Affiliations | About Us | The Small Business Association of Michigan


Strategic Partnerships

Though SBAM does not have local chapters or affiliates, we do work with various organizations around the state to offer joint memberships.  We currently have relationships with the following groups.  If you would like more information on how your organization can become involved with SBAM, please contact Director of Membership Ken Root at (800) 362-5461 ext. 210 or

•   American Rental Association of Michigan
•   Barry County Chamber of Commerce
•   Council of Michigan Foundations
•   Delta County Chamber of Commerce
•   DeWitt Chamber of Commerce
•   Financial Planning Association
•   Grandville-Jenison Chamber of Commerce
•   Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce
•   Greater Lansing Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
•   Houghton Lake Chamber of Commerce
•   Integrated Health Partners/Battle Creek Health Systems
•   Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce
•   Lakewood Area Chamber of Commerce
•   Medical Mile Resource Group
•   Meridian Area Business Association
•   Michigan Golf Course Owners Association
•   Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association
•   Michigan Press Association
•   Michigan Professional Insurance Agents
•   Michigan Association of Timbermen
•   Mobile Technology Association of Michigan
•   Old Town Commercial Association
•   Oscoda-Au Sable Chamber of Commerce
•   Saline Area Chamber of Commerce
•   Sault Area Chamber of Commerce
•   Social Media Association of Michigan
•   Urban Social Assembly
•   West Branch Chamber of Commerce


MiQuestMiQuest is an independent 501(c)(3) that provides second stage companies with business-building opportunities through educational events, peer learning, networking, competitions and media exposure. MiQuest’s mission is to Ignite, Unleash, and Promote an Entrepreneurial Culture in Michigan. 

MiQuest supports the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch program, hosts quarterly CEO Growth Symposiums, facilitates CEO Roundtables, and publishes the annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card. 

CEO Growth Symposiums
One hundred growth-stage entrepreneurs from around the state gather quarterly with their peers to expand their powerful networks, act to increase their bottom lines, and get valuable media exposure. In a World Cafe-style discussion, attendees leverage one another's expertise and insights to create solutions to growth challenges. Other highlights of these events typically include high-impact networking, a deep dive into business growth systems, strategy workshops, and media advisory panels  ̶  all designed to give CEOs new and innovative ways to accelerate company growth. Participants are owners and company visionaries and their businesses have revenues over $750,000. 

Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card

MiQuest released the 13th annual Michigan Entrepreneurship Score Card in April 2017. This report uses 137 different metrics to track Michigan’s entrepreneurial vitality, climate and growth. An electronic copy can be downloaded here.

MiQuest’s board of directors includes:
  • Yan Ness, MiQuest Board Chair; CEO, Online Tech Inc., Ann Arbor
  • Rob Fowler, MiQuest Treasurer; President & CEO, Small Business Association of Michigan, Lansing
  • Paula Cunningham, state director, AARP, Lansing
  • Madhuri Deshpande, president, GDI Infotech
  • Camron Gnass, principal, Traction
  • Ryan Kroge, VP, senior SBA-USDA specialist, Huntington Bank
  •  Cynthia Kay, president, Cynthia Kay & Company, Grand Rapids
  • Ken Kousky, CEO, IP3 and MidMichigan Innovation Center, Midland; president, Blue Water Angels, Midland
  • Remos Lenio, partner, Tillerman & Co., Grand Rapids
  • Dino Signore, owner, The Signore Group, Cassopolis
  • Jeff Van Winkle, member, Clark Hill, PLC, Grand Rapids

For more information, contact Diane Durance, president, MiQuest, at (734) 255-3183, or by e-mail at  

Michigan Business Network

Michigan Business NetworkSBAM works closely with the Michigan Business Network, an innovative online source of audio programs that seek to help grow and develop Michigan’s economic community. The network’s founder and owner, Chris Holman, is a nationally known small business advocate and a past chair of SBAM. 

SBAM produces three programs for the network: Business Next, This Week in Small Business (with Chris Holman) and This Week in Small Business Technology (with Linda Daichendt, executive director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan.) SBAM leaders also are frequent guests on the network’s shows.


The Washington, D.C., based National Small Business Association (NSBA) is SBAM’s national affiliate. It was founded in 1937 to advocate for the interests of small businesses throughout the United States.

This group, which originally consisted of just 160 small businesses, now represents more than 150,000 small business owners. Several SBAM members serve on NSBA’s board of directors and in board leadership positions, including:
  • Rob Fowler, SBAM President & CEO
  • Chris Holman, Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Lansing
  • Cynthia Kay, Cynthia Kay & Co. Media Productions, Grand Rapids
  • Doyle Hayes, D. Hayes Group, Kentwood
  • Jeff Van Winkle, Clark Hill PLC, Grand Rapids
  • Tom Mathison, Mathison Mathison, Grand Rapids