Tom Bakke is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Washington REIT. He has held leadership positions at several prestigious real estate firms after serving in the U.S. Navy for 10 years as an F-14 Pilot and logistics manager. Over a 20-year stint at the Equity Office Properties, Tom played an instrumental role in the growth and development of EOP from a small opportunistic investment company of 5 million square feet to an industry leader of Class A office properties and over 150 million square feet across 35 markets in the U.S. At EOP, he co-founded the Equity Office Corporate Challenge Golf Tournament which ran from 1996-2006 and raised more than $500,000 for Special Olympics.
Throughout his work, Tom has garnered a passion for helping others, especially as a coach and mentor. In fact, it became his life’s mission to work with people to discover their unique talents and help them on their journey to reach their full potential. To that end, Tom launched the nonprofit organization Keep Charging in 2012 to help young professionals develop business and life skills, especially in the real estate industry. Another cause near to Tom’s heart is The Neediest Kids program which is run by the National Center for Children and Families and seeks to serve the 41% of public school students in the Washington region who live in poverty by providing basic tools, such as eye glasses, dental care and school supplies, needed to obtain the education they deserve. In support of The Neediest Kids, Tom founded the Race for the Kids, an annual 1-mile road race with Olypmic and National running champion Alan Webb, that has raised more than $200,000.00 over its 6-year history.
Tom was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Washington REIT in April, 2014. Prior to joining Washington REIT, he was Senior Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield where he was the market leader for Northern Virginia. From February 2007 to January 2012, Tom held the position of Marketing Managing Director at Equity Office Properties, a national commercial real estate owner and a subsidiary of The Blackstone Group. Over his 20 plus years at Equity Office Properties, Tom held a variety of other senior positions with the company and its predecessors including Senior Vice President, National Leasing and Senior Vice President, Field Operations. Tom is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and has a MBA in Finance, attending MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Golden Gate University.