Issues in Diversity and Social Change Lecture Series
Michigan and the Road to a Jobs Economy: Which Way Forward?
Robert D. Fowler - Panelist
President & CEO of Small Business Association of Michigan
Rob Fowler is President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. Having joined the staff of SBAM in 2000, he served for three years as the Vice President of the subsidiary corporation Small Business Insurance Services. He assumed his current position in July of 2003.
The Small Business Association of Michigan was founded in 1969 and today serves over 10,000 member companies from all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The organization’s mission is to help Michigan small businesses succeed by promoting entrepreneurship, leveraging buying power and engaging in political advocacy. Recently SBAM has become a leading voice for growing the state’s entrepreneurial community and “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan.”
Before coming to Michigan, Mr. Fowler served as the Executive Director of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) in Cleveland Ohio from 1995 to 2000. COSE is the small business arm of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce which was, at that time, the country’s largest Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he was a lobbyist for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for ten years where he also served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Small Business Council. Rob worked for the Indiana Lt. Governor for two years before his time with the Indiana Chamber.
In his capacity as President of SBAM he is a registered lobbyist representing small business before the Michigan legislature. He also serves as the President of the Small Business Foundation of Michigan, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBAM. In addition, Mr. Fowler serves as the Chairman of the Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council, an organization of broad-based interest groups dedicated to solving the uninsured problem, and serves as Chair of the Business Advisory Committee of the Michigan Hospital Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Small Business Association and the past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan.
A graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Political Science, he serves on the National Development Council of Ball State University. Rob and his wife Lisa live in Haslett with their son Reid and daughter Emma. In June of 2008 he was elected to his second four-year term on the Haslett Board of Education and currently serves as its President.