Linda Gill joins an illustrious group of International Swimming Hall of
Fame Grande Dames.
She has been
one of the strongest voices in support of the Hall of Fame since its inception
She personifies the
elegance and grace of a woman who has made the Fort Lauderdale Beach her home.
A Fort Lauderdale native, born at Broward General
Hospital, Linda spent time romping on the beach and swimming at the old salt
water Casino Pool located on the beach in what is now Alexander Park, east of
the Hall of Fame.
Her father, Bob
Gill, was owner of Gill Construction which built over 3, 000 homes in Fort
Lauderdale in the mid-1940’s.
1948 his attention shifted to the hotel industry where he focused on building
several of the beach area’s historical and landmark hotels.
Among them were the 100 room, The Escape (now the Tiffany House on Rio
Mar) which was the first hotel with a swimming pool.
The Jolly Roger Hotel (now the Ramada Inn Sea Club) was the
first hotel on the beach to have air conditioning.
The Gill hotels were the first to be open year-round.
The success of the hotels was bolstered in 1956 when NBC broadcast its
noon and evening news from a studio on the seventh floor of the Yankee
continued to promote Fort Lauderdale Beach nine years later at the newly
constructed International Swimming Hall of Fame which has had major network
and cable television sports program coverage almost every year since that
first CBS Sports Spectacular broadcast with Jack Whitaker at the 1965 Hall of
Fame Grand Opening.
All the while, Linda never envisioned herself working
alongside her father.
psychology as her major at the University of Florida, but her summer back in
Fort Lauderdale would find her perched at the desk of one of the Gill’s two
signature hotels: the Sheraton Yankee Clipper or the Sheraton Yankee Trader on
Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront.
she entered Florida International University for post-graduate work, it was
hospitality, not psychology, that had become her passion.
She worked entry-level positions at the hotels and then worked for four
years with an independent CPA, C. Vernon Kane, while attending Florida
Atlantic University for postgraduate work in accounting and finance.
She returned to Gill Hotels and assumed her current position as Vice
President operating 960 rooms in the two hotels.
Linda has been employed in the Hospitality and Tourism
industry since 1975, but her friendly demeanor and goodwill have been an icon
for Fort Lauderdale tourism much longer than that.
She has served on almost every tourism, lodging and
hospitality affiliation in the area and has received numerous community
In 1991, she was the City
of Fort Lauderdale Citizen of the Year.
Linda is determined to make a difference in the area and
fights for what will help the community.
In her quest to promote the area as a tourist destination, she helps
every institution in the area.
has certainly helped and supported the International Swimming Hall of Fame.