Article Kathleen Blair, Michelle Talsma Everson, Michelle Guerrero, Alison Stanton | Photography David Apeji
With the success of our Women’s issue, it seemed to be a no-brainer to carry it forward and feature The Real Men of Chandler in the June Men’s issue. We found these guys everywhere—donating their talents, time and/or money to make a difference in our great community.
Again, nominations were solicited through the magazine, social media and word-of-mouth. The nominating criteria remained loose because we were looking for men from a broad cross-section of our community and our Editorial Committee once again had a difficult task making the selections. All 62 nominees deserved to be in this issue, but space only allowed us to bring you 17.
I hope you enjoy reading and learning more about each of these men. Some will not be a surprise, but some will. Some are similarly motivated. Some are extremely unique. Some are innovative. Some have overcome great adversity. All are amazingly selfless. All are interesting. All are dedicated. All are motivated to do good.
Next time you see these men around the neighborhood, I hope you say hello and thank them for caring. They truly embody what gives Chandler our small-town feel and true sense of community.
MICHAEL A. POLLACK
PRESIDENT, POLLACK INVESTMENTS
Often referred to as “The Plastic Surgeon of Commercial Real Estate,” Michael A. Pollack began his career in the real-estate development business in 1973. After several years of building new projects, he turned his talents to redevelopment. As a leader in real estate, he has developed and redeveloped over 10 million square feet of real-estate properties in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada.
With a focus on redeveloping old and antiquated retail centers throughout Chandler and neighboring communities, Pollack has brought pride back into the neighborhoods. People are often stunned when they see some of the before-and-after photographs of the many redevelopments that his company has completed. He has received more than 100 awards for his work and charitable efforts—including recognitions and acknowledgements, Governor Awards, Congressional Awards, Senatorial Awards and even Presidential Honors.
Known for charitable giving, Pollack has given to numerous local organizations, including Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Regional Medical Center, Chandler Education Foundation, Chandler Service Club, Assistance League of East Valley, ICAN, Matthew’s Crossing, Fans Across America, numerous schools in the Chandler Unified School District, and is one of the largest private donors to Goodwill of Arizona.
What is one of your fondest memories of a time you were giving back to the Chandler community?
I’m thankful to say that during the past 25 years that I’ve been in Chandler, I have been able to give back to several local and national charities that make a positive difference in the lives of so many. Every charity I have been involved with has left me with a fond memory that upon recalling reminds me why I continue to strive to make the great city of Chandler an even better place.
How do you balance work, community and a personal life?
Finding a balance includes prioritizing my time so that I am able to give to each part of my life. I continue to strive to find the perfect balance between work, community and personal life; however, I can honestly say that it is a work in progress.
What is the most rewarding part of being able to give back?
I have always believed that being part of a community means helping your neighbors by giving in any way you can. The most rewarding part of being able to give back is knowing that my donations help provide the resources that charities need to continue their great work in the community.