A Gainesville Treasure

Ilene Silverman’s family has been serving the Gainesville community since 1935. Ilene’s current affairs can be categorized into three areas: her clothing store, her philanthropy, and her TV show.

In 1935, Ilene’s father opened The Collegiate Men’s Shop. He ran the store, which changed names to Silverman’s until 1989 when it closed. 1989 is also the year Ilene opened her store, Ilene’s For Fashion which is located in Thornebrook Shopping Village. The store maintains a loyal customer base, many of whom remember the original Silverman’s downtown store. Carrying a wide selection of apparel and gifts, you’re sure to find the perfect item at Ilene’s. 

Another aspect to Ilene’s current activities is her TV show. The 395th episode of the 30 minute public affairs program aptly titled “The Ilene Silverman Show” was just taped. Ilene tapes in a local studio owned by her husband, with a staff of three. There’s producer/director John Dickerson, technical director and UF telecommunication student Alex Rivera and audio technician Carol Hennes, who happens to be Ilene Silverman’s oldest sister. For her, it’s a way to share people’s stories with the greater Gainesville area. Featuring local guests, the show gives them a chance to present their ideas, views and projects to the community. Ilene is proud of the way her show has served as a megaphone for important topics residents ought to know about.

Giving back is a top priority for Ilene. Following in her family’s footsteps, Ilene is a tireless philanthropist. She’s involved with the WUFT-TV Board of Trustees, the UF School of Theatre and Dance, the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Jewish Council of North Central Florida, American Cancer Society, the Children’s Miracle Network, Channel 5 pledge drives, and many more. Additionally, she’s a sought-after speaker for many organized events. With all her success Ilene is still grounded and a true Gainesville treasure “I’ve had a positive life—good support, a great family and a wonderful husband. I feel very blessed.” 

See the full article from Gainesville Observed, or click here for more Front Street news...


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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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