William C. “Bill” Martin
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Retired Trustee

June 4, 2012 through June 2019

Bill Martin is a first generation American who was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He holds a BA degree from Wittenberg College, a graduate degree in economics from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Martin founded the First Martin Corporation in 1968, a diversified real estate development company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1996, he founded the Bank of Ann Arbor and serves as its Chair. Martin has taught economics at Muskingum College, Eastern Michigan University, and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In 2000, Martin was tapped to be the tenth Athletic Director of the University of Michigan and served in that capacity for ten years.

His public service includes serving as President of the Washtenaw Land Conservancy, Ann Arbor Public Schools Foundation Board and Wittenberg University Board. The Ann Arbor News has recognized Martin as the Citizen of the Year.
In 2016, Martin was tapped by Michigan Governor Snyder to be a member of the State Commission overseeing the finances of both the City of Detroit and the Detroit School System.

As a lifelong sailor, Martin was President of the United States Sailing Association, the governing body for the sport. He has also served as a board member and President of the United States Olympic Committee receiving its highest honor, the General Douglas MacArthur Award. Currently, Martin is active on the board of the National Football Foundation. In 2008 Martin was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Dodd Foundation.

Martin resides in Ann Arbor with his wife, Sally; they have two grown sons and five grandchildren.


Trustees Buzz Thomas (far left) and Bill Martin (center) chat with two reception guests at the Foundation’s Annual Dinner in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation)

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