William Pollakov to be Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, Commencement speaker

Monday, November 3, 2014

Northeastern Illinois University President Sharon Hahs announced on Monday, Nov. 3, that the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient and December Commencement speaker is William Pollakov.

Pollakov is president and CEO of The Pollakov Financial Group Inc., one of the premier financial services organizations in California. With 16 different divisions, the company is one of only a handful of comprehensive financial service firms in the country.

Pollakov graduated from Northeastern in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education: Physical Education and afterward spent 21 years with Principal Financial Group, where he took the company’s smallest firm and built it into its largest.

In 1997, Pollakov joined MassMutual and transformed a small, failing firm in Arizona into a large, thriving firm. He then relocated to San Diego and again took a small, failing firm and built it into a large, full-service financial planning firm that today includes 16 different divisions. The Pollakov Financial Group Inc. has won numerous awards both from MassMutual and the industry for outstanding performance.

Pollakov spent 12 years on GAMA International’s Board of Directors and served as president in 2001-2002. He served as president on the industry’s LIFE Board of Directors in 2003-2004 and today is treasurer.

Pollakov has served as an expert witness in court for industry legal issues and as a consultant for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is the president and founder of the Bikes for Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that has given away more than 36,000 new bikes to disadvantaged children.

Pollakov lives in Poway with his wife Debbie and has three children.

The Commencement ceremony for Northeastern Illinois University will take place at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.