Business owner, humanitarian, and philanthropist. Harold Matzner is the proprietor of the popular Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs and the CEO of a New York/New Jersey-based advertising and marketing firm. Mr. Matzner is credited for rejuvenating the Palm Springs International Film Festival and pioneering the successful commercial concept of targeted “shared mail.” He also reopened the world-famous Palm Springs Tennis Club’s lunchroom as Spencer’s, one of the city’s trendiest see-and-be-seen eateries. Mr. Matzner is in his sixth year as the McCallum Theatre’s Chairman of the Board. He is also the Executive Vice Chairman of the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He is a member of the Eisenhower Medical Center and Barbara Sinatra Children’s Hospital boards of trustees. In https://www.palmspringslife.com/harold-matzner-an-oral-history/ describes well about Harold Matzner.
He has won several honors from the causes he supports. He was named “Philanthropist of the Year” by the AFP, “Man of the Year” by Gilda’s Cub, “Man of the Year” by McCallum Muses, “Angel of the Year” by Angel View Children’s Foundation, and “Samaritan of the Year” by Desert Samaritans. Mr. Matzner has supported several additional non-profit organizations both locally and on the East Coast. Many local charities have benefited from his charitable efforts, including the Clinton Health Initiative, the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Shelter from the Storm, AIDS Assistance Program, Desert Cancer Society, ACT for MS, Eisenhower Medical Center, Desert AIDS Project, Stroke Recovery Center, Temple Isaiah, Mizell Senior Center, and Wellspring.
Mr. Matzner has routinely chaired or co-chaired the McCallum Theatre’s annual black-tie Gala, and he was a major supporter of the City of Palm Springs’ 75th Anniversary Celebration and the Palm Springs Art Museum this past season. Spencer’s Restaurant and Mr. Matzner’s star are located in the center of Palm Springs, at the foot of his buddy Sonny Bono’s statue.
Harold Matzner was never an orphan, but as a child, he could surely lay claim to having lived a hardscrabble existence. Born in 1937 in Newark, New Jersey, to a poor family, Harold strove to help his parents by doing whatever he could, from delivering daily newspapers to selling dog food door-to-door. His early ambition was to become a sportswriter, and after high school he worked as an apprentice at the old New York World Telegram before recognizing his dyslexia would prevent him from becoming the next Damon Runyon. “I just didn’t want to be a mediocre in my career,” he explains. He obtained a work in advertising as a natural-born salesperson, finally coming up with the idea of free weekly advertising publications.