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Professional Experience

Ben Bakken is the Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for CBRE|Martin and CBRE|Grand Rapids. 

Ben has over ten-years of corporate banking experience, handling a high-concentration of commercial real estate financing. In a prior role, he served for over three-years as Chief Financial Officer with a global wholesale/retail company headquartered in Michigan. Ben’s most recent position was as Vice President, Commercial Banking at Mercantile Bank in Lansing, MI. 

Ben is active in the Lansing-area and his dedication to community is embodied through his service on several area board positions, including Treasurer for the Holt Public Schools Board of Education and Vice-Chair of the Lansing Financial Health Team.

Ben also serves as an organizer of the 5-Minutes-Tops contest, a “Shark Tank”-like program that allows students from area schools to make business pitches to potential local investors. In addition, he is an eleven-year participant of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge, having consistently been the event’s top fundraiser.

Ben earned his undergraduate degree from Wayne State University and his M.B.A. from Northwood University. He played collegiate basketball at Kent State University and Wayne State.  

Ben and his wife, Rachel, live in Dimondale, MI with their three children Clara, Jack, and Henry.


Professional Affiliations

  • Treasurer, Holt Public Schools Board of Education
  • Vice-chair, Lansing Financial Health Team
  • Treasurer, Holt Education Foundation
  • Treasurer, Lansing Regional SmartZone


  • B.S., Wayne State University
  • M.B.A., Northwood University

Volunteer Work/Achievements

  • Special Olympics, Polar Plunge
  • Organizer, 5-Minutes Tops
  • Volunteer, Junior Achievement of America
  • Guest Lecturer, Michigan State University-Real Estate Investment Management Program
  • Rams Victory Club, Holt High School Athletic Hall of Fame