Raised in Miami with roots in Paulding County, Ga., Jerry Shearin is a family man, an accomplished entrepreneur, an avid Auburn sports fan, an amateur salt-water fisherman and an aspiring world traveler. With a degree in public administration from Auburn University, Shearin set foot into the business world in 1986 and has led several businesses in varying roles for more than 30 years.
STAYING ON COURSE In addition to being a successful businessman, Shearin is husband to Katherine and father to Laura. I credit my family for my success, along with several pastors who have been a part of my life. They have served as a great support system, providing the reinforcement I needed to persevere. Having a support system directly influenced the trajectory of my journey. I do not underestimate their influence on my life.
SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR Shearin comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His grandparents, parents and sister have all owned businesses. Growing up with many first-hand examples of entrepreneurship, Shearin truly became a product of his environment. I have started or been a part of starting eight businesses in my lifetime. I have started two insurance agencies, three property management companies, two fiber-optic businesses, and helped to found one bank. I guess I come by this discipline naturally. I could be called a ‘serial entrepreneur.’
ROAD TO TRANSPORTATION Shearin’s role as a county commission chair introduced him to the world of transportation. It later inspired him to run for northwest Georgia’s 14th Congressional District State Transportation Board seat when it opened in 2018. I was elected Paulding County Commission chairman in 2000. I immediately immersed myself into our county's transportation infrastructure. In addition, I was a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Transportation- Air Quality Committee for eight years.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Shearin considers himself extremely lucky to have experienced dual citizenship in Florida and Georgia. I grew up in Miami, during the 1960s and 1970s. At that time Miami was experiencing amazing growth, and opportunities were everywhere. My father was an employee of Pan American Airlines – until he and my mother started our family’s business – so we traveled a good bit. My mother’s family had lived in Paulding County, Ga. for at least five generations, and we traveled back ‘home’ a good bit. I spent all my summers and many holidays here as a child.
RELAX, RELATE, RELEASE When he is not tending to State Transportation Board obligations representing CD 14 or running his multiple businesses, Shearin enjoys leisure activities and having fun with his family. I am a life-long hunter and a less-than expert saltwater fisherman. My family and I enjoy going back and forth to Auburn for football and basketball games. We also love the ocean. We just finished building a vacation/retirement home in Big Pine Key, Fla. We love going down there whenever time permits.
SALTY TRAVELER My wife Kathy and I love traveling and are certified scuba divers. We have been to 35 states and several countries. We just went to Europe this past summer and I realized that I have not traveled nearly as much as I should have in my life. I plan to fix that when I retire from business life.
IN HINDSIGHT Reflecting on his journey, Shearin recognizes two key components to his success are optimism and perseverance. In all facets of life, business and personal, I advise folks to remember how important it is to keep pushing and keep trying. Life is not always fair. You're not always going to get your way or come out on top. But that’s okay, it’s still a pretty good life.