Become a Member

Regional Ambassadors

Interested in learning more about the Small Business Association of Michigan?

Who better to share the details than another small business owner in your area. SBAM Regional Ambassadors are small business owners in your area who are passionate about their involvement with the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Feel free to reach out to these members if you have questions about the benefits of being an SBAM member, or connect with ambassadors at our regional Owner2Owner (O2O) meetings.

Capital Region Ambassadors

Lorri Rishar
Owner of Edge Partnerships

“For a small business owner, there is no stronger advocate in our state than the Small Business Association of Michigan. A membership pays for itself dozens of times over through valuable services, engaging events and pertinent information to help you succeed in business.”

Get in touch with Lorri
Brian Town
Owner of Michigan Creative

“Owning a small business can be lonely and is hard work, having other people in similar situations makes it all seem possible.”

Get in touch with Brian
Lisa Ellen Smith
Owner of InVerve Marketing

“SBAM is an incredible organization that truly delivers on their mission to support owners. They ask what we need and put resources in place to encourage growth. They offer owner to owner opportunities that are invaluable, legislative connections, and continuous timely business updates. If you are an owner, dive into SBAM.”

Get in touch with Lisa
Steve Klaver
Co-owner, VP and COO of DBI

“DBI has been a member of SBAM since 2016. Our membership offers us intrinsic value to grow our business.  As part of the Leadership Counsel, I have participated in several Focus on Business TV shows. The exposure and networking opportunities from these appearances have been productive and valuable.”

Get in touch with Steve by visiting her website.

Get in touch with Steve
Lisa Fisher
Speaker, Trainer and Business Coach

“One of the first steps I took after opening my business was joining SBAM. I gained access to over 20,000 other business owners to meet and network with in addition to staying informed on governmental affairs that deal with small businesses.”

Get in touch with Lisa
Justin Caine
Owner of Good Fruit Video

“SBAM has been the greatest investment of our company’s time and money. They are in constant communication, weekly, if not daily, to keep us abreast of everything going on that can affect our business. Another huge benefit is SBAM’s members – the actual small business owners themselves. This allows for conversations within our events and meetings to be unfiltered and at a level that I’ve never experienced in any other group I’ve been a part of.”

Get in touch with Justin

Grand Rapids Region Ambassadors

Sue Tellier
President of JetCo Federal Supply

“SBAM provides a forum for advocacy on issues affecting small businesses in Michigan and federally. SBAM’s highly respected government relations staff guide on complex topics and provide vehicles for outreach to elected officials and other public decision-makers.”

Get in touch with Sue
Jason Dodge
Founder of BlackTruck Media + Marketing

“Often as small business owners we get so tuned into our own day-to-day that we ignore things on the outside that could have a positive or negative impact on the growth of our businesses. I rely heavily on SBAM to keep me informed and up-to-date on the items that matter the most here locally in Michigan and nationally.”

Get in touch with Jason
Jennifer Jurgens
CEO and Founder of 1 Bold Step

“We joined SBAM shortly after forming 1 Bold Step and cannot begin to calculate the value that it’s brought to our organization.  From the advocacy work they do on behalf of small businesses, to the Owner2Owner events, to the general networking and education, SBAM has provided access to a wealth of knowledge.”

Get in touch with Jennifer
Karen Scarpino
Founder of GreenGiftz

“The peer learning gained from being a SBAM member has been priceless, not to mention the friendships gained.  The ROI for membership is incredible, and had I known, I would have become a member years ago.”

Get in touch with Karen
Mike Ritsema
President of i3 Business Solutions

“Beyond the small business advocacy in the heart of Lansing, the Leadership Council has directly impacted my business in measurable ways. Ask me about the financial impact SBAM made on my health insurance, Traction EOS strategic business management, and PR and marketing. Real people, real work, real results!”

Get in touch with Mike
Kim Bode
Owner of 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications

“SBAM has done so much for 8THIRTYFOUR, I quite frankly don’t even know where to start in communicating the incredible resources, value, and support they bring to small businesses. The briefings kept us moving forward as a company and prepared us to handle the uncertainty of the future.”

Get in touch with Kim

Ottawa Region Ambassadors

Adam Zuwerink
Partner + Attorney West Michigan Law

“As a small business owner who also works with many other small businesses, I cannot speak highly enough about the resources that SBAM provides to their members. No matter what your issue, there is always an SBAM staff member ready to help solve your problem. And as the most effective advocacy voice in Lansing for small business owners, SBAM has absolutely knocked it out of the park providing easy to understand COVID-19 updates on a daily basis.”

Get in touch with Adam

Kalamazoo Region Ambassadors

Sheri Welsh
President and CEO of Welsh & Associates

“I joined SBAM 7 years ago because I felt that the voice of small business was underrepresented in our state.  I wanted to be aligned with an advocate for the interests and economic vitality of other entrepreneurs just like me.  What I found was that SBAM was all of that. No other organization offers the small business support and advocacy that SBAM does.”

Get in touch with Sheri
Gary Kushner
President of Kushner & Company

“I’ve been an SBAM member, past Director, and past Chair since 1985. SBAM is the premier small business representative in Lansing, and its voice is strong in driving our government officials to take actions supporting small businesses in the state. I’m also especially thankful for the many Owner2Owner relationships I’ve formed over the years with people who, like me, want to grow small business in our state.”

Get in touch with Gary
Heather Isch
President/CEO LKF Marketing

“I joined SBAM as a VIP member several years ago because I wanted to interact with other owners of small companies and professionals who faced similar opportunities and challenges. At SBAM, I found my people and so much more. SBAM’s guidance and resources have helped us navigate many of the issues created by the pandemic and state-mandated shut downs and restrictions. Our membership was and will continue to be a wise investment.”

Get in touch with Heather

Oakland Region Ambassadors


Dan Cherrin
Founder of North Coast Strategies

“I can’t think of a more influential organization in the State of Michigan than SBAM. It not only influences public policy, it influences thousands of Michigan business leaders in how we grow our business and how we can do it together.”

Get In Touch With Dan
Cathy Koch
CEO, K-Tec Systems Inc.

“SBAM has been an important partner in the growth of our company, providing the necessary tools and education that allow us to plan, promote, and network throughout our state, as well as stay connected to our government and laws that will affect our company and employees.”

Get In Touch With Cathy
Milan Gandhi
Owner Med-Share Inc

“Being a member of SBAM means always having a place to meet and share with other business owners in a safe environment. No sales pitches or reps. Just honest small business advocacy and services.”

Get In Touch With Milan
Teresa Renaud
President and Owner of Outsourced Sales Management Services

“SBAM is My Community – it’s not a once and done or quarterly networking event. It’s a Community designed to support Small Businesses and Owners with ‘care and feeding’ for growth.”

Get In Touch With Teresa
Diane Christensen
Owner Custom Results Corporate Consulting

“We represent numerous companies that have taken advantage of SBAM employee benefits and services. SBAM gives a voice to small and midsize companies with insurance carriers and employee benefit vendors and service providers that would normally be reserved for only large group customers. When you join SBAM you join a community of business owners.”

Get in touch with Diane
Anita Arbol
Principal of Lewis & Knopf CPAs, PC

“Every business owner must surround themselves with a support network of like-minded owners who can relate to similar circumstances, whether it is advice on who to contact, latest governmental legislation or simply a shoulder to cry on – Your friends at SBAM are there to guide on your business journey!”

Get in touch with Anita
Derek Dickow
Founder Steward Media

“I joined SBAM because they are the premier advocacy organization on behalf of small business in Michigan. Their access to elected officials and ability to influence policy on both sides of the aisle is undeniable. I’m a proud member.”

Wayne Region Ambassadors

Jim Foucher
Vice President of RBV Contracting 

“SBAM has been instrumental, both in the growth of our business, and in expanding my own professional network. You won’t find a more welcoming, fun, and effective group of individuals anywhere else in Michigan.”

Get in touch with Jim
Dan Cherrin
Founder of North Coast Strategies

“I can’t think of a more influential organization in the State of Michigan than SBAM. It not only influences public policy, it influences thousands of Michigan business leaders in how we grow our business and how we can do it together.”

Get in touch with Dan

Macomb Region Ambassadors

Patti Eisenbraun
Owner of Brown Iron Brewhouse

“Since connecting with SBAM, they have been a partner making sure my small business can be as successful as possible, providing resources and encouragement to keep the faith and know that they are watching out for you as well.”

Get In Touch With Patti
Jeff Farrington
Area President of FocusCFO

“During my career I found out that there is one group that outperforms all others as an advocate for small business at the state level, and that is the Small Business Association of Michigan. Advocacy is only the beginning of the benefits derived from participating.”

Get In Touch With Jeff

Great Lakes Bay Region Ambassadors

Anita Abrol
Principal of Lewis & Knopf CPAs, PC

“Every business owner must surround themselves with a support network of like-minded owners who can relate to similar circumstances, whether it is advice on who to contact, latest governmental legislation or simply a shoulder to cry on – Your friends at SBAM are there to guide on your business journey!”

Get In Touch With Anita

Ann Arbor Region Ambassadors

Ajay Gupta
CEO, Advisor, Investor at GMB Capital

“As a business owner sometimes you can feel like you are stranded on a deserted island. Being a part of SBAM you have the opportunity to meet, learn from and build lasting relationships with like-minded business owners which is invaluable.”

Get In Touch With Ajay
Joe Marr
Founder and President of Sandler Training

“As a small business owner, I used to feel powerless to influence regulation and legislation by the State and SBAM membership has given me access to the powerful in Michigan, and a voice.”

Get In Touch With Joe
Sassa Akervall
President of SISU Guard

“One of my favorite things throughout the years have been networking with fellow small businesses. I have had the pleasure of using some of them as greatly appreciated vendors. There is virtually nothing you can’t find in the membership log of SBAM. If you need somebody in a certain business or area of expertise, you can be sure that they belong to SBAM.”

Get in touch with Sassa
Chris Jackson
Owner of Sticky Cannabis Operations

“Small Businesses are truly the lifeblood of any community and SBAM has done a phenomenal job of making sure the ‘little guy’ and underrepresented industries have a voice where that voice is usually drowned out by special interests. One of SBAM’s priorities is to work on both sides of the aisle in order to establish meaningful relationships and provide results for our membership. For these reasons, and many more, I am proud to be a SBAM member.”

Get in touch with Chris

Marquette/Upper Peninsula Region Ambassadors

Gina Thorsen
President of Stormy Kromer

“SBAM has been an important partner in the growth of our company, providing the necessary tools and education that allow us to plan, promote, and network throughout our state, as well as stay connected to our government and laws that will affect our company and employees.”

Get In Touch With Gina
Rich Tegge
President of Wealth Strategy Group

“Sometimes we in the UP can feel disconnected from the rest of the state, SBAM is my bridge to what’s happening statewide for business.  They strongly advocate for small business in Michigan and actively engage me to understand the unique issues facing UP business. The friendships, knowledge and enjoyment I have gained through my association with SBAM has been invaluable.”

Get In Touch With Rich

Traverse City Region Ambassadors

Bonnie Alfonso
President/CEO of Alfie Logo Gear

“SBAM is my trusted resource for the latest and most accurate information on issues and policies that impact small business.”

Get in touch with Bonnie