From NorCal To The Pacific Northwest, Tom Woodcock Fights Fires And Makes Deals
Bisnow proudly presents a new series called “Bisnow Bosses” focused on introducing you to the men and women building Bisnow and your business in your local market. Our mission is to inform and connect you to do more business, and our Bosses take it seriously! Here’s a quick chat with Tom Woodcock, our resident expert on all things on the West Coast and abroad. We spoke with him about how he found Bisnow at a crowded job fair, his plans for a food truck and the time he tried to vault a speeding car.
Tom Woodcock is Bisnow’s regional director in the Pacific Northwest and the Bay Area. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you?
An Englishman who found his home deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Equal parts artist, outdoorsman, bookworm and amateur chef. Debilitating fear of bears.
What is your most insane experience at Bisnow so far?
At Bisnow’s first-ever full-day event in Seattle, we had a speed networking session. As the event emcee, I had to be in full drill sergeant mode; anyone who’s run one of these knows it can't be done without a whistle.
So the moment arrives and of course, the whistle has vanished. I'm left with no choice but to shout until I'm blue in the face as 200 people plunge into cacophonous conversation after conversation, gesticulating like a maniac on the stage, for 45 straight minutes.
Why Bisnow and why the commercial real estate industry?
I worked at the United Nations while I was in grad school. The bureaucracy was stifling. I knew when I left, I wanted to work with a young, energetic, pavement-pounding company. I found just that at an NYU job fair. The Bisnow reps were just commanding the room. My passion for CRE came in large part from my first boss at Bisnow. He had an infectious zeal for innovation, futurism and new design in the built environment and it caught on quickly.
What's the worst job you ever had?
Roofing. It was junior year of college and I needed to make money in Montana over the summer. Rolling out tar paper on a scorching roof for 10 hours a day with no safety equipment? Probably not again any time soon.
Coolest job you ever had before Bisnow?
I was a wildland firefighter for three seasons. In late summer 2009, I worked in Umpqua National Forest in central Oregon, fighting the Williams Creek fire, which at its height was covering about 4,000 acres of forest.
If you weren't at Bisnow, where would you be and what would you be doing?
Probably doing my part to improve Seattle's lackluster food cart scene. I have a name, but I've never been able to choose between Thai food, Indian food or fish and chips. So for the time being you're spared from “Woodcock in a Box.”
Where will you be 10 years from now?
Still in the Pacific Northwest, which is reassuring.
What keeps you up at night?
Other than bears? Often the next event, sometimes the Seattle City Council.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
When I was 12, I missed the school bus and went running after it, with half my class cheering me on, banging the windows as I parkoured my way through backyards and intersections, only to be hit by oncoming traffic. When I made it back to school a week later, my classmates were still imitating my botched attempt at high jumping the car.