For Immediate Release
March 14, 2022

Jeff Padden, PPA Board Chair,

LANSING – Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) owner Virginia Orabone and Board Chair Jeff Padden announce that Rob Fowler, former CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, will become the next CEO of the company. He will succeed current CEO Sam Singh effective July 1, 2022. Mr. Fowler has more than 35 years of experience in the public policy arena as an association leader and board member of policy-related organizations.

Under Mr. Fowler’s leadership, SBAM has grown to 30,000 members across all 83 counties. It has established itself as an influential force in public policy that works with policymakers on both sides of the political aisle. In addition to traditional business climate matters, Mr. Fowler has immersed himself in a wide range of issues critical to small business success, including placemaking, health care, workforce development, and education. He was an elected member of the Haslett Board of Education for 10 years, including a stint as president.

Virginia Orabone, PPA’s owner, said she is confident that Mr. Fowler’s vast network, expertise, and leadership skills will serve clients well and help the company grow. “I’m looking forward to the new opportunities that will come under his leadership.”

“Rob is an exceptionally talented leader, a very successful association executive, and truly a good human being,” said PPA founder and Board Chair Jeff Padden. “He is a very sensible and pragmatic leader, but also a genuine visionary.”

“Rob understands that our clients don’t just want the results of a survey. They want to know what it means and the implications for the future,” Mr. Padden said. “He is also well known to policymakers in Michigan and nationally and is widely respected by Republican and Democratic leaders alike.”

Public Policy Associates is a Lansing-based private, non-partisan firm that provides clients with the evaluation, research, and consultation they need to make smart policy decisions that improve lives, enrich communities, and strengthen institutions. Its key policy areas are education, workforce development, healthy communities, and justice.

During Mr. Fowler’s time at SBAM, the association turned to PPA for research to inform its policy positions on numerous occasions. In addition, Mr. Fowler worked with PPA on projects in his capacity as chair of the Entrepreneurship Workgroup of the Michigan Sense of Place Council and as chair of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. He has been a member of PPA’s Board of Directors since 2019.

“I have been a happy repeat client of PPA because I am consistently impressed with their excellent work,” Mr. Fowler said. “I look forward to leading the talented PPA team and broadening the audience for their work.”

Before joining SBAM, Mr. Fowler worked for the Council of Smaller Enterprises of the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Ball State University.

Mr. Singh has been PPA’s CEO since 2019 and is a candidate for the Michigan state Senate. He will transition to a role as senior consultant at PPA when Mr. Fowler becomes CEO. If elected, Mr. Singh will take office in January 2023.

Mr. Singh said Mr. Fowler is an excellent choice to lead the organization. “Rob brings a deep understanding of complicated policy issues,” Mr. Singh said. “He’ll be an outstanding leader for our teams of dedicated researchers who are tackling very difficult policy matters.”