FAU Broward Campuses - Staff Spotlight

Linda German-Bannister

Saturday, Jul 01, 2023
Linda German-Bannister

Campus Store Leader | Davie Bookstore

Chances are, if you’ve popped over to the bookstore on the Davie Campus, you’ve been greeted by one of the most charismatic employees on campus. Linda German-Bannister has been a part of the FAU Owl family for 15 years, working in the bookstore where she is currently the Campus Store Leader. And while she’s seen many changes, growth and the evolution of her bookstore shelves, one constant remains – the unwavering pride and dedication that Linda carries with her every day when she shows up to work.

Linda is not just a staff member, she’s an FAU alumnus too! She was a student in the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship program, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in small business entrepreneurship and marketing. This program encourages students to work hands on in a faculty-facilitated team to examine the workplace of today and learn how to turn an idea into a business, nonprofit organization or product. Her project, Student Housing Off Campus, not only took first place in the 2008 FAU Business Plan competition, but it also broke the ground for student housing opportunities.  

But when Linda was finishing up classes at Florida Atlantic University back in 2009, she was going through a tough time. On top of the usual pressure to meet graduation needs, her mother was very ill in the hospital. Things felt chaotic and out of control. So, she took a few minutes to herself and sought reflection at the very place she had called home for two years – FAU. She walked the campus to clear her mind and reset her headspace. It was a choice that would not only bring her some clarity and peace of mind, but it would also mark a clear path in the road for her future.

While on campus, she made a stop at the bookstore, where a store associate immediately gravitated toward her warm smile and bright personality. She was offered a job almost completely on the spot. What started as a temp position quickly turned into a part time position and within one month, she was accepting the lead manager role. She began taking on more roles with events that would bring life to the bookstore and increase student traffic.

"My absolute favorite part of my job is helping my students. And of course, the faculty and staff too." Linda said with a smile.

Linda makes her job look easy. But there’s a lot that goes into running the bookstore. From organizing the inventory and placing order requests to fill the shelves keeps her quite busy. And making sure everyone has accessibility and options is important as well. During the March Madness rush, things got kicked up a notch. People from all over were flooding the store looking for their chance to be part of the "merch madness" wave and show their love and support for the FAU Men’s Basketball team. The phone rang endlessly. But Linda navigated each hurdle with a smile and an "I got you".

And she did. Every call. Every time. From basketball moms and FAU employees to students and alumni, Linda placed orders, shifted inventories and worked in tandem with the Boca Campus Store to locate merchandise and get every request resolved.

"It got really busy, that’s for sure. I even had the class of 1969 come off the airport and come straight here to shop. They gave me their entire history about the Boca Campus having just one dorm and one building. It was so wonderful to hear the stories and laugh with them," Linda said.

During her school days, she played three different sports: softball, volleyball and basketball – which explains the excitement and enthusiasm she has for our sports memorabilia. She even trained with the Texas Rangers while playing semi-pro softball! She is also a very tenured seamstress, having practiced sewing dresses as early as the third grade. By the time she was in high school, she was making her mom dresses for special occasions and even made a wedding gown for one of her closest friends. Now, she does a few sewing gigs here and there and creates beautiful event centerpieces and décor.

"I used to make my own patterns with old newspapers. We started a sewing club and we all would share our designs," she said. "I even used an old RC soda bottle to make the head of my models and strips of newspaper for the hair and clothing."

Linda certainly has a plethora of talents. All of which contribute to her success as Campus Store Lead. Her strategic design mind and love for fashion helps her organize inventory and create "curb appeal" shelves. Her background in sports makes her super relatable with students, staff and faculty alike. And her party planning skills make it easy for her to assist people with finding exactly what they want and need.

"I love my job. I really do. We are all like one big family here," she said.

Over the next year, Linda hopes to breathe life back into the bookstore. She would love to see more students coming in during the active semesters and looks forward to her future at FAU. She also looks forward to keeping her brother’s memory alive by finalizing his books and launching a nonprofit that would provide mentoring services to children across Broward County. She hopes to be able to provide sponsorships to youth from sixth grade through their first year in college because she understands the importance of giving back to the community and having access to education. She is also a youth leader in her local church, district and Eastern Florida.

Linda sure stays busy. Her positivity and endless generosity are contagious. There’s no doubt about it, the sky is the limit and Linda is ready to soar! So, the next time you’re on the Davie campus, visit Linda in the bookstore (SD-102) and you’ll make a friend for life.