Knowing more about the people we work with is the fun side of the business. It helps start conversations and strengthens business relationships.

In this installation of “After Hours,” meet Michael A. Pollack, president of Pollack Real Estate Investments in Mesa. Pollack founded his company 40 years ago. Along with its affiliates, Pollack Real Estate Investments has been involved in more than 12 MSF of real estate projects throughout the U.S. He takes pride in being involved in all aspects of real estate including the ownership, management, construction, business negotiations, acquisitions, sales, contracts, finance and leasing of various types of company-owned projects.

Born and raised: San Jose, Calif.
Wife: Cheryl Pollack
Education: San Jose State University

Sports // Football and basketball
Music // Rhythm and blues
Travel destination // Europe
Leisure activities // Playing drums with my band, Corporate Affair, and collecting antique pieces, including advertising statues, animated displays and antique slot machines for my Pollack Advertising Museum

What did you think you’d be when you grew up?
Either a musician or a real estate developer.

Of what personal or professional accomplishment are you most proud?
Surviving the 2009 to 2011 real estate meltdown without renegotiating a single loan and paying all my bills in full and on time.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
In 1973, when I graduated from high school, I almost went overseas on tour with a band instead of entering the real estate business. After careful consideration, I chose real estate, because as a drummer who couldn’t sing very well my future earning ability in music didn’t look as bright as my potential earning ability in real estate. I promised myself back in 1973 that I would return to play the drums when I didn’t have to make a living at it. In 2005, I formed the band Corporate Affair and we have played more than 100 shows that have included performances at various charity events around the Valley and at the major parades such as Phoenix Electric Light Parade, Tempe Fantasy of Lights Parade and the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

How did the Pollack Advertising Museum start?
My interest in collectibles actually started when I was about 13 years old. I would go to flea markets on Saturdays and buy electric beer signs, repair them Saturday night and then take them to antique stores and sell them on Sundays for a profit. My favorite story involves a life-size Bosch battery man displaying a car battery. The Bosch man was found in what used to be East Berlin after the wall was torn down under a dilapidated building, inside a coffin. I also enjoy collecting animated Baranger displays and antique slot machines. The Pollack Advertising Museum has grown from a few dozen pieces in my basement 40 years ago to a world-class museum with more than 8,000 pieces on display.

What is the best business advice you’ve been given?
Always be able to “CYA” — cover your assets!

What advice would you share with people early in their real estate career?
If you want to be successful, be willing to work hard, learn all you can about the business you choose and always deal with honesty and integrity.

To nominate a colleague, request an After Hours form from Amanda Ventura,