Marc Pollick is the president and founder of The Giving Back Fund, which manages foundations for a number of celebrities. Before participating in a panel on whether celebrities help Haiti, he talked in the Zócalo green room about what, for him, fundraising and firing people has in common.
Do you correct people when they misspell your name?
I write back and press a capital C—MarC. Often people do it right when they see my signature under my email, and I wonder whether they’re seeing it if they misspell it.
If you could only take one more journey, where would you go?
To the smallest town in the world. Small towns fascinate me, having grown up in big cities. I miss the culture of a small town, the closeness of a small town, the intimacy of a small town where people really know each other, life slows down, and there’s no traffic like there was getting here tonight.
What’s your favorite thing about living in L.A.?
You’re assuming there is one. Being from Boston, I’m like an expatriate, literally. By far the weather. You have one of the greatest weathers in the world here.
Are you a Red Sox fan?
No, because I’m from Cleveland originally. I’m an Indians fan, although the former Red Sox manager who just got fired is on my board. I feel very badly for him.
What is your biggest weakness?
I have so many! Fundraising. I’m terrible at it. And firing people. I’m terrible at that.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given someone else?
What was it like working with Elie Wiesel, with whom you studied and helped set up a foundation?
Obviously it was very inspiring. I’ve worked with him and known him now for 35 years, a long time. And when you work with somebody that great and that famous for that long, you see them in a little bit different light than the public might see them. Their human frailties and foibles come out like every human would have, but that the public might not know about.
What is your favorite ice cream sundae topping?
How do you procrastinate?
By trying to do too many things at once, and it takes more time than I think, and it pushes things back and back and back.
What’s the most satisfying part of a typical day for you?
Dinner. Because I don’t cook, I eat almost every meal out, and it’s interesting to see all the different menus.
What’s the ugliest tie you own?
I probably own a few ugly ties. It is too many colors at once, and they don’t really go together.