Brian Tell, Management Consultant

Brian is a seasoned business consultant and entrepreneur with expertise in social enterprise, nonprofit and university initiatives, clean-tech product development, manufacturing, and regional economic development. He is an integrated big picture/small detail conceptualist with a unique set of private- and social-sector skills who is particularly skilled at managing and implementing complex projects.

At Guideline, Brian provides strategic planning, business modeling, stakeholder engagement, process mapping, project management, and project execution services customized to meet the unique needs of each client. He is especially adept and at ease conducting confidential one-on-one interviews and facilitating groups of diverse constituents working toward common goals and understanding.

Over the past two decades, Brian has worked with more than 40 organizations, including: Fuji Electric, Optimal CAE, Flint Ink, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, Detroit Regional Chamber, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Boston Green Ribbon Commission, Southwest Solutions, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, JFS of Metro Detroit, JVS (Detroit), CAEL, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Commonwealth of Kentucky, ICARD at Eastern Michigan University, the Eastern Michigan University Foundation, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, MForesight, and MIT’s CoLab.

Since 2012 Brian has been Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ann Arbor-based solartonic, which develops innovative solar street lighting solutions and building-integrated solar products. Brian leads and manages solartonic’s business development, market channel partnerships, intellectual property, and supply-chain strategy. From 2007-2013, Brian founded and served as President & CEO of Ann Arbor-based ShadePlex, LLC, which developed high power, flexible fabric-integrated solar modules. He holds two patents related to ShadePlex’s technology.

From 2004-2007 Brian served as Director of Business Development for Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) in Ann Arbor where he managed sales activity and grew annual revenues by 33%. He also raised $15 million in federal and philanthropic funds for a multi-state, multi-stakeholder economic development initiative, for which he was the senior project manager.


Brian has a B.A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University (1989), and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University (2000).