Riverside Avondale Preservation Announces New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Riverside Avondale Preservation is pleased to announce that Shannon Blankinship will serve as the next Executive Director of the organization beginning May 17, 2021, according to Brooks Andrews, Chair of the Board of Directors.


"We are thrilled to welcome Shannon to RAP," Brooks said. "Shannon brings a wealth of experience that will assist our organization's focus on community engagement and outreach while protecting our historic assets. Shannon is known for getting things done, all the while, with a smile on her face, engaged volunteers and an enthusiastic following of active supporters for the causes she champions."


Shannon is a community advocate and has focused her work on environmental protection and advocacy. She began her career with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and was an Intern with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.


She moved to Jacksonville to attend Florida Coastal School of Law and received her J.D. in 2012 before becoming the Outreach Director for St. Johns Riverkeeper. Currently, she serves as their Advocacy Director and has been with the organization for nearly ten years. Last year Shannon became Chair of Resilient Jax, a coalition of non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals collaborating on resiliency solutions. Riverside Avondale Preservation is one of Resilient Jax's founding members.


"When I moved to Jacksonville I wanted to live where I could walk to the market, restaurants, and parks so I made Riverside my home. Riverside Avondale Preservation has done the hard work to protect the architecture and history that makes our neighborhood unique while nurturing this dynamic art scene and numerous independent businesses. I am thrilled to continue this legacy and look forward to advocating for all the things that make Riverside and Avondale extraordinary," said Shannon. 


"We were also impressed with Shannon's community stewardship as evidenced by an impressive list of board and committee activities," said Brooks.


Among those activities are service on two Task Forces, a COJ Consolidation Task Force that reviewed the current charter and the McCoys Creek Restoration Task Force with Groundwork Jacksonville.


RAP's current Executive Director, Warren Jones, announced his retirement in January. He will continue in that position until May 17, then will work with Shannon and the RAP team until the first week in June to create a smooth transition.