SBAM chooses next president and CEO

Brian Calley Courtesy SBAM

The Small Business Association of Michigan chose its next president and CEO to succeed the organization’s outgoing leader next year.

Lansing-based Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) said its board of directors voted Monday to appoint Brian Calley as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1. Current president and CEO Rob Fowler will retire at the end of the year after more than 20 years with the organization.

“SBAM is the voice for small businesses in our state,” said Lorri Rishar, SBAM board chair and CEO of Edge Partnerships. “This is a testament to Rob and Brian’s efforts, working side by side for the good of all small businesses. The bipartisan support that SBAM provides its members is unmatched and has become essential to small businesses, especially as they navigate operations during the pandemic.”

Rob Fowler Courtesy SBAM

Fowler joined SBAM in 2000 as the vice president of insurance services and has served as president and CEO since 2003. Calley came on board as SBAM president in 2019 after serving as Michigan’s lieutenant governor.

“Serving Michigan’s small businesses for the past two decades has been my honor,” Fowler said. “While retirement is bittersweet, I’m extremely proud of what SBAM has become and the work we have achieved on behalf of small business owners. I have no doubt that SBAM’s influence and effectiveness will continue growing under Brian Calley’s leadership.”

Calley said his vision for SBAM builds on the association’s commitment to bipartisanship and inclusivity.

“It has been a privilege to dedicate my career to the success of small businesses,” Calley said. “I’m proud of how our team rose to the challenges of the pandemic and provided critical services to our members when they needed us most. I look forward to continuing this work at SBAM as president and CEO upon Rob’s retirement, and appreciate the board’s confidence in me.”

SBAM is a bipartisan organization focused on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community through advocacy, collaboration and buying power. It serves over 28,000 members in all 83 counties of Michigan and is located in Lansing, one block from the state Capitol.

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