Renée Gilmore’s career intersects her personal dedication to improving the economic well-being of historically marginalized communities. After graduating from Florida A&M University early and with honors, Gilmore began her career as a reporter at ABC7 in 1979. Proving an exceptional propensity to communicate complex government, business and public affairs issues across a spectrum of audiences, she quickly ascended to night news director.
Gilmore left the Sunshine State for a short time to earn an MBA degree and hone marketing skills while working on brand campaigns at J. Walter Thompson New York, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. A fourth generation Floridian with deep roots in Sarasota, Gilmore says she felt blessed when lured back to this region by Verizon Communications (formerly GTE Florida). There, she performed marketing, consumer research and business planning that launched emerging technologies.
She went on to spearhead a transformation initiative for Florida’s public workforce system. She received White House recognition for designing customer-responsive service models that set new standards and improving systemic operating efficiencies. “It was some of my most challenging and rewarding work,” says Gilmore. “Change is hard on entrenched systems, but I am heartened by the widespread workforce and economic development results we achieved through countless collaborations over the course of 25 years.”
She encourages young adults and residents living in economically depressed neighborhoods to get civically active. Gilmore believes having one’s voice heard can impact the trajectory of the future and is especially important for marginalized people. She has seen the combination of awareness and action make a difference. “I saw that powerful mix inspire progress in private industry and the public sector,” Gilmore says. “That’s why I am excited to again be at ABC7 as the station expands its platform for amplifying community signals that, otherwise, might go unnoticed until something tragic occurs.”
Gilmore’s father, Dr. Ed James, II, produced and hosted Black Almanac on ABC7 for 46 years until his death in 2018. Dr. James is credited with a lifetime of achievements that improved life in Florida for all people. His community affairs show was the source for much of Sarasota and Manatee counties’ discourse on politics, civil rights and race relations.
Gilmore holds a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University. She earned a M.B.A at Clark Atlanta University. She is the chairperson of Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Committee, Inc. She is a member of the board of directors at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. She is an active member of Sarasota County Veterans Commission. Renée and her husband, Richard Gilmore, have a nine-year-old brown and tan hound. They are convinced that, paws down, Riley is the smartest canine ever.