As a lifelong resident of the Claremont area, Mayor Shawn R. Brown has said of his childhood, “everything we did was in Claremont as I grew up; church, work, eating, etc.” He was born in Catawba county on September 13, 1975 to Doug and Jill Brown, also of the Claremont area. His grandparents are Jack “Grandaddy” and Pearl (d.2014) Brown and Jack “Papaw” and Margie “Grandmother” Whitener. A few years later he would get a brother, Patrick Brown, who currently lives in Claremont with his wife and their four children. During his early childhood, the Brown family lived on Emmanuel Church road, still within the Claremont fire district, but outside of the city limits. In 1990 the family built a house on Cloninger Drive, within the city limits of Claremont, and they moved their family there. Mayor Brown lived there through his high school years, and some after graduation. His parents still live in this house to this day, happy with their Claremont residence. Shawn has also been a happy Claremont resident for his whole adult life. After moving out of his parents’ house he moved to the White Oak Manor Town Homes in Claremont. He then bought a home in Rachels Vineyard on Cardinal Lane which was a new construction home at the time, and 6 more homes would be built up in that neighborhood after his. In 2009 the Mayor bought land and built a home. He moved in to the new house in 2010 on the corner of East Calvin Street and School Street, and still resides there today.
Mayor Brown attended school through the whole Claremont feeder system, attending first Claremont Elementary School, then Catawba Middle School and Bunker Hill High School, where he graduated in 1993. One of his favorite memories from this time was riding his unicycle in the Claremont Christmas Parade as part of the Elementary School PE Club. His son, Jackson, has also gone through the same feeder system and currently attends River Bend Middle School where he is a great student and loves playing basketball.
Beyond school hours, his favorite memory of family time in Claremont was his childhood Sunday routine with his maternal grandparents, Jack and Margie Whitener, also Claremont residents. Each Sunday the young Shawn would attend St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he has been a life-long member, and take extra clothes with him. He would then leave church to go with his grandparents for the day, eating lunch, and often dinner with them. Shawn and his Papaw would often spend afternoons together, going to walk along the train tracks picking up railroad spikes and the like, with which they would make things later. They would go to hobby shops together and look at model trains and railroads, which they also constructed in their spare time. This hobby has followed Mayor Brown into adulthood, and he still enjoys constructing model railroads and collecting railroad memorabilia in his spare time.
Professionally, Mayor Brown is the Vice President of Safety at Cargo Transporters, which is an asset-based, transportation operation with intrastate and interstate common and contract authority that delivers truckload and dry van service. His main responsibility is the oversight of operating the commercial vehicle fleet in a safe manner, as well as ongoing safety education for drivers and the handling of incidents and accidents. He is also a member of one of the ownership families of the company and has worked in the business since part-time childhood jobs. Mayor Brown is also active in many different organizations: NC League of Municipalities, National League of Cities, Governor Appointed Member of NC Works Commission, NC Mayors Association, NC Trucking Association, American Trucking Association, Truckload Carriers Association, Research Advisory Committee Member of American Transportation Research Institute, and an active member of Claremont Firefighters Benevolence Fund Committee.
Mayor Brown’s long public service career began in the late 90s when Henry Helton got him involved in the Parks and Recreation Committee for the City of Claremont. He thoroughly enjoyed his time working on this committee and stayed involved until 2013. In 2007 he ran for a City Council seat, but unfortunately lost by only 8 votes. However, this loss did not discourage him, and he continued serving on the committee, waiting for another seat to open. After running again in 2009, Mr. Brown won the open City Council seat, and served in that capacity until 2013, when he decided to run for the Mayoral position. He won his first election, and has served as Mayor ever since, after being reelected in 2017. Of his time serving as Mayor, he has said that he loves service to Claremont, and thinks of his years as Mayor as some of the best years of his life.