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.