‚ÄčAutomation Alley promotes Tom Kelly to executive director

8/22/2016 | Troy, Michigan

Tom KellyAutomation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology business association, has promoted Tom Kelly to the position of executive director effective Aug. 27 following the retirement of Ken Rogers.

Rogers, who announced his plans to retire in June, served as Automation Alley’s executive director for 17 years. As the association’s new executive director, Kelly, who previously held the position of COO, will oversee strategic planning, all financial and personnel matters and ongoing activities of Automation Alley on behalf of its nearly 1,000 member organizations across Southeast Michigan. Kelly will report to the Automation Alley Board of Directors. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Tom Kelly in his new role as Automation Alley’s executive director and are excited for the future of the organization under his leadership,” said David Hay, president of the Automation Alley Board of Directors and vice president, Kelly Services Office of the Executive Chairman. “Tom is uniquely qualified for this position. He has an enthusiasm and passion for helping companies in this region grow and prosper. As Automation Alley COO, Tom added great value to the organization. Tom is the ideal successor to Ken Rogers and will build on Ken’s legacy of success at Automation Alley.” 

Kelly was hired by Automation Alley in April 2014 and spearheaded efforts to launch the association’s successful 7Cs™ program for advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs seeking accelerated commercialization. The program guides entrepreneurs through a customized seven-step process that includes intense coaching and a firm commitment from Automation Alley to invest resources and capital. As COO, Kelly oversaw Automation Alley’s $9.09 million venture capital investment fund, which is currently invested in 58 high-tech companies. 

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, finance 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 has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Clarkson University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s leading technology business association, connecting businesses with talent, resources and funding to accelerate innovation and fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy. Since its founding in 1999, the nonprofit has grown to include nearly 1,000 tech-focused members in businesses, education and government.  Automation Alley focuses its efforts in five areas: advanced manufacturing, defense, entrepreneurship, international business and talent development. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Nicole Kampe

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