Jeanne Fowler | Founder
The passion behind Big Family of Michigan started nearly 50 years ago in an abusive home, where at a very young age, Jeanne and her brother Peter experienced one of the most horrific childhoods ever. Beaten and tortured, the two clung to each other as their only source of love and reason for living. That bond was broken when Peter, at the age of 3, was beaten to death at the hands of their own mother.
The memory of her brother is what has pushed Jeanne Fowler to make the lives of children better, to stop child abuse and to improve the lives of children in foster care so that they never have to experience a childhood like hers.
John Iras | President & COO
John is currently the Executive Director of BRAVO Programs of America. He is a State Licensed Counselor and has also been the Principal of Fillmore Elementary School and a Crisis Coordinator in the Warren Consolidated School district.
John brings over 37 years of educating experience to Big Family of Michigan. He has been published in the Student Assistance Journal; and his professional activities such as creating the District Teen Awareness Conference and securing WCS Drug Grant from the federal government are just some of the ways John has dedicated his time to helping education and counseling children and adults.
John graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Science degree and a Master’s Degree in Education. He was a member of the Macomb County Association for Counseling/Development where he has held offices of Public Relations Chairman, Membership Chairmen and President elect. He is a former member of ASCD, NEA, MEA, WEA and WAA.
John is married to Lynda and together they have six children and 12 grandchildren with hope for many more. They have lived in Troy for the past 15 years. Some of John’s many community activities have included; Chairman, Tri-Community Soccer Business Partnerships and Board of Directors, Travel Coach. Chairman, founding member and Grant Writer for Warren Coalition for a Healthy Community. Former Board Chairman of the Warren Family YMCA, a former Board member of the Macomb County’s C.A.R.E. program and a former member of the Warren City parade committee.
David Ladd | Chairman of the Board
David Ladd is the Executive Director, Marketing and Communications for International Automotive Components Group (IAC). In this role, Ladd is responsible for all media relations activities, internal and external communications efforts, corporate responsibility and community involvement, government affairs, branding, trade show involvement and advertising.
Ladd brings more than 20 years of automotive communications experience to Big Family. He has worked for companies such as Siemens VDO Automotive, Campbell & Co/PCG Campbell, and Volkswagen of America, guiding the company’s business in communications, public relations, marketing strategies/programs, sales and branding objectives.
David received his bachelor’s degree in German and Journalism/Public Relations from Wayne State University. He is an active member of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Communications Executive Council, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Automotive Public Relations Council (APRC).
Married and a father of three, David and his family reside in Lake Orion, where he actively serves in high school career development programs; the LOHS athletic booster committee; Kensington Community Church campus leadership team and other church-organized programs in the community.
Ladd’s hobbies include outdoor recreation, such as fly fishing, hunting and camping. He likes to introduce teenagers to the out of doors who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to such activities.
Mark Huber | Treasurer
Mark is currently the SVP and Chief Financial Officer at FNBH Bancorp, Inc., in Howell, Michigan. Prior to beginning his banking career he worked as a CPA at Plante & Moran, PLLC, in Auburn Hills for 16 years as a Senior Manager in the audit and assurance department.
Mark brings more than 20 years of accounting, finance and compliance experience to Big Family. Over the course of his career he has been responsible for financial management, engagement management, consulting and business advisory services, tax planning and structuring and Sarbanes-Oxley 404 in a variety of industries.
Mark earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and completed post-graduate accounting studies at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Mark has been a licensed CPA since 1995 and is affiliated with the Michigan Association of Certified Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Mark resides in Farmington Hills with his son. He is a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills and enjoys being active outdoors, distance running and golfing.
Cheryl D. Jackson, LBSW
Cheryl Jackson is a native Detroiter. Cheryl remained in Detroit, until she went to Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating with a BA in Social Welfare, Cheryl remained in Atlanta until 1989, returning home to begin her career in Social Work.
During her 24 years as a Social Worker, Cheryl has been employed as a Group Social Worker II, Licensing Specialist, Adoption Worker and Supervisor. Currently, Cheryl is employed as an Adoption Specialist and Peer Coach with Homes For Black Children.
Ms. Jackson is also an active member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she serves on the Food Service Committee, The Commission of Family Life, Baber Floral Club and The Commission on Social Action. Cheryl serves as the Vice President with Families On The Move, Inc. (FOTM) and is an original board member with Big Family of Michigan.
She enjoys traveling, cooking and gathering with family and friends. Cheryl is single and has lived her life on these principles…God first, Family next and family includes everyone you meet. Her mission in life remains “If I can help somebody in this life, than my living shall not be in vain”.