Board Member Bios
Perry Reynolds retired to Avondale where is wife, Cindy Guy, grew up. During the last 20 years of his career, Perry worked for a global not-for-profit trade association where his responsibilities included member services, marketing and international trade development. His annual trade show attracted 60,000 global visitors. Perry volunteered to help a RAM committee develop a new strategic plan this year which was approved by the RAP Board of Directors last Fall.
Alysa is a CPA and has served on our Finance Committee for several years. Alysa will transition to our Finance Chair and Treasurer this year. As a young professional and CFO for BL Rankings LLC, Alysa brings additional financial expertise to our board. Alysa has recently purchased a home in Riverside and is excited to assist RAP with event planning.
Thad is a certified urban planner who has served as planning director for the cities of Daytona Beach and Palatka, Clay County, and currently Nassau County. His private sector experience includes consulting with local governments and developers throughout the state. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and his master’s degree in urban planning from Georgia Tech. On behalf of RAP, he advocated for the neighborhood for the design of the Riverside Publix, the appeal of the Roost restaurant, and has reviewed multiple development projects throughout the district as the chair of RAP's zoning committee. With his wife Anita Hoppenstand he purchased their home on Eloise St. in 1995, where they live with dog Ellie and four feral cats. Daughters Jessica and Lena live respectively in Springfield and downtown Jacksonville.
Angela Schifanella is an architect specializing in residential design and has long been involved with preservation issues, including serving as a board member of the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission from 2008 to 2017. Her love of traditional neighborhoods extends to San Marco where, together with her husband Alan Wilson, she designed the lion fountain and tower in 1996. They have lived on Avondale Avenue since 1989.
Jeffrey Graf has participated with RAP in a variety of positions over the years including as a Board Member, on the Governance Committee and Luminaria volunteer. He has also worked on RAP’s last two strategic plans. Most recently Jeff is Past Chair of the Jacksonville Historical Society and head of its History Consortium Committee. Jeff is retired from working in the financial sector and is known for his organization, planning and implementation skills.
Elizabeth’s love of Riverside Avondale led her to work in residential real estate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty. Growing up in Medfield, Massachusetts gave her an appreciation of historic landmarks and an understanding of how “they have been meticulously and thoughtfully preserved for others to appreciate and enjoy.”
Brooks has been our lead volunteer advocate working on the Dog Park and contributed last year to its realignment and maintenance working collaboratively with the Parks Department and Dog Park patrons. He is an outdoorsman and Master Naturalist with career experience in engineering sales, client management and finance, worked with San Marco Preservation, and resides on Belvedere Avenue. Brooks will join our Parks/Trees Committee.
Tenley runs her own boutique clothing store, Tenley Dietrich, which is now in the Shoppes of Avondale. Tenley’s passion is to help local business owners see their unique visions come to life. RAP seeks to have local business owners represented on our Board, and Tenley will assist RAP with local business perspective and support. Tenley lives on Riverside Avenue in Avondale.
Ben White has lived in Jacksonville for over 10 years but is a recent addition to the neighborhood attracted by what our vibrant community has to offer. Ben is a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch. He volunteered with his former HOA and was a soccer coach as a way to give back to the next generation. Since coming to Riverside Avondale, Ben has joined RAP’s Membership and Development committee and will be taking over the leadership role in the next few months. He is also interested in assisting our Parks Committee.
Jim has lived in Riverside for eleven years and has a passion for history, old homes and their craftsmanship. He contributed to a number of non-profit organizations in volunteer or board roles and looks forward to helping our neighborhood. In his professional life, Jim is a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch downtown. Jim and his wife, Ansley, live with their young family on Forbes Street near Five Points. He will join RAP’s Finance Committee.
Debi Pyne is a long-time member of RAP’s Home Tour Committee and a frequent attendee of our First Friday events along with her husband, Michael. They moved to Riverside after Debi worked at the International Monetary Fund as a manager in all phases of residential and commercial base building, tenant and specialty interior design and construction for local and international projects. She and Michael are lovingly renovating their historic Riverside home.
Sondra is a land use attorney and urban planning consultant. Sondra presently offers consulting to individuals and organization for land use, zoning, urban planning, and real estate development. Previously, Sondra served as Assistant General Counsel to COJ as one of two land use attorneys in the Regulatory and Constitutional Law Division. Sondra, her husband, Michael a Periodontist in our neighborhood and young family, reside in Avondale. Sondra serves on our Preservation and Zoning Committee.
Jeff, President of Lane Architecture practices with his daughter, interior designer Sumner Coddington. They are headquartered at an office on Margaret Street that was awarded COJ’s, Historic Preservation Award for significant restoration that took place. Jeff’s focus is on commercial, hospitality and residential design. You will recognize his work in our neighborhood, such as the Avondale Animal Hospital, South Kitchen (both recognized by RAP Preservation Awards) and Kickback’s Gastropub. Jeff serves on our Preservation and Zoning Committee.
Melody, VP of ALS Architects-Planners is an architect and urban planner. She has come back to us full circle having served on the RAP Board and Board Chair in the late 80’s where she guided securing of river access next to Ascension, now known as John Murray Forbes Park. Melody designed the Riverwalk, its’ Artists’ Square and home of RAM, and developed the early design concept for the ‘under the bridge’ Art Walk project and pedestrian bridge soon to connect Riverside and San Marco. Melody will serve as liaison with the Friends of the Peace Park Labyrinth project that will get underway in 2022.
Gillian Dagan and family moved to Avondale in March of 2020 and are in love with the area. Her home on Oak Street is bordered by Boone Park on one side and Little Fishweir Creek on the other; making her front porch one of her favorite places to watch wildlife and greet neighbors. In her free time, Gillian enjoys working out, cooking, and spending time on the water with her husband and daughter. Gillian is a consultant in the food industry and her professional background includes a Ph.D. in Food Science and an MBA from the University of Florida.
Clay is a Jacksonville native and retired newspaper editor who lives with his wife, Christina, in a 1910 Colonial Revival house on Oak Street in Riverside. This was their third home renovation and by far the most challenging, but they are so pleased with the results. (The completed project was recognized with a RAP Architectural Rehabilitation Award.) The experience inspired Clay to become more involved in Riverside Avondale Preservation and to do what he can to assist others working to protect their historic homes.
As an attorney and self-described history nerd, Dave loves historic preservation and is “passionate to see neighborhoods that flourish with compatible and complementary uses.” He is very involved in community and professional organizations including his current stint on the board of the Jacksonville Historical Society and Jacksonville Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Section.