“Gil”Stories... For my part, I will never forget one of the first marketing/ social events Gil planned with us (yes, every marketing event was also a social event for Gil): Watching the blue angels from his rooftop home he shared with “my Ken” (as opposed to “Condo Ken”). Social events being Gil’s province and joy, we left him to plan every aspect, including, of course the “signature cocktail” (which was bright blue that first year) and the guest list. Being relatively new to the industry at the time, we encouraged Gil to include whomever he felt comfortable including. But after the first batch of RSVPs, we became a little concerned about the structural integrity of Gil’s rooftop deck; after the next batch, we began to wonder if Gil hadn’t accidentally sent invitations to every manager and community member in the state. When I followed up with Gil to see where things may have gone wrong, he smiled, cocked his head back a bit and said something I will forever associate with Gil: “Well Marlyn, I just invited 300 of my closest friends!” That was Gil. Three hundred of his closest friends will miss him. Hundreds and thousands of others will feel this loss.

Gil was open, funny, fiercely loyal, and had a presence to match his height. If you didn’t get a chance to share your Gil story here, please share it with one of your 300 closest friends. I think he’d like that.

— Marlyn Hawkins

I had the privilege of working with Gil for more than a decade. He was the outgoing extravert that I could never be. He shared a desire to help everyone, and a compassion for board members, managers and members of the CAI community which was unequaled. His memory for faces and names, and the personal details and stories that went with each person he met, were matched only by his genuine interest in them as individuals. His love for our industry and all of the people in it was unmatched, and I will miss him.

— “Condo Ken”

I was lucky to know and work with Gil for the last 10+ years, and he was one of the nicest, funniest people I’ve ever known. He genuinely cared about people and he had a memory like a steel trap for details about folks that he met! We at CLG often joked that Gil was the boss of all of us, and when it came to WSCAI events or anything marketing-related, he really was! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the heart of marketing, as far as Gil was concerned, was building relationships within our industry, and no one did that better than him.

Several years ago, Gil met my parents at the WSCAI Gala at the Tulalip Casino. From that moment on, nearly every time I talked to Gil, he would ask about them. He was tickled that my dad had (years before) won a pickup truck at the casino, and told me recently that every time he drove by a casino after that,

he thought of my parents. Last year, my dad was diagnosed with cancer two months into the COVID-19 pandemic. CLG also started a weekly Zoom Q&A due to COVID, and every single week in our prep call beforehand, Gil asked about my dad’s treatment, surgery, and recovery. He had only met them once, but was genuinely invested in and cared about how my parents were doing.

I’ll miss so many things about Gil. His memory for people and their stories tops the list. Also, his wardrobe advice before events seems so silly to mention but was something I came to rely upon, and will miss. He always had a kind word for anyone who was down, and he gave my dog the best pets ever. I imagine Gil chatting with his beloved mom with their dogs curled up at their feet, and it brings me a great deal of comfort to think of him that way.

— Valerie Oman

When I started participating in WSCAI events I noticed Gil’s effervescence. When I learned his love for skiing was that of my own we were quick friends. He was a big personality and will be missed.

— Judy Wade-Bell

Gil’s desire and capacity for meeting new people and turning them into friends was truly amazing. His enthusiasm would overcome even the quietest and most introverted of us. For me he is the true embodiment of the phrase “Hail fellow well met.”

— Dean Martin

I first met Gil in the early 2000s in line at a WSCAI event. I heard him speaking fluent German with another German- speaking WSCAI member. Gil switched to fluent English when he introduced himself to me. I remarked that he spoke English exceptionally well. From his impressive height he looked down at me for several seconds, then laughed. “Well, I hope so,” he said. “I grew up in Seattle.” Auf Wiedersehen, Gil, und Ruhe im Frieden.

— Brian McLean

It always struck me as funny that Gil—at six-feet six-inches tall—loved tiny German cars. Sometime shortly after we started working together, I was riding with Gil to Law Day in his mid-90’s 3-Series BMW convertible (which is a tiny car by today’s standards). Gil was way too tall for that car, and I remember laughing because his seat was lowered, reclined, and slid so far back that he might as well have been sitting in the back seat. I had to crane my neck around just to talk to him. That was Gil. Bigger than life.

— David Silver Continued On Page 14  13

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