Hospitality Successfully Woos Upscale Publisher

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce event to welcome Curtco Robb Media to Innovation Square and to Innovation Gainesville was a huge success! Great article in the Business In the Heart of Florida Magazine about their story as well! Take a look!


By Chris Eversole | Business in the Heart of Florida Magazine

Small-town neighborliness landed Gainesville an economic development catch—the publisher of the Robb Report, a consumer guide for the affluent.

It started with UF grad Trae Walker setting up a sales office for the guide’s parent company, CurtCo Robb Media, in his Town of Tioga home. Walker and neighbor Nick Banks of Front Street Real Estate Group became friends, and one day Banks suggested that CurtCo consider becoming part of the innovation economy.

At first, the idea seemed like a stretch. The company’s offices are in cities such as Malibu, New York, Boston, and Atlanta, that fit its image as an upscale publication that caters to helping the rich shop for everything from watches to jets.

However, doing business in these places comes at a high price, with companies bidding up pay as the digital world explodes.

“There’s no loyalty,” says David Arnold, senior vice president of the company’s magazine group.

CurtCo Robb Media is counting on finding a broad range of employees in Gainesville who want to stay in town and stick with the company. Currently, it is looking to hire University of Florida and Santa Fe College grads during its initial growth—with a goal of going from its current five employees here to 10 over the next year, says John Anderson, senior vice president of the digital group.

The united front that Gainesville leaders put up in meeting with company officials clinched the deal.

“You guys have a very nice welcome wagon,” Arnold says. “It’s a different equation than in New York, California and Massachusetts. It’s refreshing that people aren’t just out for themselves.”

Front Street’s Banks tops the list of people who helped land this prize, says John Carlson, chairman of the Council for Economic Outreach and CEO of Charles Perry Partners, Inc.

“A Realtor who puts the community ahead of the commission is unique,” he says.

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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