Executive Director and CEO
As executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, Tom Kelly oversees strategic planning and all ongoing activities for the organization on behalf of its 800 members across Southeast Michigan, including programs and services designed to help businesses succeed in the era of Industry 4.0.
Kelly joined Automation Alley in 2014 as director of entrepreneurship. In this role, he launched the Automation Alley 7Cs™ program, which was created to help advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs accelerate the commercialization of their products, services and technologies. In May 2015, Kelly was promoted to chief operating officer of Automation Alley. As COO, Kelly was responsible for the organization’s day-to-day operations and chaired Automation Alley’s venture capital investment fund. In 2016, Kelly was named Automation Alley’s new executive director and CEO.
Kelly came to Automation Alley after seven years as a technology business consultant for the state of Michigan’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), where he actively coached more than 300 technology startups in industries such as advanced automotive, life sciences, homeland security and alternative energy. His support helped client companies through all facets of their early life, including visioning, strategic planning, sales and marketing and operational execution.
Kelly’s professional successes also include launching three separate startup companies for angel, VC, and corporate investors in the fields of software, manufacturing technology and distribution. He has created and executed marketing campaigns for both low-volume, high-dollar and high-volume, low-dollar software titles at three separate companies, resulting in rapid growth and five major software awards, including the 2003 National Manufacturing Design and Engineering Award and the 2005 Start Magazine Technology and Business Innovation of the Year Award.
Kelly serves on the governing board of Advance Michigan.
Kelly has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan