SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Marc Bland, head of diversity and inclusion at Polk, was recently honored by two different organizations for his significant professional and personal contributions to the African-American community. Bland received the Men of Excellence award from Detroit’s Michigan Chronicle, as well as the distinguished national award, Marketing to African-Americans with Excellence (MAAX), by Target Market News.
“I am honored to be recognized by these two distinguished organizations,” said Bland. “It’s a true testament to the importance of diversity and inclusion initiatives across all industries. At Polk, we’re seeing significant interest from the automotive community in diversity engagement as they seek to build relationships and loyalty for their brands among various audiences.”
The MAAX awards are presented annually by Target Market News, a leading authority on national African-American marketing, media news and issues. The awards program spans a variety of industries and is separated into six categories.
Bland was one of just eight recipients of the national award this year. He was named research executive of the year for his experience and contributions to the industry as Polk’s head of diversity and inclusion.
Honorees were selected by the editors, writers and contributors of Target Market News. Selection criteria included career longevity, African-American marketing and media advocacy and distinguishing professional accomplishments.
Bland also received one of Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence awards, which are given to 51 African-American men working in Southeast Michigan each year. Nominations are based on specific professional accomplishments and community service initiatives, including mentoring. Recipients are chosen by a committee of peers, professionals and previous Men of Excellence winners, in southeast Michigan. The winners, who were honored at an event in late June, are recognized as Men of Excellence members for life.
Bland, who joined Polk in 1999, was named head of diversity and inclusion just nine months ago and leads all diversity initiatives within Polk’s customer base. Prior to his appointment as head of diversity and inclusion, Bland served as Polk’s multi-cultural marketing lead for six years. He focuses on purchasing trends and behaviors among various diverse audiences and works with Polk customers to provide insights to guide their diversity-related business decisions and programs. In his current role, Bland also serves as the primary advisor to senior leadership at Polk regarding diversity practices that support Polk’s long-term business strategy. He also supports Polk’s workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Polk is the premier provider of automotive information and marketing solutions. The organization collects and interprets global data, and provides extensive automotive business expertise to help customers understand their market position, identify trends, build brand loyalty, conquest new business and gain a competitive advantage. Polk helps automotive manufacturers and dealers, automotive aftermarket companies, finance and insurance companies, advertising agencies, media companies, consulting organizations, government agencies and market research firms make good business decisions. A privately held global firm, Polk is based in Southfield, Michigan with operations in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, please visit www.polk.com.