Darla Longo

Senior Vice President, Industrial Properties Division

CB Richard Ellis

Claim to Fame: First woman ever to serve on CB board

In her 20 years with CB Richard Ellis, Darla Longo has handled deals involving 50 million square feet of industrial property with a total value of more than $2 billion.

Those numbers have earned her a senior vice president's spot and helped her become the first woman to serve on CB's board. She also chairs the firm's broker advisory council.

"When I first started, there were more challenges from my peers than my clients," Longo says. "There were no women in industrial. Men used to look at woman as dumb broads. But that was 20 years ago. Things have changed, and they've been more accepting."

Longo said handling industrial property comes naturally to her. "My dad was a steel salesman. He always said to me, 'Darla, you should go into real estate sales.' Growing up, I met manufacturers who my dad entertained. Industrial work made sense to me. I understand it. I love to figure out how things are made."

Longo began her career with CB in 1979 and initially worked in the firm's Los Angeles office. Since 1983, she has been based in the San Gabriel Valley, specializing in acquiring industrial properties in the rapidly growing Inland Empire.

Some of her clients include General Motors, Prudential Realty Group, Ralphs, Smart and Final and Wells Fargo. "I've had some clients for 20 years," she says. "If I did a good job, they stuck with me."

Longo was on the CB board from 1993 to 1995 and left the post after serving the maximum time allowed. In recent years she has broadened the scope of her work and now transacts industrial property deals throughout the Los Angeles region.

She has teamed with her sister, Barbara Emmons, to do some of these deals.

"When Darla started in the field 20 years ago, there wasn't another woman in industrial property," said Emmons, now a first vice president at CB who specializes in industrial properties. "She got me interested in real estate."

Rebecca Kuzins

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