Looking at the future of the Claremont community, Mr. Miller is excited to focus on more of the “fun stuff” such as updating the parks and activities, reaching out to the youth and making Claremont an exciting place to be. Overall, he has thoroughly enjoyed living and serving the community, and his love of Claremont runs generations deep.
Claremont Councilman David Morrow was born in Newton on April 27 in 1953. He grew up in Catawba County, and attended Claremont Elementary until 8th grade, before moving to Bunker Hill High School. Some of his fondest memories of growing up in the Claremont area is going rabbit hunting as well as fishing. He remembers walking down the train tracks with his best friend and a shotgun in hand and a time when gas was 28 cents a gallon. Mr. Morrow also has warm memories of hanging out at the “pool room” that is now known as the Claremont Cafe.
Mr. Morrow has always had careers within Catawba County. His first job was at the Hickory Printing Company as a commercial artist, alongside his father Norman. Over the years Mr. Morrow has worked at many local companies, including Hickory Chair, Henredon Furniture, Carolina Colorgraphics, Commscope, RockTenn and finally at WestRock. Most of his positions have involved some sort of art or advertising work. During his time at Carolina Colorgraphics, he was provided with a company car that had a car phone in it, which was a very special feature for the time! After working as an Account Coordinator and Estimator at WestRock, Mr. Morrow retired in 2016.
Councilman Morrow came to start serving the city when he moved to Lawrence Drive and realized he wanted to see future development and further progress in what he considered “The Little City That Could.” In 2003 he ran as a write-in candidate for a council seat and won against long serving community member Bud Watts. After two years of his second term on the council, the mayor at the time, Glenn Morrison, retired. In 2009, Mr. Morrow ran for the position unopposed. He served as Mayor until 2013, and afterward was presented with a key to the city by current Claremont Mayor Shawn R. Brown, as well as being given a flag and certificate from Representative Mitchell Setzer as he left his position. He is now back to continuing to serve as a Councilmember.
During his tenure as Mayor, Mr. Morrow’s leadership accomplished many feats throughout the city, including major investments in the business park, building strong relationships with local businesses, both small and large, spearheading a social media presence for the city, continued commitment with the local Economic Development Corporation, information technology upgrades, improvement to the city sewer system, recycling and sidewalk expansion, and the purchase of important equipment for the city, including a ladder truck for the fire department. His commitment to businesses helped encourage the establishment of new businesses in the city, including Williams-Sonoma, Edward Jones, Hannah’s Handbags, Subway, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Marley’s Pizza. In addition, he helped expand the city’s historical documents, as well as encouraging the creation of a History Hall within the City Hall building.
Mr. Morrow’s family includes his dad Norman, who is a Navy and Air Force veteran, his mother Lorene (d.2011), his younger brother Danny, his wife of 23 years Jan, his son Jason and step daughter Ashley, as well as two grandchildren and one on the way. He also had an older brother Nathan, known affectionately as Nat, who passed in the same year as his mother. In his free time, Mr. Morrow enjoys fishing, mostly focusing on coastal and salt water, as well as general travel, especially to the beach. With wife, Jan, they think of the beach as their second home, and they keep his mother’s traveling advice always in mind: “Always go when you can!” Mr. Morrow still works part time at Drum and Willis-Reynolds Funeral Services and has served the citizens of Catawba Valley by working for the Sheriff’s Department since 2018. Currently he serves as Courthouse Security. A servant at heart, Councilman David Morrow says his heart is always with his city and community, and he can’t wait to continue serving them in every way he can.
Councilman Dayne Miller was born on April 17, 1965, at the Catawba Hospital. His parents were Terry and Sandra Miller, and he lived his whole life in the Claremont area. During his school years, Dayne attended Claremont Elementary, Catawba Middle School, and then Bunker Hill High School, where he played on the football and baseball teams. Of growing up in Claremont, Mr. Miller fondly remembers walking to school during his elementary years. The walk wasn’t long from his house, and he recalls Chief Grant helping the kids through the crosswalk, always slipping them a quarter as he did. He also remembers riding bikes around town and staying outside until supper time with friends, such as Eric Sigmon, Jerry Huffman, Jerry Eckard and many others. It was during a time when the worst crime in town was going the wrong way on Anderson Street, and everyone knew everyone else.
After high school, Mr. Miller attended Western Carolina University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting, since it was a field he highly enjoyed. His first work experience came at Western Steer as well as Mom and Pops in the accounting department. He did this for about ten years before progressing to accounting manager, and then branching out to running his own business since the 90s. His accounting business has been highly successful, and bought franchises such as Moe’s, Bojangles, Subway, Dairy Queen and Western Steer. Mr. Miller is currently in the ATM business and working for himself.
Dayne Miller was always interested in being a part of the city’s Council team, but he waited until a seat was open in 2013 to run and is now serving his second term. To him, being a councilman gave him the chance to have a voice in what is being done in the city and being able to help with the growth of the city while maintaining Claremont’s small-town values. He truly enjoys being a leader in the Claremont community, and loves seeing the numbers side of things, plus helping the city stay on top of the budget, especially with his accounting background. Overall, he has had fun with his time on the council and wants future councilmembers to know the job can be fun and rewarding.
Beyond his business, and his duties as a City Councilman, Mr. Miller is also President of the Board for ECCCM – Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries, and the organization is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. In his personal life, Dayne is married to Teri, whom he met while attending Bunker Hill High School. She also grew up here in Catawba County, and they started dating right before he graduated high school. They stuck it out together through college, and when he would come home every weekend it was to work at a local fish camp and see Teri. He ended up getting her a job at the fish camp with him, so they could still have “date nights” but be able to make money at the same time. Together they have a son, Joshua, who is also married and gave them their first grandson Greyson, as well as a daughter named Abby, who is a rising senior at UNC Charlotte. In his spare time, Councilman Miller enjoys playing golf, especially at the beach, NASCAR, going to the beach, and traveling. Dayne Miller is a community and family man through and through!
Born on June 23, 1954 in Hickory, North Carolina, Les Morrow arrived in this world just one minute ahead of his twin brother Lynn. The boys were born to Hugh and Mary Ellen Morrow, who also had a third son, Donnie. Hugh (DoDoll) Morrow was the first constable in the city of Claremont, and went on to serve as Police Chief and then on the City Council, as well as driving fire trucks and picking up garbage. The Morrow boys grew up in Claremont, in a house on Main Street until 1962, after which the family built a brick house on School Street. Mr. Les Morrow has attended Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church his entire life, and during his school years, he attended Claremont Elementary, moving on to Bunker Hill High School once he was out of 8th grade. While in high school, he played basketball, baseball and football. He fondly remembers his childhood growing up in Claremont, living within such a tight-knit community of friends, including families like the Popes, Millers, and Browns. Mr. Morrow recalls walking down the streets to visit one another, chasing the bug truck on their bikes, as well as playing baseball and flag football outside on the church grounds. Activities even involved sledding down “Goshen Hill” which is now known as South Depot Street. They became so close during childhood that these friends continue to be close and hang out together even as adults.
Mr. Morrow has had a long and distinguished career, with many of his jobs being in the field of public service and safety. He served as a criminal justice instructor at Western Piedmont Community College, became a Deputy Sheriff at the Catawba County Sheriff Department, then moved on to be the Lieutenant of Patrol and Investigations at the Claremont Police Department. From there he achieved the rank of Catawba Police Chief, where he also instructed police courses. After his time as police chief, Mr. Morrow took a job as an enforcement officer and instructor for the North Carolina DMV Enforcement Section. He then went on to join the North Carolina State Patrol as a Master State Trooper and instructor. Retiring from this position after four years, he took a short job as a safety supervisor for Cargo Transporters Inc before he fully retired. Mr. Morrow has been sworn in as a Catawba County Sheriff Deputy, Court Security and Instructor, has Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) certification from Hickory NC in 1975, has instructed BLET at Catawba Valley Community College since 1988, and has also taught BLET at Mitchell College. Additionally he taught firearms and defensive driving for the Justice Academy, instructed courses in firearms, high speed driving, and physical fitness to both troopers and cadets at the North Carolina Highway Patrol Training Academy, and has been a safety supervisor and instructor for driving simulator training, as well as overseeing 500 drivers for accidents and safety classes for Cargo Transporters Inc.
Les Morrow came to serve the city of Claremont on the Planning Board in 2015. In 2017 he ran for the city council, and he won a seat. He decided he wanted to run when he found out that Tim Lowrance was retiring, and he wanted to give back to the city in a new way. Mr. Morrow was excited to come to the council and get the water/sewer deal done, as well as helping hire a new city manager. In 2019 he was even honored with being given the NC Long Leaf Pine Award for his lifetime of service to the citizens of North Carolina, the community of Catawba County, and of course, the City of Claremont. Mr. Morrow loves Claremont and truly enjoys working with and for the city. He hopes to see Claremont keep growing, and that more people come to live and love to live here.
Outside of his service to the city, Mr. Morrow has been married to his wife Beverly for 46 years. They have one son, Israel, who was born in 1980. He used to love watching his son play ball, but now Israel has grown up and is married to Karen. From his son, Mr. Morrow has 2 granddaughters aged 16 and 6. When he is not serving the city, he enjoys going to the beach, playing golf, baseball games, and especially going fishing. He even has a plotter to help him remember his secret spots, but don’t ask him where because he won’t give up his secrets.