ROB FOWLER:
 
ROB FOWLER




 
 
 
 
 
President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in Lansing. Fowler joined SBAM in 2000, initially serving for three years as vice president of Small Business Insurance Services, a SBAM subsidiary. He assumed his current post in July 2003. SBAM serves more than 5,000 member companies from all of Michigan's 83 counties and promotes free enterprise and the interests of Michigan small businesses through leadership and advocacy. Fowler is a registered lobbyist representing small business before the Michigan legislature. He also serves as president of the Small Business Foundation of Michigan, a subsidiary of SBAM. He previously served as the executive director of the Council of Smaller Enterprises in Cleveland, the small business arm of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, which was, at that time, the country's largest chamber. Prior to that, he was a lobbyist for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for 10 years and served as the executive director of the Indiana Small Business Council. Fowler worked for the Indiana lieutenant governor for two years before his tenure with the Indiana Chamber. Fowler chairs the newly created Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council, the Association Advisory Council of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the Business Advisory Committee of the Michigan Hospital Association. He is a director of the National Small Business Association. He also serves on the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors and is the chairman of the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan. A graduate of Ball State University with a degree in political science, Fowler serves on the National Development Council of Ball State University. In June 2008, he was elected to his second four-year term on the Haslett Board of Education and currently serves as its president.


WHERE BORN: "Brownstown, a small town in southern Indiana."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "An early mentor for me was a senior guy named Ernie Williams when I spent 10 years at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He was the old, seasoned lobbyist who was part backslapper and part policy expert and had that understanding of how things get done in public policy and lobbying. And my father, who had a lot to do with my personality and my character and the rules I lived by while growing up."

LAST BOOK READ: "All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. At about the sixth page in, he says all marketers are storytellers, but you wouldn't have bought that book."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "People person, extrovert, big picture person, passionate. When I'm passionate about something, it drives me."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "I've been a small-business advocate for 25 years. More recently, the focus is on entrepreneurship. Small business is the entity, an entrepreneur is the person who starts it. We're focusing on the entrepreneur, and a more entrepreneurial culture is what will change –and I'll go so far as to say what will save – this state. Henry Ford, Kellogg, they were the entrepreneurs of 100 years ago. We should all pray for a resurgence of entrepreneurship. We're working hard and fast to make Michigan a more entrepreneurial state."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "My BlackBerry. I'm addicted."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Pentwater. It's the true 'up north' definition in many ways."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Golf, but I don't want anyone to have the impression that I'm any good at it. I'm a school board member and active in my church."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Pretty much anything that doesn't bite back. I don't really have a favorite."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm a swimmer, not competitive, but I'm in the pool four or five times a week. I swam a little over 100 miles last year."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a really good dad."