Sharon Pollard Gill
Sharon, passed away Feb.14, 2022 at her home in Indian Hill, Ohio. She was a remarkable, multidimensional woman as a pioneer in the woman’s movement in New England and New York City in the 1970s, a successful executive, and a loving mother and wife. Sharon was a first generation, summa cum laude college graduate with two masters degrees, a psychiatric nurse and successful Madison Avenue advertising and management executive and community leader. She lived a full, sophisticated life yet always exuded an endearing, small town demeanor, sense of humor and ability to make others feel special.
Born in 1951 in the rural “Norman Rockwell’-like town of Greenfield, Massachusetts to Beverly and Raymond Pollard, she was educated at public schools graduating from Greenfield High School in 1969. Sharon, though, envisioned a bigger, more expansive life than her small-town roots where her family had lived since the late 1600s. She enrolled and then graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1974 with a BS-Nursing.
As a single young woman she moved to NYC’s, world renowned, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital as a staff nurse. Working fulltime she concurrently obtained a Masters of Science degree with high honors specializing in psychiatric nursing from Columbia University. She progressed through various positions including Director of Nursing education at the New York Psychiatric Institute. Sharon again sought to expand her horizons by then obtaining an MBA with high honors from Columbia University in 1979. She was one of only a small handful of women to do so in the 1970s.
Upon achieving this milestone she pivoted her career and obtained a highly coveted position in advertising at the world famous Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising Agency on Madison Avenue in NYC. Here she led work on numerous award-winning ad campaigns. She then progressed to ever-more challenging positions as a marketing manager at Lever Brothers in NYC and ultimately marketing director at Bristol Meyer’s Drackett Company, headquartered in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati she met and married Robert Gill, her adoring husband of 37 years. He survives her along with their two sons, Daniel and Jonathan (Emma Lindner) Gill. Sharon is also survived by her mother, Beverly Perkins, and brother Kenneth (Nina) Pollard.
A particularly enlightening chapter of Sharon’s life was the role she played in helping P&G establish a new European headquarter community in Geneva Switzerland in the late 1990s. Supporting her husband’s promotion t Euro business unit head she helped select the best location for families to relocate to and moved with her family to Geneva. There she worked closely with the International School of Geneva and expat community to help improve the situation for the many multi cultural families being relocated from over 30 countries.
After Sharon’s career and child rearing experiences she co-founded a family investment company. She actively supported many Venture Capital endeavors including a first ever African American lead IPO listed on the NYC Stock Exchange as well as many other start up businesses.
Despite tenaciously battling a terminal cancer prognosis for over 5 years, Sharon never lost her spirit nor enthusiasm to help others. She established and supported many charitable causes through a Greater Cincinnati Foundation Fund as well as direct donations and volunteer work. Sharon’s family request that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in her name to the beautiful Indian Hill Grand Valley Preserve. The preserve is essential to the Little Miami River eco-system, community water supply and where Sharon loved to walk and observe wildlife.
She had a reserved persona, but her ready smile, great sense of humor, tireless effort and most importantly, courage, to face, and overcome any challenge life presented inspired all who knew her. Though small in stature, Sharon Pollard Gill’s life, and impact on others, was large.