Bryan Michael
Bryan Michael

Age 39 | real estate manager, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.


Bryan Michael wanted to be a construction supervisor, the no-nonsense type of guy who’s out in the field handling day-to-day project details. As a young man working in Atlanta, “I started down that path,” he said, “but then a guy in the office quit, I took his place, and I never got out of the office.”

The new path is working fine. Michael now handles real estate issues all over the world for Johnston-based Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Along with endless decisions and details, the job involves quite a bit of national and international travel.

“What you learn is that it’s all the same thing, just different languages,” he said. “Everyone has the same needs and desires in the business sense; they just have a little bit different ways of doing things.”

Michael said he doesn’t get much time for tourism on these trips, but his favorite spot so far was Budapest, Hungary. “The food is fantastic; the people are great,” he said. “If I could pick a place to go back to, that would be it.”

But he always looks forward to getting back home, he said. Michael is married to Dr. Sara Michael, who owns The Hearing Clinic in Windsor Heights, and they have a 7-year-old son, Cooper. They also enjoy traveling as a family to Western destinations such as Winter Park, Colo., and Glacier National Park in Montana.

His schedule of work, family and travel might seem like a full accounting of anyone’s time, but Michael also spends several hours a week running and training for high-level competitions.

He has qualified for and competed in the Boston Marathon three times, where he broke the 3-hour barrier last year with a time of 2 hours and 58 minutes.

Michael also has finished the Ironman triathlon competition in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, twice. “I’m going to keep doing that one until I feel like I’ve done my best,” he said. “If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.”


Five reasons he’s a 40

• Manages Pioneer’s real estate portfolio, which includes 13 million square feet in 43 countries.

• Led the design team that constructed phase one of The Iowa Clinic’s West Lakes campus.

• Serves on the board of directors of the Johnston Economic Development Corp.

• Vice president of Green Meadows Ltd.

• Has competed three times in the Boston Marathon and twice in the Ironman Coeur d’Alene.


Fun Fact:

Michael played the cello as a student at Waterloo West High School. His mother wanted him to continue playing the instrument, but “I was too cool,” he said.