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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL-Only a few months after having her best year in real estate, Cindy Bischof’s life was taken suddenly March 7. Bischof, 43, is remembered as a hard-working professional who was an expert in her field. “She was one of the best industrial brokers in the Midwest,” says George Cibula, her colleague and president at Darwin Realty and Development Corp. in Elmhurst, IL.

Bischof was shot and killed by ex-boyfriend Michael Giroux late Friday afternoon near her car as she was leaving her office. Giroux, 60, of Chicago, then shot himself in the head, according to a release from the Elmhurst Police Department. Giroux died at the scene. The two had dated, with Bischof ending the relationship in early 2007 and reportedly obtaining an order of protection against Giroux.

Bischof had been in the industrial real estate business since 1997. She joined Darwin in 1999 and was made a principal six months ago, Cibula says. She had been the sales manager for four years, through 2006, he says. The sales manager position is a needed one but not one that is highly desired, he says. “It is a pretty thankless task being the sales manager,” he says. “She stepped up and did a heck of a job.” In 2007, “she had her most productive year” and sold more than four million sf of industrial space, mostly in northwest Indiana and the southeast Chicagoland area, Cibula says. The amount was larger than in 1998 when she had even been named Chicagoland industrial broker of the year, he says. “She specialized in large, difficult properties to sell or lease,” Cibula says.

From 1998 through 2000, she was the director of marketing for a former sister logistics company of Darwin. “She actually took a pay cut” to allow her to really learn the industry, Cibula says. “She was very active in the SIOR and she was considered one of the premier transportation experts regarding industrial real estate,” he says. Bischof was one of the few who was an expert on barge, rail, trucking and public logistics companies, he adds. Bischof became interested in industrial real estate after working as a secretary for Rubloff & Co. while she was attending DePaul University in the evenings. “She was charming and hardworking,” he says.

Visitation will be held today for Bischof, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Glueckert Funeral Home Ltd., 1520 N. Arlington Heights Rd., here, with the mass held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Anne Catholic Church, 306 Franklin, Barrington, IL. The Cynthia L. Bischof Memorial Fund is being set up to benefit women who are being abused or harassed by their husbands or boyfriends and will also be to promote the education of women in the real estate business,” Cibula says.

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