Robert “Bob” Kelley
207 E Memory Lane
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Bob Kelley is CEO of the ABL Organization and the lead facilitator of ABL’s Technology Round Tables. In this role he regularly chairs CEO Round Table meetings, develops Member Workshops, and meets with Members relative to their current and strategic issues. Bob, as a Technology Futurist, Innovator & Author, also “stays ahead of the curve” in understanding predictive forces shaping technology marketplace developments, and how they evolve. He uses this understanding to shape themes for collaborative discussions among ABL Member CEOs & GMs to help them adaptively translate such new marketplace developments into strategies to achieve their particular business goals.
He has served as Chairman of the Board of 8 technology companies, each focused on a major high-growth initiative during his service. He’s also served on 12 other boards, including those of three not-for-profits. Additionally, Bob has been conducting an average of two of his half day “Developing an Effective Board” workshops annually, since authoring The Board of Directors and its Role in Growing Companies in 1984.
Since assuming leadership of ABL in 1985, Bob has continuously explored and developed innovative programs for it. These include its Healthcare Executives Program, as well as various Workshops. Bob was first publicly recognized for his Board of Directors work with growing companies as an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur Supporter of the Year” in Orange County, in ‘90, and subsequently, was named one of 3 national finalists. Relative to his board positions, he’s been chair of 2 companies while they were #50 and #280 on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Cos. list. He developed and then served on the advisory board, provided financial transaction and strategic business guidance, and acted as a temporary president for a private security technology co. division, which was subsequently sold to a Fortune 500 US utility for hundreds of millions of dollars. In the mid ‘90’s he co-authored Better Than Money, which was recognized by Harvard Business School’s Prof. of Entrepreneurship as the first major work on “angel investing.” Co-author Dave Berkus became Chair of the Tech Coast Angels, the nation’s largest angel investment network.
Immediately prior to ABL, in 1981, he co-founded what became the General Group of Companies which achieved $200 million in sales, in 1985, through several strategic partnerships and spin-offs, which he shaped. Earlier in his career, Bob provided executive leadership, strategy, and support services for innovation initiatives through executive positions and a business development consultancy. Four of these companies experienced extraordinary growth during his tenure and two were on the Fortune 500.
Bob holds a BBA from Notre Dame in Operations Research & Marketing and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where his major focus was M & A and Corporate Development issues. Bob is married to his ABL business partner Mimi Grant, and they have two adult children. Bob has enjoyed a lifelong passion for enabling and accelerating innovations; he is also an avid investor, especially in early stage tech companies.