Story by Mai Le
Photo by Ihman Esturrco
As I stood at the threshold of the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa on the evening of September 23, 2023, I couldn’t help but reflect on the remarkable journey of a man I have known for many years and hold in the highest regard. Mr. Michael Pollack, a true titan of the industry, is not just a successful real estate guru; he’s a charismatic and passionate individual who has dedicated his entire life to his art collection and philanthropy. Tonight, we gathered to celebrate a monumental occasion, and I felt both honored and humbled to be part of this extraordinary event.
My husband and I got there early to ensure that our crew from Asian Media Network set up things ready to provide highlight coverage of this special event. We had the opportunity to interview many people on the red carpet who have known Michael for many years. Besides elected officials and business partners, we also interviewed his high school teacher and friends who have known him for almost 50 years and still keep in touch. That shows the loyalty and integrity of the person Michael is, inspiring everyone he meets.
It was heartwarming to witness the close-knit relationship between Michael and his family. His mother, Mrs. Wanda, whom Michael loves dearly and takes great care of, is an incredible lady. Michael gave credit to his mom for raising him to become the man he is today. I rarely see any super successful people who have as much respect and love for their mother as Michael does. My hat is off to his wife, Cheryl. She is not only beautiful but also very talented in organizing and maintaining a work-life balance for Michael. Michael’s sons, Bobby and Nick, have learned a great deal from their father, promised to continue carrying on their father’s legacy in innovation and philanthropy as the next generation of the Pollack family. What a beautiful family indeed!
As guests crossed the threshold of the hotel entrance, they were greeted with genuine smiles and opulent decor. The hosts of the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Pollack, with their characteristic warmth and hospitality, personally welcomed each guest. The night began with a photo session on the red carpet, a perfect opportunity to capture the memories of this exceptional evening. Distinguished guests graced the event with their presence, bedecked in elegant evening gowns and dapper suits.
The reception area was a warm and welcoming space, with gracious hostesses offering wine and delightful hors d’oeuvres. It created an ambiance for guests to mingle and savor their drinks. Two selfie photo booths, tucked discreetly in two corners of the room, had an unending line of excited guests, eager to capture a moment of celebration. Every photo, a tangible memory, printed on the frame with the photo of the man we were here to honor. The live band, with their melodious tunes, added to the sense of festivity, creating an atmosphere of joy. The sound of clinking glasses and the hum of cheerful conversations intertwined seamlessly, enveloping the room as people celebrated the 50-year journey of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments.
About 6:30 PM, the dividing curtains in the reception room swung open, revealing a space adorned with round tables and luxuriously decorated in gold and black – Mr. Michael Pollack’s favorite colors. A grand bar offered an array of drinks to cater to diverse tastes. Bartenders exhibited their skills, crafting signature cocktails and pouring the finest wines, enhancing the grandeur of the evening.
As I walked toward the front to find my table, I was so touched to see the cover of my Viet Lifestyles Magazine that featured Michael Pollack. He had once mentioned that the interview article I wrote about him was one of his favorites. His mother, Mrs. Wanda Pollack, told me she loved the article so much that she read it over and over several times. It was a heartwarming moment, and it reminded me of the impact our words can have.
A breathtaking violinist, dressed in a black and sparkling angelic ensemble, graced the stage, welcoming everyone with elegant melodies that set the stage for an unforgettable evening. As guests settled into their seats, the violinist made way for a live band, featuring talented singers who performed joyful songs. A buffet-style dinner was served, featuring an array of delectable dishes, each expertly prepared and presented.
The evening continued with a heartfelt welcome from Cheryl Pollack, followed by an introduction to her eldest son, Bobby Pollack, who had recently been appointed as Vice President of the company. Cheryl expressed her gratitude to all the attendees, acknowledging their unwavering support over the past 50 years. She called on everyone to continue their support for Bobby in his new role. Bobby, in turn, invited all guests to watch a highlight video that would reflect on the remarkable 50-year journey of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments. The video featured interviews with key figures who had worked closely with Michael and highlighted pivotal moments that had shaped the company’s trajectory.
Throughout the evening, there was an unmistakable sense of camaraderie and shared success. It was not only an occasion to celebrate the company’s achievements but also an opportunity to acknowledge the enduring impact that Michael Pollack has had on the community and the lives he has touched through his philanthropic endeavors.
Elected officials, including Mayor of Phoenix Kate Gallego and Mayor of Chandler Kevin Hartke, as well as business partners, nonprofit organizations, and media groups, took the stage to deliver heartfelt speeches. They expressed their gratitude to Michael for his invaluable contributions in making the community a better place through his real estate development and philanthropic efforts. Michael received a special key to the city of Chandler, a street sign named in his honor, and even a championship-style belt adorned with dollar signs, symbolizing the financial impact he has brought to the community.
Among the distinguished presenters were myself, representing the Asian Media Network, my husband Dr. Khoa Le, representing the Arizona Asian American Association, and Ihman Esturrco, representing the Asian International Film Festival Arizona. We had the honor of presenting the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Michael, expressing our deep appreciation for his commitment and unwavering support for the Asian community in Arizona.
As the event drew to a close, Michael took the stage once more, extending his gratitude to all the guests in attendance. He thanked the individuals he had crossed paths with throughout his remarkable journey, including his loving mother, dedicated wife, sons, and his loyal business partners, staff, and friends. My heart pounded when he mentioned my name. I could not believe it, I felt so honored to be included in his exclusive group of people who are close to him. Michael’s closing words were a testament to his commitment to leaving a positive impact on the world, stating, “Before I leave this world, I want to make it a better place than when I entered.” The crowd erupted in cheers and stood in unanimous support and appreciation for Michael and his company’s efforts in building a stronger, more vibrant community over the past 50 years.
As the night drew to a close, an air of jubilation and contentment filled the room. Guests left with hearts full, carrying with them the cherished memories of an extravagant celebration that paid homage to an extraordinary 50-year journey. With boundless optimism and enthusiasm, the celebration continued, inspiring all to look ahead to the next 50 years filled with continued success, innovation, and positive change. Cheers to Michael Pollack and his remarkable legacy!