LEADERSHIP

MIKE SHMERLING

CHAIRMAN

A native of Nashville, he began his career 42 years ago as a Certified Public Accountant (now “Inactive”) with the Nashville office of Ernst & Young, formerly Ernst & Ernst CPAs. Following 17 years in Public Accounting, Mr. Shmerling founded or co-founded eleven businesses, four (4) of which were ultimately sold to publicly traded (NYSE or NASD) companies. Following the sale of Background America, Inc. to Kroll Inc, in 1998, he joined Kroll – eventually serving as a member of the Board, EVP, Chief Operating Officer of Kroll Inc.; and subsequently a Senior Advisor to Marsh Inc., following the sale of Kroll to Marsh. He currently serves as Chairman of private equity firm Clearbrook Holdings Corp, formerly known as XMi Holdings.

In 2007, he was awarded both the Tennessee Society of CPA’s; and the American Institute of CPA’s Public Service Award. In 2009, he received Community Nashville’s Human Relations Award. He has received numerous Nashville Business Journal Future 50 – as well as INC. 500 Awards for companies in which he was involved. In addition to this recognition, he received the Tennessee Society of CPAs – Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award in 1999.

Mr. Shmerling currently serves as Founder and Board Chair of not for profit, Abe’s Garden. In addition, he serves on the board of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Over the last 40 years, he has served on no less than 25 non-profit boards, including Fisk University, The Community Foundation, Renewal House, TPAC, the TPAC Foundation and the Tennessee Society of CPA’s. He currently serves on two public company boards; Renasant Bank (“NASD– RNST”), and HealthStream Inc. (“NASD – HSTM”).

RIC OLSEN

PRESIDENT, CLEARBROOK HOSPITALITY

As President of Clearbrook Hospitality, LLC, Olsen oversees all operations, marketing, sales and logistics. Olsen joined Clearbrook in September of 2018 as a Senior Project Manager before being promoted to President.

Olsen provides strategic leadership for the company by working with the Chairman and other management to establish long-term goals, plans and policies. He directs and evaluates the organization’s fiscal function and performance, encourages business investment, oversees all operations and acts as the face of the company when dealing with all local businesses, government agencies and vendors. He is also developing new staffing to this growing business segment. 

Previously, Olsen worked for Gibson Brands as head of brand protection, intellectual property enforcement and investigations. He also served as director of loss prevention and security for Gibson and was with the company for 22 years.

Throughout his career, Olsen has entertained thousands as a musician, producer and songwriter. He is well known within the industry for his on-stage presence as the original guitarist for the award-winning 80s band Berlin.

He is also a past Board President for Your Heart on Art, Inc. and past Board President for Cheatham County Community Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee

HELEN OLSEN

VICE PRESIDENT, CLEARBROOK HOSPITALITY

As Vice President of Clearbrook Hospitality, Helen Olsen brings over 25 years of business development, design and strategies to increase company sales.

Working in technology, client retention, group sales, account manager and business development sectors, Helen is a key asset to creating customized business strategies for group sales and venues under Clearbrook Hospitality.

Helen has a passion for non-profit services and has served as a member of several groups and boards throughout the years. Served as treasurer on the Midsouth Workers Compensation Association, Risk & Insurance Management Society, Community Foundation of Cheatham County-TN, board member of “Your Heart on Art, board member of Ark Community Resource & Assistance Center – served as Co-Chair and Chair for Super Songwriter Night Fundraisers.

Helen is the main contact for group sales for the National Museum of African American Music and group sales and events at the Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage, both located in downtown Nashville, TN.

KEVIN JONES

 VENUE DIRECTOR, CLEARBROOK HOSPITALITY 

Nashville native, Kevin Jones has over 23 years of hospitality and tourism experience. 

Kevin has developed training process and managed full-service restaurant operations in almost every sector of the business.  Kevin’s Servant leadership style and operations excellence leads brands to sustained growth and financial success. 

 

​Kevin’s  past experience includes O'Charley's, New Store Training Coordinator, leading the New Store Opening Training team, successfully opening over 100+ storefronts before moving into operations. As General Manager Kevin lead the company’s flagship store in Brentwood, TN.  Kevin also piloted and rolled out O’Charely’s “RedPrairie” labor program making stores more efficient and profitable. 

Kevin then joined the ARay Hospitality team as General Manager of the Sutler Entertainment Complex. 

Kevin lead rebranding and remodel of a Nashville destination with 3 distinctive brands of entertainment. The Sutler Saloon a legendary 40 year old brand was brought back to its roots featuring performers original music.  The Melrose Billiards Parlor Nashville’s Iconic Dive Bar founded in 1944 was reimagined back to its glory days. Kevin project manager through the development of “Rambler Cocktail Bar” an upscale lounge offering unique and craft cocktails. Through Kevin’s leadership the brands sales increased from 1.3 million to 3.9 million in annual sales. Some of Kevin’s brand developments include Live Bluegrass Brunch, BMI Young Guns and Locally Brewed with Radio SoBro.  

At Clearbrook Hospitality, Kevin can be found at the Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage, facilitating museum operations, Rhinestone Stage development and event management.

LARKEN LECH

 DIGITAL MARKETING 

 

With over 15 years of experience in corporate communications and advertising, Larken Lech handles all things digital for venues under Clearbrook Hospitality.

Creating and curating digital marketing strategies is Larken's speciality, having worked with companies such as Chicken Salad Chick, Scenicsource Fabrics, The American Cancer Society & Hope Lodge, among many other businesses ranging from small to enterprise level.

Larken has been nominated for the prestigious NELA Award, NEXT Award, and Williamson County Leadership Award. 

She also speaks on digital strategy at events such as SOWBO, TogetherDigital, Chamber University, and is the creator of the "Let's Get Digital" Conference for Nashville digital marketers.

As a life-long fan of the "Rhinestone Cowboy" and former employee of Viacom (CMT), Larken especially loves working on deploying digital marketing efforts for

The Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage housed under Clearbrook Hospitality. 

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