Empowering the Ecosystem

Johnathan Quarles

Founder & CEOThe BTL Group

“Jonathan Quarles has had a longstanding passion for cultural exchange and diplomacy. Since his first trip outside the United States, to South Africa during undergrad at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU), he’s been committed to global citizenry. Today, Jonathan sits on the Detroit and U.S. Boards of Directors for Global Ties, an operator of international exchange programs for the U.S. Department of State and is a member of the U.S. Department of. State Speakers’ Bureau. Through the Speakers’ Bureau, Quarles has spoken in over twenty countries on the topics of cross-border business, philanthropy, social impact, and financial literacy. In 2018, Jonathan developed a strategic partnership with Meridian International (U.S. State Department Program) to form ENVEST (Entrepreneurs Investing in Change). ENVEST benefits marginalized populations, targeting women and youth in developing markets. Through. ENVEST, local entrepreneurs are equipped to develop and deploy customized training in the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and finance for remote communities. ENVEST beneficiaries are encouraged to use the training to launch and grow their own businesses.

Jonathan’s entrepreneurial pursuits are also underpinned by his global interests. In 2003, Jonathan fused his unparalleled ability to build bridges between people and ideas with his business acumen to launch The BTL Group. Today’s The BTL Group has transformed private and public organizations by helping them connect dots on critical resources, important community dynamics, and lucrative partnerships. Jonathan’s work has unlocked more than $500M. of value, while BTL’s geographic footprint has expanded to eight countries outside of the U.S. Most recently, BTL has stepped into the government contracting space and is positioning itself for international growth in this vertical.

In 2019, Quarles founded Quartz Water Source. Since Jonathan is a native Flintstone, Quartz’s creation was motivated by the Flint Water Crisis and the global water crisis – 1 in 3 people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water, and the statistics are only projected to get worse by 2050. Quartz is a hub for ‘second line’ clean water solutions
that supplement municipal water when and where it is comprised. Today, Quartz is working on the first-ever “water. insurance” and hopes to export this product to communities globally.
Given Quarles’ extensive background at the intersection of business and diplomacy, he is currently launching a trade and international affairs platform for cities and states to advance some of their goals by working with their respective diplomatic communities. This platform will also enable cities and states to host delegations of world and business leaders more effectively and work with economic development organizations across the country. Subnational diplomacy, the art and practice of making foreign affairs local, is an important tool for driving foreign direct investment and job creation, and Quarles will be working with cities and states to unlock the power it has. Last, but surely not least, Jonathan is a best-selling author. His book, Making Dollars While Making Change, a half memoir, half playbook for entrepreneurs who strive to build socially impactful businesses, has been sold on every continent and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. “