Longtime civic booster to retire from Les Schwab in Sherwood
Cam Durrell's contributions to Sherwood extend well beyond selling tires and fixing broken-down brakes.
After serving his community in multiple ways over the years, including assisting with Cruisin' Sherwood, helping schools in the district and serving on an urban renewal committee, Durrell will be retiring from his position as general manager of Les Schwab Tires the end of next January.
Durrell spent four decades with Les Schwab, in multiple Pacific Northwest cities, before becoming general manager at the Sherwood location, which opened in August 2001.
Durrell recalled that while working at Les Schwab in McMinnville, he and his wife Lisa remembered Sherwood — which today has over 20,000 residents — as a much smaller community.
"We're watching Sherwood slowly becoming a neat little city," he said, noting his wife wondered if a Les Schwab would ever be located in Sherwood. "I said, 'Lisa, Sherwood is 2,500 people. They will never put a store in Sherwood.'"
They were proven wrong, and Durrell soon discovered that Sherwood was a great fit for his family.
"I wanted a community to market to," he said. "I wanted a community my boys could grow up in. We had the family meeting, and one of the questions they asked was, 'Is this a place we could ride our bikes to baseball practice?'"
It didn't take long before Durrell was helping out himself at schools in the Sherwood School District.
"I got really involved with the high school in terms of donations and in terms of just visibility," he said.
Durrell also became acquainted with Cruisin' Sherwood, a popular car show held each year in town.
From growing up in California, Durrell remembered, "My dad was a member of one of the most elite hot rod clubs down there. I grew up with a hot rod in the garage my whole life."
Durrell learned that Cruisin' Sherwood, even with 500 cars, was struggling and that city funding would soon run out. But then-organizer Holly Robinson was reluctant to accept new help.
"She really didn't want to open the door to letting me in to help with the show," he said. "The more that we got to know each other, she let me on the committee."
Durrell added, "We did find another car club that helped us. … The next year, we ran about a $40,000 profit."
The show started getting more sponsorships, according to Durrell.
"The show really grew," he said. "Each year, we kind of got better and better."
Durrell was also involved in starting a new car club, the Sherwood Cruisers, to support Cruisin' Sherwood.
"We started putting guidelines and models together," he said. "My son and myself went home one night and designed the logo for our club."
Durrell continued, "Our main focus for the club was putting the show on and helping the city. … The foundation was giving back to our community."
Durrell also served Sherwood by sitting on an urban renewal committee.
"We facilitated the Civic Building. We facilitated, basically, building the streets in Old Town," he recalled. "We facilitated building the library. All of those buildings we were allocating funds to."
Durrell said, "It was a challenging time, but it was one of those times where it was a very exciting time to be helping the community in that regard."
Renee Brouse, executive director and chief executive officer of the Sherwood Area Chamber of Commerce, praised Durrell's contributions to the community.
"Cam has been such a wonderful business leader," Brouse told the Gazette. "He has been involved in the chamber as long as I have known him. He has supported the Cruisin' Sherwood, the golf tournament, the Sherwood Police Foundation, and much more."
Brouse added, "I remember when I was the executive director at Good Neighbor Center, Cam reached out and made sure the kids and families in the shelter had gifts. He is such a generous guy, an amazing leader. He will be missed."
Looking back on his decision to work in Sherwood, Durrell noted, "It's not necessarily always about the dollar, but the quality of life that you have. I always knew that Sherwood would be an outstanding store."
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