Polaris Vice President Mark Blackwell Announced His Retirement

M.BlackwellMark Blackwell, the Vice President for Polaris Industries, announced his retirement to be effective at the end of 1st quarter of 2014. Mark Blackwell was a leading rider in the early days of motocross in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He won the 1971 American 500cc Motocross title (a predecessor of today’s AMA National Motocross Championship) by being the top-scoring American in the Trans-AMA Series. He also scored a victory in the 500cc motocross class at Daytona International Speedway in 1972.

Blackwell was one of the first American riders to compete in the Motocross World Championships during the early 1970s. Perhaps even more influential than his racing exploits were Blackwell’s contributions as a manager in companies such as Suzuki, Husqvarna and later, Victory.

Blackwell’s announcement this week also included a note that he won’t seek reelection as Chairman of the Board of the Motorcycle Industry Council when his term ends early next year. In a letter addressed to industry colleagues, he wrote” “My time and work with Polaris have been the best of my life,” said Blackwell, “And I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the support I received. Clearly, Polaris is a great company with an outstanding board of directors, senior leadership team and employees. I firmly believe that the alignment of ownership and incentives combined with the corporate culture are among the best of any company in the world.”

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6 Responses to “Polaris Vice President Mark Blackwell Announced His Retirement”


  1. 1 Matt W. Dec 12th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Quite a contribution to motorcycle racing and the industry. Wish him the best.

  2. 2 Steve The Producer Johann Dec 12th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Best wishes and great job.

  3. 3 Lon Nordbye Dec 13th, 2013 at 10:25 am

    An amazing career in motorcycling, both on and off the track. Passion, vision and excellence personified. Congrats Mark.

  4. 4 Martin Twofeather Dec 14th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    You couldn’t meet a nicer guy on or off the track….

  5. 5 Nurul Amin Dec 15th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    You achieved a top level career in motorcycling which is really appreciable.

  6. 6 Robert Pandya Dec 16th, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I have spent a couple of decades in this business. As a sales guy, service writer, photographer, feature writer, newsletter publisher, events spokesperson, PR and event manager all representing many different brands. I have met many people.

    Mark Blackwell is among the cream of the crop.

    His generosity, perspective, professionalism, grace, ridership and ability to see talent and guide it are only trumped by how humble he is. He hired my company to handle PR for Victory in 2007 – the first product introduction I managed was the Vision.

    At that press ride – I stopped and looked in my mirror to see over 50 headlights following Mark and I down the road. I said to Mark as I pulled up next to him (nervous as I had never been in such a substantial ride) “Holy shit that’s a lot of bikes behind us!”

    He says to me with a smile – “That’s why it’s better to be up front.”

    When the light turned green, he gave me a wink and motioned me to take the lead.

    The guy is all class. And I thank him for giving me a chance.

    Robert Pandya
    External Relations Manager
    Indian Motorcycle (and still proudly overseeing Victory Motorcycles PR)

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