Polk honored with citation

Posted: July 15, 2013

Stephen Polk is a civic champion as well as chairman, president and chief executive officer of R. L. Polk & Co. In recognition of his work, Polk’s alma mater Denison University recently honored him with an alumni citation, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate or friend of the college.

R. L. Polk & Co. is a globally integrated organization providing automotive intelligence, marketing solutions and vehicle history information through its independent operating units, Polk and CARFAX. Vehicle manufacturers, dealers, the aftermarket and others around the globe turn to Polk and CARFAX to help them grow their businesses.

Polk joined the organization in 1981, after he earned his master’s from Northern Michigan University, and focused on preparing the company for success in the 21st century. He restructured the organization around customers’ needs and accelerated the development of new products and services, streamlining operations and sharpening the company’s focus—to be the number-one provider of information and marketing solutions for the automotive industry. Polk continues his family’s legacy as the fourth generation Polk to lead the company, which his great-grandfather founded in 1870 as a publisher of city directories.

Active in a variety of local business and civic organizations, Polk serves as chairman for the Automotive Hall of Fame, vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Cranbrook Educational Community and vice president/director for the Detroit Zoological Society. He also serves on the board of directors of Fifth Third Bank of Southeast Michigan and of Beaumont Hospitals. In addition, Polk is a member of the board of Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the College for Creative Studies. Through the Ralph and Winifred Polk Foundation, more than 60 local charities are supported.

Polk and his wife Bobbi live in Bloomfield Hills and have four children and three grandchildren. He is an avid runner and enjoys biking, exercising regularly and spending time with his family. His hobbies include sailing and photography.

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About Denison

Denison University is a leading national college of liberal arts and sciences where students from around the world come to pursue academic inquiry and research, to analyze and solve problems, and to forge the skills needed to succeed. On a beautiful, fully residential campus, students build enduring relationships and pathways to the professions, supported by faculty mentorship in classrooms, laboratories and studios; through a wealth of career-launch programs and internships; and in partnership with a thriving, far-reaching alumni network. Denison’s place at the forefront of higher education is recognized by “Colleges That Change Lives,” U.S. News, and Forbes, among others.