Robert C. Placak of Tiburon

This October 5 marks the ninth year of the RCP Tiburon Mile, the popular open-water swim race from Ayala Cove on Angel Island to the Tiburon shore. “RCP” stands for Robert C. Placak—founder of the event, president of Robert C. Placak & Associates Insurance Services, and an elite swimmer. Placak and his son hone their skills in their Olympic-size backyard lap pool in Tiburon. Want to sign up for the race? Visit

Describe your personal style. My style is all-American classic with an eye toward clean lines—just as comfortable in a suit as in shorts or workout attire.

What are you wearing? Just your basic khakis and a polo shirt.

Who are your fashion influences? My wife, Graciela—classic beauty with understated elegance. I like to complement her style and sensibilities.

Where do you love to shop in Marin?  When I have the time or inspiration I go to Gene Hiller (where I) make a beeline to Tom Gangitano, Marin’s fashion guru. For some reason I’m usually inspired after a Saturday-morning swim workout and walk in wearing shorts and a T-shirt, with my wife. Tom loves a challenge and always makes you feel like a million bucks.

What is always in your bag/pockets? A money clip with a credit card and cash and pictures of my family.

What is your best cheapo secret? Tuesday comedy night at the Throckmorton with my teenage son and wife or a family drive to Ghirardelli Square for a hot fudge sundae.

What’s your fashion pet peeve? None.

What is your view of Marin style? The style of Marin is as diverse as the people and our microclimates. We live with world-class views and open space to inspire, and within this beauty are health-conscious, freethinking individuals who are not afraid to take risks.

Where do you love to eat in Marin?  El Paseo Restaurant in Mill Valley—excellent service, charming setting with creative wine list and menu.

How do you spend your weekends? Ideally at my home. I begin my day with a swim workout along with a buddy and my son; that challenges me. Then, many times on a whim, I’m off with my family to explore Marin. Dinner with friends and family at our home, (a meal) that my wife Graciela prepares so creatively. Home is where I love to be.

Where do you go to pamper yourself? Ultimate pampering is a visit to Foot Massage on Fourth Street in San Rafael.

How would your friends describe you? Focused, driven, determined and generous; not afraid to take a risk. I’d rather regret the things I do than something I didn’t do.

What was the last book you read and why? The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki, because it was given to me by a respected friend.

What was the last movie you saw? Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired—loved seeing it in a funky San Francisco theater.

If your life were a movie, what would be your theme song? “Fly Like an Eagle.” Followed by my favorite quote to live by, from Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”