Longtime former B + L leader Dan Gill has died

Oct 31, 2017
Originally published on October 30, 2017 5:46 pm

A longtime former leader of Bausch + Lomb has died.

Dan Gill, who was CEO from 1981 to 1995 died on October 27, according to an obituary in the Democrat & Chronicle.

Gill was 81. The former Chairman and CEO of B + L was an Illinois native, but was very active in Rochester civic organizations, serving as a director for numerous local organizations  including Frontier Corporation, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester and RIT.

Gill was also active in helping Bausch and Lomb to build a headquarters building in downtown Rochester which opened in 1995. Eventually the company moved operations out of that building, consolidating local operations into its North Goodman Street facilities, and the company also went through various ownership changes after Gill left. Gill left B + L at the end of 1995.

Today, the former B + L building is called Legacy Tower, owned by investors including Buckingham Properties and Morgan Management.

Carl Sassano is a former B + L president who worked with Gill and considers him a mentor. Sassano says when he joined the executive ranks at the company, it was understood you needed to be connected to Rochester.

“One of the first things that I was told as a corporate officer was that I was expected to contribute to the community; just making sure that everybody that was part of Bausch realized that we lived in Rochester, New York and our headquarters were Rochester, New York and you devote what you can not just to the business but to your community too," Sassano told WXXI News.

Heidi Zimmer Meyer is president of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation. She says Gill really put pressure on local leaders to get that downtown building constructed.

“It’s interesting, I’m not sure how many people think about it like that but I see that as very clear, looking back,  that he literally, headline news, basically said to the community, if you don’t get your act together and help us move this project forward, then we’re leaving."  

According to his obit, Gill had been active in recent years redesigning, reconstructing and selling numerous homes in Naples, Florida.

There will be a memorial mass for Dan Gill, Saturday, November 4, 10am at St. Thomas More Church, 2617 East Avenue in Brighton