This week, Ira spoke with Michael Mack, a fourth generation pawnbroker and owner of  Max Pawn, a pawn & jewelry Store specializing in luxury designer goods. He was recognized in July as “Pawnbroker of the Year” by the National Pawnbrokers Association. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Mack talks about challenging the old image and “stigma of pawn”; how he considers his business “the people’s bank”; why he specializes in luxury goods; where he stores his large items, such as automobiles; what is the most expensive item he has sold; why the industry is highly regulated in Las Vegas; how technology has transformed the buying and selling of goods, which includes maintaining a large online presence; and why he thinks Rick Harrison and the “Pawn Stars” show is great for everybody in the business.

Mack and his partner founded Super Pawn, growing the brand to a 50-store chain before it was eventually sold. Itching to return to the industry, Mack founded Max Pawn in 2009, bucking the traditional pawn model with an emphasis on customer service and community relationships.

Since opening, Max Pawn has been a six-time Best of Las Vegas winner and National Pawn Association Community Relations Award and Outstanding Pawn Industry Image Award recipient.

Mack is a noted philanthropist, lending his time and talent to numerous community organizations including Make-A-Wish, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, Noah’s Animal House, and Ronald McDonald House.