As Vice President Real Estate for Giant Food, Mike Bush devised and implemented strategy for new store development and increased market share in the Mid-Atlantic, and for penetration of the Delaware Valley. During his tenure, Giant opened or replaced 60 stores and expanded dozens more in one of the country’s most competitive trade areas. He directed market research, promotions to developers and municipalities, feasibility analysis, site selection, leasing and acquisitions, entitlement, and capex approvals. He developed Giant’s first successful urban units with structured parking, and personally led successful campaigns to persuade citizen groups, elected officials, and staff to modify zoning to accommodate Giant stores.
As executive, lawyer, teacher, and community leader, Bush has over three decades of experience in commercial real estate and 16 years’ experience in recruiting, training minority professionals and placing them in the industry. In 1997 he founded REAP – the Real Estate Associate Program – a non-profit to spot and place minority professional talent in commercial real estate, an industry with less than 1% professionals of color and less than 5% women at professional levels. He directed REAP full-time for 12 years, placing over 100 career-changing professionals from accounting, architecture, banking, construction, engineering, finance, IT, law, and sales, with firms across the country. They work for firms like JBG, CBRE, Cushman, Forest City, Peterson, Prudential, and Vornado, as financial analysts, developers, property and asset managers, brokers, and research analysts.
Bush is President of The Minority Resource (TMR), which he founded in 2009 to introduce minority college students to careers in commercial real estate, banking, and construction – industries which recruit primarily through personal networks. He developed TMR’s Business Scholars Program, a six-week summer course where forty volunteer senior professionals present career paths as they describe their own positions.
In 2012 Bush launched Long Lead, a career planning service, in response to students and practitioners asking how to choose or change careers. He advises clients on career planning, resume building, networking, and interviewing.
In 2013, Bush joined University of Maryland as Instructor in Real Estate Development and Capstone Advisor at the Colvin Institute. His Maryland classes draw from the curriculum of his graduate seminars on Retail Real Estate Development, which he developed and teaches at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. At Georgetown and Hopkins, students explore how well-known projects in metropolitan Washington DC serve the complementary objectives of developers creating wealth and retailers delivering goods and services to shoppers.
His work in business, education, and community service has received wide recognition:
- National Real Estate Investor “Ten to Watch” (2005)
- Achievement Award – DC Building Industry Association (2007)
- Commercial Property Executive “Diversity Executive of the Year” (Runner-Up 2010)
- Professional Development /President’s Awards – African American Real Estate Professionals (2004/2013)
- Conscience Award – Global Real Estate Diversity Summit (2007)
- Isaiah Award for Social Justice – American Jewish Committee (2000)
- Community Involvement Person – National Organization Minority Architects DC (2011)
Bush began his career as a corporate lawyer and was a partner specializing in real estate, banking, and finance. He went to law school at Harvard (LL.B. 1968) and to college at Stanford (B.A. 1965), where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in Humanities.