Warner Norcross + Judd LLP attorney Rodney D. Martin has been recognized by the Grand Rapids Bar Association as one of two 2021 Donald R. Worsfold Distinguished Service Award winners.
The Donald R. Worsfold award honors members of the Grand Rapids Bar Association for a career of service to the organization, law profession and community. It is presented when the association wishes to recognize the contributions of a member whose service stands out for its extraordinary impact on the life of the community.
Martin has counseled financial institutions for more than 40 years on banking and consumer compliance issues. He regularly advises clients regarding bank regulatory issues involving mergers, acquisitions and the expansion of banking activities, as well as fair lending, financial privacy, Bank Secrecy Act and other compliance matters. He serves as general counsel to the Michigan Bankers Association.
In addition to his professional work and dedication to the law, Martin has committed much of his life to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. He led Warner’s diversity, equity and inclusion program for 13 years, leading changes in the firm’s recruitment of women and attorneys of color, which resulted in a significant increase of women in firm leadership roles and a strengthened focus on the benefits of an inclusive workplace.
His Donald R. Worsfold award nomination read in part: “Rodney is an outstanding lawyer and an outstanding person whose professional life and personal life have centered on service. He has donated countless hours to foster and encourage diversity and inclusion locally, statewide and across the nation. In service to the Grand Rapids Bar Association, he led the development, work and success of the Managing Partner Diversity Collaborative, increasing the diversity of all West Michigan law firms and the legal profession in general. Rodney was instrumental in strengthening the profession’s diversity and inclusion as co-chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, developing the groundwork for many of the programs that continue to provide education and resources to members today.”
Martin has served as a member and board member to numerous diversity initiatives, such as the BL²END Advisory Council, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Cultural Diversity Council, Multiracial Association of Professionals and Inforum Diversity NEXT Steering Committee. As president of the Comprehensive Therapy Center board for more than 20 years, Martin helped lead the organization through growth and success, positively impacting countless individuals with disabilities and their loved ones.
Martin also is a past program chair for Boy Scouts of America, Gerald R. Ford Council and Youth Development, Inc., a nonprofit experiential learning program for students in East Grand Rapids Public Schools. He has received numerous awards throughout his legal career, including recognition by Best Lawyers, Michigan Super Lawyers and Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He was recognized in the second class of Senior Neighbors 16 Over 60 and as a Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In 2012, he received the Grand Rapids Bar Association President’s Award for his efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the Bar and the William Glenn Trailblazer Award along with other members of the Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee.
Martin will be recognized alongside one other 2021 award recipient during the Grand Rapids Bar Association Gala in May.
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