Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Native to Annapolis, MD, Brendan Kelly is the owner and CEO of several businesses including Smartlink, Driven, and The Chesapeake Bayhawks. In 2000, Kelly saw an opportunity in the communications industry and launched Smartlink to fulfill staffing needs for communications companies. The company started with only two employees and has grown to over 700 employees nationwide today. In 2000, Kelly saw an opportunity in the communications industry and launched Smartlink to fulfill staffing needs for communications companies. The company started with only two employees and has grown to over 700 employees nationwide today. In 2006, Smartlink expanded to include a services division, enabling start-to-finish management of new site builds, upgrades, land acquisitions and more for leading communications companies. In 2010, Smartlink became a national player when it landed major contracts with a countrywide presence. On December 31, 2012, Smartlink acquired RealCom Associates, LLC, a Seattle-based site development and staffing firm with a strong presence along the West Coast. This acquisition accelerated Smartlink’s national footprint, adding offices in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Smartlink now does business in 43 states and will soon be looking into international opportunities. In 2014, Smartlink added IT to its existing fields of specialty, which include real estate, construction and engineering. Kelly’s diverse entrepreneurial portfolio has led to several individual honors and awards. He was named one of What’s Up Annapolis’ People to Watch in 2011. In 2012, he was named a Business Leader of the Year Nominee from the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce and was featured on the cover of SmartCEO magazine as part of their Entrepreneur issue, “Eye on the Ball.” Ernst & Young named Kelly an Entrepreneur Of The Year® Regional Award Winner and National Finalist in 2013, one of the most prestigious business awards for entrepreneurs. On February 5, 2015, Brendan was honored at Salisbury University’s Business Leadership Award Luncheon, held by the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business. Additionally, Brendan has lead Smartlink to impressive accolades for its strides in business. Smartlink was named one of SmartCEO’s 100 Best Run Companies in 2012 and received the 2014 Supplier Growth Award from Verizon/Pontoon Solutions for its expansive success in both employee placements and revenue on Verizon projects. Smartlink and The Chesapeake Bayhawks were jointly nominated for the Don Riddle Corporate Citizenship Award in 2013, sponsored by the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, for their extensive involvement in the community. Kelly currently resides in Annapolis, MD with his wife and five children.