Archive for May 2012

Warner Norcross Diversity Partner Receives President’s Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association

Rodney D. Martin, the Diversity Partner with the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has received the prestigious President’s Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association, or GRBA.

The President’s Award is given annually and recognizes special contributions by a GRBA member in service to the board of trustees, executive committee and executive director.  Martin was recognized for his contributions to increasing diversity and inclusion within the Bar, particularly for his role in the creation of the five-year action plan for the Managing Partners’ Diversity Collaborative.  He accepted the award during the GRBA’s Law Day luncheon on May 3.

Martin has been a critical member of the GRBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was responsible for planning the well-received “Diversity Roundtable 2010: Retention of Diverse Attorneys” program that included two national keynote speakers.  Not only did Martin help select the speakers, he also facilitated the roundtable discussion.

Following that effort, he worked tirelessly on the Managing Partners’ Diversity Collaborative, which was signed in June 2011, and established workgroups in the areas of recruitment, retention and pipeline development.  He served as facilitator and reporter for the retention workgroup, as well as provided in-depth background information in all three areas.  Martin took on the responsibility of drafting the combined five-year action plan.  The plan was signed in March by the 13 participating law firms, including Warner Norcross.

“We are pleased to see Rodney recognized for his tremendous work in the area of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross.  “In addition to his many contributions, Rodney was the driving force behind the Managing Partners’ Collaborative Agreement and Action Plan, which is designed to achieve greater diversity and inclusion in the education, hiring, retention and promotion of attorneys in the Grand Rapids legal community.  He is deeply respected by legal practitioners throughout Michigan, and particularly here in Grand Rapids.”

Martin serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the State Bar of Michigan as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.  He also serves on the Advisory Council of BL2END and as a facilitator for the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.  Martin also served on the City of Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee, which was recently honored with a 2012 Giants Award.

Martin concentrates his practice on financial institutions, with an emphasis on bank regulatory issues, fair lending, financial privacy and related matters.  He chairs the Financial Services Practice Group.