Founder & Senior Mentor, REAP
Adjunct Professor, Urban Development
In 1997, as Vice President of Real Estate for Giant Food, a mid-Atlantic supermarket chain, Mike Bush forged REAP as a partnership among Giant, the American Jewish Committee, and the Greater Washington Urban League, to open professional opportunities in commercial real estate for minorities. He retired from Giant Food in 2000 to direct REAP, launching programs in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and New York City in partnership with the Business Schools at Howard University and Clark Atlanta University, with the support of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), and many others. REAP has now expanded to operate in nine major cities.
His background as a lawyer, executive, teacher, and community leader provided him with the perspective and relationships necessary to establish a market-driven program that has credibility with key constituencies—industry and minority professionals—and to enlist the large number of industry volunteers necessary to execute a project of this scope. During his 21 years at Giant Food, Bush served as Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Development, George Washington University School of Business, and as guest lecturer at academic and industry forums. He has served on the Corporate Real Estate Career Panel at Harvard Business School's Naylor Fitzhugh Conference, sponsored by the African American Student Union. He is a member of ICSC, ULI, DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA), Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), African American Real Estate Professionals (AAREP), and previously served on the Advisory Board of the African American Network Group (AANG) at CBRE.
In 2019, he was awarded the first ever Vanguard Award by African American Real Estate Professionals of DC (AAREP DC). He received the first Conscience Award from the Global Real Estate Diversity Summit, and was recognized by REAP Atlanta Alumni with the Founder's Award. He received the Isaiah Award for Social Justice from the American Jewish Committee (Washington Chapter) and was a participant in its Black-Jewish Dialogue. He was Chairman of the United Way Campaign at Giant, volunteer ombudsman and visitor at The Washington Home, and volunteer ward visitor at Washington Children's Hospital.
Bush received his B.A. from Stanford University and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Giant Food in 1979, he was a partner in an Arizona law firm, specializing in real estate, corporate and banking law.