Judy and George Marcus, co-owners of Kokkari Restaurant in San Francisco and Evvia in Palo Alto, are identified for his or her a long time of civic and philanthropic work, which has impacted every thing from well being and education to the humanities. They have volunteered at varied organizations collectively and independently over the previous 5 a long time. Together, the Los Altos Hills duo established the International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University and contributed $25 million — the most important donation to the college ever — to ascertain the George and Judy Marcus Hall for the Liberal and Creative Arts and the brand new house for the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts program in 2018.
George based Marcus & Millichap, established in Palo Alto and now one of many largest industrial actual property companies in the world. He sits on the board of administrators of Millennium Challenge Corporation, UCSF Foundation, CSU Foundation and Georgetown School for Foreign Service and is an emeritus board member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund and Corporation of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He is the regent emeritus of the University of California and a former California State University Trustee.
Judy, who supported the household whereas George was launching his enterprise, has devoted a few years to neighborhood service, contributing her time and abilities to such organizations as Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Cristo Rey San Jose, the Montalvo Arts Center, Breast Cancer Connections, Avenidas and Community Services Agency in Mountain View, the place she served as president. Their house has been the location of numerous fundraising occasions for nonprofit organizations, in addition to for U.S. presidential and different political candidates. She graduated from San Francisco State with a bachelor’s diploma in bodily education.
The Weekly spoke to George and Judy about their volunteer work and the impression it is had on their lives and the neighborhood in which they stay. The following interview has been edited for size and readability:
PAW: Thinking again, what impressed you to first get entangled in volunteering and philanthropy?
Judy: Growing up, I feel my household was all the time concerned with doing one thing — whether or not it was in the course of the holidays or different occasions — reaching out to teams that wanted further assist. I used to be a Girl Scout. We did not have very a lot ourselves, nevertheless it was all the time essential to provide.
George: I feel it begins in case you’re concerned in faith. Religious organizations are organizations that get you to assume a little bit about philanthropy and caring about anyone in want. I’m Greek Orthodox. The Orthodox faith may be very giant and I served on the board of a (humanitarian assist) group known as International Orthodox Christian Charities. We would go overseas and we might attempt to assist folks by means of all these disaster conditions, it doesn’t matter what their ethnic background or spiritual traditions. That was a really fulfilling factor for me.
PAW: Through philanthropy efforts and hands-on volunteer work, you’ve stepped as much as make the neighborhood that you simply name house a greater place for all. What makes this space so particular to you?
Judy: George and I got here to this space due to its magnificence and many facilities. Our neighborhood has blossomed into a spot for creativity and innovation that’s altering issues everywhere in the world. This may nearly evaluate to the Golden Age of Greece.
PAW: What form of impression do you’re feeling your volunteer work has had on the neighborhood?
Judy: I feel the perfect factor that may occur with a nonprofit is to exit of enterprise. We typically proceed applications which have outlived their usefulness. Things are altering in totally different communities, and we have to regulate with the change. What was good for the neighborhood 30 years in the past might not be applicable in the present day. We did this with Families in Transition (an help program for immigrants and their households), which was in East Palo Alto earlier than Ikea was to be constructed in 2003. (Through the) program, we began a housecleaning co-op, had just a few ladies study to drive, some did the cleansing and some watched the kids. All the cash was break up evenly, and finally, the ladies went on and developed their very own enterprise. They have been in a position to turn into empowered. Many moved away when the neighborhood turned extra gentrified. The cash we had left in the group was divided between town’s Ecumenical Hunger Program and Eastside Prep.
PAW: What’s been probably the most rewarding half about your volunteer work?
George: Trying to do good and seeing a distinction you can also make in totally different organizations.
Judy: When I see life adjustments, whether or not it’s financial or instructional, I do know that the time spent was worthwhile. It’s good to assist a wide range of issues — it’s totally enjoyable to me — fairly than only one space.
PAW: What recommendation do you’ve for others trying to volunteer or make a distinction in their neighborhood?
George: When you volunteer, it’s essential be efficient and ensure you have objectives. Regardless of what sort of charity it’s, you actually should make headway. Half of the objectives are normally about elevating cash. You should have people who find themselves skilled, it’s a must to have monetary capabilities, and all of it must be monitored to trace your outcomes. I’m a businessman, so I feel in these phrases on a regular basis.
PAW: While proudly owning eating places, working a mega actual property agency, elevating a household, launching nonprofits and volunteering, how have you ever managed to efficiently steadiness all of it?
Judy: We can steadiness what we do as a result of we prioritize, focus and invest the time. We work on issues individually, however we’re a workforce.
Read extra tales on this 12 months’s Lifetimes of Achievement honorees:
• Gary and Jeff Dunker: From sharing meals to creating ghoulish delights, couple goals to carry pleasure to younger and outdated
• Annette Glanckopf: Veteran organizer serves on 19 boards, unites residents and neighborhoods
• Barbara Gross: She’s spent her profession bringing companies and nonprofits collectively
• LaDoris Hazzard Cordell: She’s opened door after door for generations behind her