Deena Zimmerman
Principal / Broker

Deena Zimmerman is an award-winning broker with nearly twenty years of industry experience. Known as a star tenant rep, she is sought after by national brands, multi-unit franchisees, and even first-time entrepreneurs nationwide for site selection rollouts across both Chicagoland and the entire country.

She also specializes in the sale and leasing of retail, investment, and development properties. Deena is a trusted expert in Cannabis real estate, and she is regarded nationally for her business development efforts and her expertise in retail site selection and curation.

As Principal at Baum Realty Group, Deena’s role is centered on national business development as well as commercial redevelopment and adaptive reuse projects across the Country. Deena’s incredible network of relationships stems in large part from her involvement in several local and national organizations. She is the 2024 Commercial Liaison for the National Association of Realtors, and she is a member of ICSC, WIRL (Women in Retail Leasing), and has served as a Mentor and is a longtime supporter of the Goldie Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative. In 2021 she was named one of the top 25 most influential women in Commercial Real Estate and has been named annually by CREi as a top social media influencer in commercial real estate. Deena is a recognized industry leader and public speaker, presenting at national conferences, and to industry groups and associations throughout the United States in addition to guest spots on national television, radio, and podcasts.

Lee Dickson
Managing Director / Broker

Lee leads Baum Realty’s Entertainment Practice focusing on incomparable performing arts organizations, immersive and experiential location-based entertainment concepts, hospitality professionals, musicians, magicians and other intriguing visionaries to meet their unusual real estate requirements. She locates remarkable, unique spaces that work well for this growing list of clients and makes creative, mutually beneficial deals for landlord and tenant. Her clients’ needs are not always understandable to commercial brokers focusing on office, retail or industrial. Theirs is a special language and she speaks it fluently.

Notable representations include Lighthouse Immersive (Immersive Van Gogh), Starvox Exhibits (The Art of Banksy), Original X Productions (Harry Potter - Magic at Play), Round Room (F1 - The Exhibition and Tupac Shakar. Wake Me When I'm Free), Immersive Co. (Perceptual Shift), Chicago Magic Company (The Magic Parlour), Albany Park Theater Project (Port of Entry), Peanuts International, Future Gallerie, Revel Global Events, The Paramount Group and Nirvana Center Dispensaries (that's entertainment, too, isn't it?).

Lee joined Baum Realty after a successful run at the helm of Dickson & Co., her commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in urban leasing and sales. She and her partners established The Retail Group, the first brokerage firm in Chicago to specialize in retail properties and tenant representation. Later, she joined forces with Friedman Properties to create three boutique shared office suites businesses which heralded today’s popular co-working spaces. As their Director of Retail, Lee marketed and leased the block known as Tree Studios and Medinah Temple.

Michael Meksto
Managing Director / Broker

Mike joined Baum Realty in 2019 as a Managing Director in the firm's Tenant Representation division, bringing with him diversified experience in corporate operations, in-house development, land acquisition, project leasing, dispositions and tenant representation. Prior to joining Baum Realty, Mike formed his own company called The Meksto Group, Inc., a brokerage, consulting and development company.

In addition to his work with The Meksto Group, Mike has consulted with Megalytics, Inc., a firm that provides advanced data mining and analytical analysis to the Commercial Real Estate Industry. Megalytics clients include institutional investors, national commercial real estate firms, as well as corporations that benefit from advanced analytics in their decisions surrounding commercial real estate locations, valuations and business partnerships.

Prior to forming his own company, Mike was Senior Vice President / Managing Director Retail with NAI Hiffman headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. NAI Hiffman responsibilities included management of the Retail Brokerage Team, shopping center leasing, tenant representation as well as land acquisition for valued clients throughout the Wisconsin, Illinois and NW Indiana markets

Before association at NAI Hiffman, Mike was a Vice President of Development with Dalan / Jupiter Development based in Chicago, Illinois. He was responsible for land acquisition, project leasing and sales as well as lease and sale contract negotiations with tenant representation. Mike was involved with over 1,000,000 square feet of shopping center developments along the Randall Road corridor in Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, Illinois.

Prior to joining Dalan / Jupiter Development, Mike was a Vice President with the firm of Tanguay / Burke / Stratton. While at TBS, Mike was responsible for the Home Depot and Target site selection process and was the coordinator for the marketing and sale of the excess Target properties throughout the entire Chicago Metropolitan market.

Before Tanguay / Burke / Stratton Mike begin his Commercial Real Estate Career as a retail broker with CB commercial. Mike was a “Top Ten” regionally ranked producer as a retail specialist in the Oak Brook, Illinois Office. Mike spent seven years at CB Commercial concentrating on retail leasing, land sales / acquisitions and tenant representation.

Mike is a member of ICSC, a former Chairman of the NAI Global Retail Executive Committee, and an Illinois Retail Broker of the Year Finalist in 2013.

Mike attended Utah State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science. He is a member of the Alumni Association, Life Loyal Sig / Sigma Chi Fraternity and Football Letterman.

Kevin Gallagher
Managing Director / Broker

Kevin Gallagher specializes in retail site selection for national tenants and developers, and in the sale and leasing of retail properties. Since 2006, Kevin has represented tenants locally and regionally as they seek to expand or optimize their retail locations. Notably, Kevin has worked continually with JP Morgan Chase Bank for over 15 years to help execute the bank’s real estate needs. Kevin represented several restaurant groups including Buffalo Wild Wings, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Domino’s Pizza, and Ditka’s Restaurant Group. He has also represented medium to large box users including PGA Golf Superstore, Seafood City, and Floor and Décor (Lombard).

Kevin has represented preferred developers First Equity Group and Millco Investments in their site selection efforts for CVS Pharmacy and Dollar General throughout Illinois and the greater Midwest region.

Kevin has successfully leased both existing and new retail centers throughout the Chicagoland market. He successfully procures national tenants and strong local operators for landlords. In addition, he helps owners with long-term strategy and planning for their real estate portfolios.

Additionally, Kevin is a member of ICSC and is in process of completing his qualifications as a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).

In his spare time, Kevin is an avid climber and runner.

Kevin graduated from Indiana University in 2004 as a double major in English and Philosophy.

Chuck Whitlock Image

Chuck Whitlock

Senior Vice President / Broker (312) 275-3133
Chuck Whitlock
Senior Vice President / Broker

Charles Whitlock is a Senior Vice President at Baum Realty specializing in the sale and leasing of office, retail, and industrial property in the West Loop, River West, Wicker Park, River North, Goose Island, Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Roscoe Village, Downtown Chicago, the Greater Chicago market, as well as the Denver Metro.

Charles has a comprehensive real estate background, including experience in land use, zoning, financial modeling and real estate development. He has worked on complex projects involving regional lifestyle centers, transit oriented developments, retail pad sites, landlord representation and tenant representation.

A licensed real estate broker in Colorado and Illinois, Charles earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Denver. He attended the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. He is actively involved with the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR), and the University of Denver Alumni Organization.

Dan Molnar
Vice President / Broker

Dan Molnar joined Baum Realty in 2012. He specializes in retail tenant and landlord representation with a focus on downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburban markets. As a member of Baum Realty’s Tenant Representation Group, Dan has secured hundreds of leases for tenants throughout Chicagoland. Representations include Starbucks, Cresco Labs, Naf Naf Grill, Jimmy John's, Dotty’s, Primrose Schools, Susie Cakes, Cold Stone Creamery, Akahoshi Ramen (aka Ramen Lord) and Zemsky's, in addition to numerous independent retailers, restaurants and landlords.

Prior to joining Baum Realty, Dan worked as a broker at Colliers International where he helped establish their Chicago retail division. During his time there, he exclusively represented accounts including Palm Beach Tan, European Wax Center, Granite City Food & Brewery and Ace Hardware.

Dan is an active member of ICSC, Young Real Estate Professionals and ICSC Next Generation. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Emory University where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. Dan is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.

Nicole Cardot
Vice President / Broker

Nicole Cardot joined Baum Realty in 2010. She provides both tenant and landlord representation services with a focus on downtown Chicago and the surrounding suburban markets. Nicole represents Chipotle, Starbucks, Silver Mirror, and Xponential Fitness Brands including Club Pilates, Yoga 6, Stretch Lab, Cycle Bar, Row House, BFT, Rumble, Lindora, and a variety of independent retailers and restaurants. She also represents numerous landlords including Campus Acquisitions, Akara Partners, Speedwagon Properties, GW Properties, Hines, and Newcastle Limited.

As a vital member of Baum Realty’s Tenant Representation Group, Nicole has secured high-profile lease and purchase opportunities on behalf of tenants, landlords, and sellers in Chicago’s most desirable downtown retail markets including the Gold Coast, Loop, River North, Bucktown / Wicker Park, and the West Loop.

Nicole graduated from Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel Merchandising. Nicole is an active member of ICSC, ICSC Next Generation, Woman in Retail Leasing (WIRL), CREW, and Indiana Real Estate Alumni Association. Nicole is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois.

Kira Ford
Associate / Broker

Kira joined Baum Realty in August 2021 as a member of the Landlord Representation team with a focus on both downtown Chicago and suburban markets. Kira contributes to the team by aiding in current leasing assignments, marketing research, and seeking out prospective tenants. Additionally, Kira provides support to the tenant representation team by delving into various markets that fit into the client’s needs.

Kira is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Illinois and an active member of ICSC.

She graduated from University of San Diego with a degree in Psychology, double minoring in French and Business Administration. In her free time, Kira enjoys spending time with friends and making lifestyle vlogs on her YouTube channel.