Automation Alley Announces 2017 Board of Directors

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan – Automation Alley, Michigan's leading technology and manufacturing business association, recently elected three new members to its board of directors: Gary Conrad, director of WW Education Customer Engagement at Autodesk; Dr. Timothy Meyer, chancellor of Oakland Community College; and Kristopher Powell, CEO and president of HRPro/BenePro.

Board members serve as the nonprofit association's key decision-makers and are vital to the development of programs, services, events and committees.

"The staff and I look forward to working with our new board members as our organization continues to evolve and grow," said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley's executive director. "These three individuals are influential business leaders and decision makers in Southeast Michigan. They will be powerful ambassadors for Automation Alley as we create new programs and services related to helping our member companies prepare and transition to Industry 4.0."

Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, represents the convergence of the digital and physical technologies currently disrupting the manufacturing industry, including additive manufacturing, advanced materials, autonomous robotics, big data, the cloud, cybersecurity, the Industrial Internet of Things, and modeling, simulation and visualization. Automation Alley is now focusing its programming around Industry 4.0 in order to be a critical resource for Southeast Michigan companies as they chart a course toward these advancements in manufacturing.

"During my first meeting with Tom Kelly and the Automation Alley staff, I was immediately impressed with their passion and vision around Industry 4.0 initiatives," Conrad said. "I am honored and excited to serve on the board of directors and assist Southeast Michigan companies increase their global competitiveness in this time of monumental change. "

"As a founding member of Automation Alley, there has never been a better time than now for OCC to be represented on this board," Meyer said. "The College's goal of providing a highly relevant education aligns with the work of Automation Alley and its members to support economic growth in the region."

"I am delighted to be able to help Automation Alley move its mission forward," Powell said. "My company has been a supporter of Automation Alley for many years.  With Tom Kelly's fresh new vision, we believe Automation Alley is uniquely poised to make a significant impact in many technology sectors in Southeast 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

About OCC

With multi campus system throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve.  More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at

Media Contact: Bridget M. Kavanaugh | Marketing & Communications | (248) 341-2020 |