Detroit Regional Chamber > Mackinac Policy Conference > Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Stephen Polk As The 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Stephen Polk As The 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair

June 2, 2016

MACKINAC ISLAND, June 2, 2016 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced automotive expert, philanthropist and Highgate CEO Stephen Polk as Chair of the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference. Archer Corporate Services’ President and 2016 Conference Chair Dennis Archer Jr. made the announcement from the main stage.

“Stephen Polk has an exemplary reputation in our society and is a Michigan leader in the truest sense of the word,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “As the automotive industry experiences unprecedented change in the mobility era, Stephen’s counsel and expertise will be invaluable as the Chamber continues to build out its MICHauto program and ensure our state remains the global epicenter of next-generation mobility.”

A long-time member of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board and Executive Committee, Polk currently serves as the CEO of Highgate LLC and held various leadership positions including Chairman and CEO at R.L. Polk & Co., an automotive data and marketing solutions leader. R.L. Polk & Co. was sold to IHS in July 2013 for $1.4 billion. The former chair of the Automotive Hall of Fame, Polk is active in numerous business and philanthropic activities in Southeast Michigan. His family’s unprecedented $10 million gift helped fund the 33,000-square-foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which opened April 18, and is the largest facility for penguins in the world.

“As Chair of the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, I am proud to continue to work for the community that was global headquarters for our family-owned business, R.L. Polk & Co., for almost 150 years. Detroit, thanks to so many people, is on the rise again and the Chamber will continue to do its share in building our community,” Polk said.

The 2016 Conference focused on the pillars of entrepreneurship, urban education and investing in the future by supporting high-growth industries such as automotive, defense and IT. As the 2017 Conference Chair, Polk and Chamber leadership will develop pillars and the agenda for next year’s event, which will be held from Tuesday, May 30 through Friday, June 2.

“From its beginning several years ago, I have been a proponent of the Chamber’s MICHauto program which seeks to capitalize on Michigan’s unparalleled expertise in the global automotive industry,” Polk said. “As part of my commitment to the Chamber and the people of Michigan I will work to enhance MICHauto’s effectiveness in keeping and bringing new automotive businesses to our city and state.”

Detroit Regional Chamber 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference

The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to re-energize Michigan. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Approximately 1,700 attendees attended the 2016 Conference, held from May 31 – June 3 at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit