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Four to Be Inducted in Second Annual Business Hall of Fame at Catawba College

October 6, 2008

Category: Business & Economics, Events

Second Annual Business Hall of FameFour outstanding business leaders will be inducted into the Catawba College Business Hall of Fame on Saturday, November 8 in the Peeler Crystal Lounge in the Robertson College-Community Center.
Claude S. Abernethy Jr. of Conover,  C. A. "Junie" Michael of Mooresville, the late Clifford A. Peeler of Salisbury, and Tom E. Smith, also of Salisbury, will comprise the second class of business leaders to be honored by the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business, which sponsors the event, along with the school's Business Advisory Board.
A reception, featuring the inductees will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Joey Popp, chair of the Business Advisory Board for the Ketner School of Business, will be the master of ceremonies for the event. Tickets are available online or by calling Cecilia Stach at (704) 637-4405.
Inducted at last year's inaugural event were Ralph W. Ketner, Lynne Scott Safrit, Claude  Hampton Jr., Thomas S. Carroll, the late Adrian L. Shuford Jr., the late J. W. Abernethy, Jr., and the late Millard Wilson.

2008 Inductees

Claude S. Abernethy, a native of Catawba County, is an honors graduate of Davidson College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration. A veteran of the U. S. Army, Abernethy is a retired Vice President of Interstate/Johnson Lane. He is an active member of Corinth United Church of Christ in Hickory. He has received numerous awards from Catawba, including an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree and the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. Award for Distinguished Service. Abernethy has served as a member of the college's Board of Trustees for 48 years.
MichaelC. A. "Junie" Michael, a native of Lexington, graduated from Catawba College in 1970. He is President/CEO of Parkway Ford and has received the TIME magazine Quality Dealer Award. He has been a trustee at Catawba since 1997 and previously served as a member of the Board of Visitors. Recently he chaired the successful $35 million endowment campaign. He has received the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Catawba and Catawba's Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The late Clifford A. Peeler served as a trustee and trustee emeritus at Catawba for 62 years. A native of Rowan County, Peeler was a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Columbia University. He served as President, Board Chairman, and Treasurer of Carolina Beverage Corp. (Cheerwine) for nearly 70 years. Among the honors he received from Catawba were an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, the Adrian L. Shuford Jr. Award for Distinguished Service, and a Life of Exemplary Service Award. Peeler was a member of the Salisbury Civitan Club for 75 years and also served as mayor of Salisbury.
SmithTom E. Smith, a native of China Grove, graduated from Catawba in 1964. He is the former President/CEO of Food Lion and has just completed 10 years as Chairman of the Catawba College Board of Trustees. He remains a member of the board. Among the awards Catawba has bestowed upon him are its Distinguished Alumnus Award, an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, the Adrian L. Shuford, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service, and a Life of Exemplary Service Award. Other awards he has received include the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, a Bronze and Silver CEO of the Year, the North Carolina Grocer of the Year, and a Civic Commitment Award from the National Council on Aging. He is a former member of the U. S. Army Reserve.

Ticket for the Business Hall of Fame are $45 per person or $80 per couple. For tickets or more details, contact Cecilia Stach in the Ketner School of Business at (704) 637-4405.


  • F&M Bank, Gold Sponsor ;
  • Duke Energy, Silver Sponsor ;
  • Susan and Larry Cloninger, Bronze Sponsors ;
  • Ralph W. Ketner, Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Phil and Margaret Kirk, Bronze Sponsors ;
  • JG Media, Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Mark Seifel - SquareD/Schneider-Electric, Bronze Sponsor ;
  • Robert and Tara Van Geons, Bronze Sponsors


PhotosPHOTOS: Second Annual Business Hall of Fame


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