Michael D. Shmerling

Managing Partner
XMi High Growth Development Fund, LLC

Michael D. Shmerling is a veteran entrepreneur who has established and grown profitable companies in a wide spectrum of industries. Mr. Shmerling began his career in 1977 with the Nashville office of Ernst & Ernst CPAs (now Ernst & Young). During this time he served on the audit staff in a variety of industries.

In 1980, following three years in the “Big Eight” accounting world, he co-founded the CPA firm Goldstein & Shmerling, CPAs. In 1987, Mr. Shmerling welcomed two new partners to form Shmerling, Faulkner & Mackie, CPAs. He left the firm in 1992 to pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

Following 15 years in public accounting, Mr. Shmerling’s entrepreneurial interests inspired him and several other local Tennesseans to found Transcor America, Inc. In establishing this company, Mr. Shmerling fostered the creation of a new industry dedicated to privatization and thereby improving the operations and logistics of nationwide prisoner transportation. The business, which Mr. Shmerling later sold to a New York Stock Exchange Company, was founded on the idea that the criminal justice system could save significant dollars by contracting with Transcor for moving prisoners from one jurisdiction to another.

Shortly thereafter, and concurrent with the growth of Transcor, Mr. Shmerling co-founded Corrections Partners, Inc., a prison management company. This enterprise was established to accommodate Transcor's growing demand for secure, transient space for prisoners in-route. Additionally, its goal was to capitalize on the overcrowded bed space in publicly managed facilities and provide economies of scale for the new facilities. Under his leadership, this company grew to include 9 facilities managed, contracted or under construction at the time of its sale in 1995. Notably, both Corrections Partners and Transcor still exist today under the Tennessee-based aegis of Corrections Corporation of America, Inc., and employ nearly 4,000 employees.

During this period, Mr. Shmerling was a friend – and mentor to Joe Freedman, a young energetic lawyer who had his own entrepreneur ideas. Mr. Freedman wanted to create a new business that enabled law firms to be served by temporary and short-term contract professionals, a relatively new and innovative concept at the time. Together they started Amicus Legal Staffing and through the team’s efforts the company grew until its ultimate sale to New York Stock Exchange Company - Accustaff, Inc. producing a strong return on the original investment.

Simultaneously, Mr. Shmerling refined a new business model based on then recent advances in internet technology. This model ultimately became Background America, Inc., soon to become a leader in the then nascent industry of employer-based background checks. The company grew quickly and in less than four years was sold to the NASDAQ traded security firm Kroll, Inc., which was subsequently sold to New York Stock Exchange Fortune 100 - Marsh, Inc. Mr. Shmerling was promoted to Executive Vice President, Board Member of Kroll, Inc. in 2001 while remaining Chairman and President of the Background Screening Group until its purchase by Marsh in July 2004.

At present, Mr. Shmerling serves as Chairman of XMi Holdings, Inc., a management and investment holding company. It is comprised of eight business units and employs approximately 40 people. In addition, he serves as the co-founder and Chairman of Choice Food Group, Inc. a Tennessee-based food manufacturing, distribution and retail company.

Mr. Shmerling is also active in the community, volunteering his time on a number of boards including:

Current Board Service

  • Nashville Area Chamber Of Commerce
  • United Way of Metropolitan Nashville
  • The Hermitage
  • Abe’s Garden, Inc.
  • Community Foundation of Nashville

Past Board Service

  • Fisk University
  • Tennessee Performing Arts Center
  • Nashville Public Library Foundation
  • Tennessee Society of CPAs
  • Renewal House

Mr. Shmerling received a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1977 and has been a licensed CPA (now inactive) for 32 years.