Boston Properties' senior management team is among the most respected and accomplished in the REIT industry. Our deep and talented team averages 32 years of real estate experience and 21 years with Boston Properties. We believe that our size, management depth, financial strength, reputation, and relationships of key personnel provide a competitive advantage and enable us to maximize shareholder value.
Owen D. Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Boston Properties. He is a Director of Lehman Brothers Holdings and served as its first Chairman from 2012 until 2013 when he joined Boston Properties. Prior to Lehman, Mr. Thomas was with Morgan Stanley for 24 years serving in a number of different roles, business units and locations, including Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley Asia and Chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, while living in Hong Kong from 2008 until 2011. He also held the roles of President of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate and served on Morgan Stanley's Management Committee from 2005 until 2011.
Mr. Thomas is the Global Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, a Director of the Urban Land Institute Foundation, a Director of the Real Estate Roundtable, and a member of the Executive Board of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. He is a Director of Episcopal Charities of New York and formerly Chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association and Director of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. He attended and is a former Trustee of Woodberry Forest School, received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Linde serves as President of Boston Properties, Inc. Prior to his appointment to this position in May 2007, he served as Executive Vice President since January 2005 and he also served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from 2000 until November 2007. He joined Boston Properties in January 1997 as Vice President of Acquisitions and New Business to help identify and execute acquisitions and to develop new business opportunities and was promoted to Senior Vice President for Financial and Capital Markets in October 1998.
Prior to joining Boston Properties, Mr. Linde served from 1993 to 1997 as President of Capstone Investments, a Boston real estate investment company. From 1989 to 1993, he served as Project Manager and Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer of Wright Runstad and Company, a private real estate developer in Seattle, WA. He began his career in the real estate industry with Salomon Brothers' Real Estate Finance Group.
Mr. Linde is a Trustee of the Beth Israel Lahey Health Board of Trustees. Mr. Linde is a Director Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ("BIDMC") and co-chairs the BIDMC capital campaign. He is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable and serves as a director of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau and Jobs for Massachusetts. Mr. Linde also serves on the Urban Studies and Planning Visiting Committee at MIT and is a member of the Wesleyan University Board of Trustees.
Mr. Linde received a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Raymond A. Ritchey serves as Senior Executive Vice President. Prior to his appointment to this position in January 2016, Mr. Ritchey served as Executive Vice President, Head of our Washington, DC Office and National Director of Acquisitions and Development since April 1998 and Senior Vice President and Co-Manager of our Washington, DC office. Mr. Ritchey is responsible for all business development, leasing and marketing, as well as new opportunity origination in the Washington, DC area. He also directly oversees similar activities on a national basis. Mr. Ritchey joined us in 1980, leading our expansion to become one of the dominant real estate firms in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. For four years prior to joining us, Mr. Ritchey was one of the leading commercial real estate brokers in the Washington, DC area with Coldwell Banker. Mr. Ritchey is the President of the Board of Spanish Education Development (SED) Center; a member of the Federal City Council; a member of The Economic Club of Washington; Founding member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Northern Virginia; Chair of the JDRF Real Estate Games; and an active volunteer with numerous civic, charitable, and real estate industry organizations. A sampling of Mr. Ritchey's professional honors include: ULI Lifetime Achievement Award; Man of the Year, CREW; Brendan McCarthy Award, GWCAR; Good Scout of the Year, Boy Scouts; Trendsetter of the Year, Transwestern; Developer of the Year (numerous organizations); and Junior Achievement Man of the Year. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.
Michael E. LaBelle serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Prior to his appointment to this position in January 2016, Mr. LaBelle served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since November 2007 and he also served as Senior Vice President, Finance from February 2005 to November 2007. In his current role, Mr. LaBelle oversees the finance, accounting, tax, information systems, internal audit and investor relations departments and is also responsible for capital raising, treasury management, credit underwriting, financial strategy and planning. Prior to joining us in March 2000, Mr. LaBelle held the position of Vice President & Relationship Manager with Fleet National Bank for nine years with the responsibility of financing large-scale commercial real estate developments. He started his career as an Associate National Bank Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in New York City specializing in commercial real estate debt portfolio analysis and valuation in commercial banks located throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Mr. LaBelle is on the National Advisory Board for the University of Colorado Real Estate Center. Mr. LaBelle holds a BS degree in Economics from the University of Colorado.
Bryan J. Koop serves as Executive Vice President, Boston Region. Prior to his appointment to this position in January 2016, Mr. Koop served as Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of our Boston office since 1999. Mr. Koop is responsible for overseeing the operation of our existing regional portfolio in the Boston area, which includes the Prudential Center and Kendall Center. He is also responsible for developing new business opportunities in the area. Prior to joining us in 1999, Mr. Koop served at Trammell Crow Company from 1982 to 1999 where his career covered high-rise office building leasing and the development of commercial office buildings and shopping centers. From 1993 to 1999, his position was Managing Director and Regional Leader for Trammell Crow Company's New England region, which included all commercial office and shopping center operations. Mr. Koop is a member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Chapter of NAIOP, the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and the Kendall Square Association and previously served as chairman of the Back Bay Association. Mr. Koop received a BBA and an MBA from Texas Christian University.
Robert E. Pester serves as Executive Vice President, San Francisco Region. Prior to his appointment to this position in January 2016, Mr. Pester served as Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of our San Francisco office since 1998. Mr. Pester is responsible for overseeing existing operations in San Francisco and our other Bay Area properties on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley, and developing new business opportunities in the area. Prior to joining us in 1998, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Bedford Property Investors, a real estate investment trust in Lafayette, CA, where he led the acquisitions and development program. Prior to 1994, he was President of Bedford Property Development, a private West Coast development concern that held more than $2 billion in real estate assets. From 1980 to 1989, he was a leading commercial real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield in northern California, where he last served as Vice President. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Economics and Political Science.
John F. Powers serves as Executive Vice President, New York Region. He oversees all aspects of our New York and Princeton, New Jersey activities, including development, acquisitions, leasing and building operations. Prior to joining us on January 2, 2014 as Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of our New York office, he served from 2004 as Chairman of CBRE, Inc. for the New York Tri-State Region overseeing the strategic direction of CBRE's Tri-State operations. He joined the Edward S. Gordon Company, which was subsequently merged into CBRE, in 1986 after working eight years at Swiss Bank Corp (now UBS). At ESG, he developed and managed the Consulting Division into a strong and integral part of the firm's service delivery platform, which facilitated its sustained leadership in the Manhattan office leasing market. He also brokered millions of square feet of transactions, representing both tenants and landlords, led numerous strategic consulting assignments for large corporate occupiers and advised on many ground-up developments. He is a frequent speaker on commercial real estate in New York valued for his insight linking economic trends and conditions to their eventual impact on the office market. Mr. Powers is chairman of Right to Dream, Inc. He received a BA in Mathematics from St. Anselm College, an MA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. He also studied international economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.
Hilary Spann serves as Executive Vice President and will succeed John Powers as Head of the Company’s New York Region effective January 1, 2022. Ms. Spann brings to the Company more than 20 years of real estate investment and development experience, most recently the Head of Americas for Real Estate at CPP Investments. During her tenure at CPP, Ms. Spann was responsible for leading all aspects of the Americas real estate business, including investment strategy and execution, talent acquisition and management, and portfolio management. Prior to joining CPP Investments in 2016, Ms. Spann held several executive roles in acquisitions and asset management in the Global Real Assets Group at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, including as the head of the northeast region for real estate. Ms. Spann is a Governing Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, as well as a member of its Americas Executive Committee and she also serves as a Director of the ULI Foundation. Ms. Spann graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of City Planning, both from the College of Architecture. She also studied architecture at the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris – La Villette.
Frank D. Burt serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, positions he has held since 2003. He is responsible for overseeing the legal and risk management departments. Mr. Burt has served in various capacities since he joined us in 1986, and he represented us in the acquisition of the Prudential Center in Boston and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, as well as in the development activities at the Prudential Center. He previously worked in the real estate department at Nutter, McClennen & Fish in Boston. Mr. Burt is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the Boston Bar Association and a speaker for the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Association of Corporate Counsel, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, NAIOP and Nareit. Mr. Burt received a BA, magna cum laude, from Brown University and a JD, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Donna D. Garesché serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. As head of the human resources and corporate office management departments, she is responsible for leading and executing the company’s human capital strategy. Since she joined Boston Properties in 2010, Ms. Garesché has provided strategic direction on human resource initiatives related to talent management, leadership development, succession planning, structuring competitive benefit and compensation systems, performance management, training and development, and employee relations. Before joining Boston Properties, Ms. Garesché served as Vice President, Human Resources for AEW Capital Management, a global real estate investment management firm and previously served as Director, Human Resources for Beacon Properties, a real estate investment trust. Ms. Garesché received a BA from Saint Anselm College, a MA from Boston College, and holds an Executive & Organizational Coaching Professional certification from Columbia University.
Pete Otteni serves as Senior Vice President, Co-Head of the Washington, DC Region. Prior to his appointment to this position in May 2021, Mr. Otteni served as Senior Vice President, Development. Mr. Otteni joined the Company in 2000 and progressed through the Development department, assuming his role as Senior Vice President and Head of Development in 2016. Mr. Otteni was responsible for more than four million square feet of development in Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland, including the completion of the Urban Core at Reston Town Center as well as the currently under development next phase of Reston Town Center. Mr. Otteni received a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Jake Stroman serves as Senior Vice President, Co-Head of the Washington, DC Region. Prior to his appointment to this position in May 2021, Mr. Stroman served as Senior Vice President, Leasing. Mr. Stroman joined the Company in 2004 and progressed through the Development department, assuming the role of Vice President in 2011. In 2019, Mr. Stroman transitioned to Head of Leasing, and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2020. Mr. Stroman has led complex and high-profile projects, leading both project management responsibilities as well as managing key customer relationships. Mr. Stroman received a BS in Civil Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and an MBA, Real Estate Development from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.
James Whalen serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Technology Officer for Boston Properties where he is responsible for the direction and implementation of technology, applications and security. Prior to joining the Company in March 1998, he served as Vice President, Information Systems of Beacon Properties. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a recipient of the New York City Urban Fellowship. Mr. Whalen is a current trustee and past President of the Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM) and serves on the Realcomm Advisory Council, TechHire Boston and Boston Private Industry Council.
Michael R. Walsh serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer. He is responsible for overseeing financial reporting, property accounting and tax compliance and is also responsible for providing transactional support on capital markets activity. Prior to his appointment to this position in May 2016, Mr. Walsh served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Paramount Group, Inc. (“Paramount”), a real estate investment trust focused on Class A office properties in New York City, Washington, DC and San Francisco, from March 2015 to March 2016. Before joining Paramount, Mr. Walsh was a Senior Vice President, Finance and Capital Markets at Boston Properties where he served in various capacities since 1986, and was most recently responsible for overseeing its accounting, financial reporting, financial analysis and tax functions and participated extensively in investor relations matters. Mr. Walsh received a BS, magna cum laude, from Eastern Nazarene College.
Ben Myers serves as Vice President, Sustainability, where he is responsible for sustainability and ESG strategy, implementation, reporting, and stakeholder engagement. He has a genuine passion for sustainable real estate and is committed to disrupting the status quo as an industry leader on climate action, resilience, green building, renewable energy, healthy workspaces, and urban ecosystems. Prior to being appointed to the role in 2015, Mr. Myers held positions in construction management at the Company, as well as green building services at Harvard University. Mr. Myers holds an MA in Urban Environmental Leadership from Lesley University and a BS in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.