Riverside Avondale Preservation Staff

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Shannon Blankinship
Executive Director

About:

Shannon is a long-time resident of Jacksonville’s urban core neighborhoods and believes Riverside and Avondale are the heart of our great city. Shannon grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana receiving a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Political Science. After working for the Delaware Riverkeeper in Philadelphia, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida and received her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law with an emphasis in pro bono community service and the Environmental Certificate. 

Shannon worked at St. Johns Riverkeeper for nearly a decade, starting as Outreach Director, leading the bi-annual Eco Heritage Boats Trips, hosting River Ruckus at the Riverside Arts Market, and leading the annual River Friendly Yards program, plus more. Once becoming Advocacy Director, she worked to develop policy action plans, legislative strategies, and administer the Water Policy Group. Her focus issues were resiliency and growth/land development.

 

Previous Experience:

Shannon served as the first Chair of Resilient Jax (now the Jacksonville Climate Coalition), a coalition of community organizations working together to elevate concerns regarding resiliency in Jacksonville. Other committee work includes serving on the 2014 COJ Consolidation Task Force, the Groundwork Jacksonville McCoys Creek Restoration Task Force, the COJ Planning Department Adaptation Action Area Working Group, and the COJ Special Committee on Resiliency as a Special Expert. 

In May 2021, Shannon became Executive Director of Riverside Avondale Preservation. In this role, Shannon continues to focus on preservation. She is an advocate for the land and water that defines our neighborhood, the walkable streets that lead to independently-owned businesses, and the historic homes that shape our community. She oversees the staff, manages The Buckland House - our historic office, seeks grants, grows our membership, and works to continue celebrating this fantastic neighborhood through our historic events like Home Tour, Garden Tour, Luminaria, First Friday, and promoting the Riverside Arts Market.

 

 

Contact Shannon: shannon@riversideavondale.org

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John Silveira
Market Director

About:

John, a US Navy veteran returned to Florida in 2015. While he was away he spent some of his time studying at Chapman University in San Diego and aboard the USS Ranger. His duty stations included Fighter Squadron Two, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Operation Deep Freeze and Naval Air Station Alameda. Shortly after returning from the South Pole he began his twenty three year non-profit career with the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association.

His passion for healthy communities, local businesses and the agricultural arts led to the creation of the largest MarketAssociation in the country. John was instrumental in creating the first hospital based farmers' market in the San Francisco Bay Area with Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser now sponsors over fifty markets throughout the country and continues to educate communities about healthy eating.

Previous Experience:

John's past volunteer service includes: President, California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets; President, Pleasanton Downtown Association; Member, Brentwood Neighborhood Advisory Committee; Chair, State of California's Direct Marketing Task Force; Co-Chair, State of California's Department of Agriculture's Technical Planning Committee.

John spends most of his free time dreaming and looking for new ways to turn RAM's vision into reality. If there's any time left over you'll find him at the beach with his wife or fishing in the Florida Keys.

 

Contact John: john@riversideavondale.org

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Marisa Whittemore
Digital Media Manager

About:

Marisa, a Jacksonville native and local artist, is the Digital Media Manager for Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) and Riverside Arts Market (RAM). As a marketing and communications professional, Marisa has worked in a variety of industries that has allowed her to grow in many aspects and bring more knowledge and depth to each role she has taken on. Her passion and knowledge for all things social media arose when she realized the positive and meaningful impact a good social media strategy can have for a brand. When she's not working, you can find Marisa daydreaming of new art ideas, working on her art commissions at home and spending time with her dogs and family.

To share news, photos & more inquires -

Contact Marisa: marisa@riversideavondale.org

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Elena Curtis
Outreach Manager

About:

Elena is a lifelong Jacksonville resident who believes Riverside and Avondale are the shining stars of the city. She graduated from the University of North Florida in 2020 with a B.S. in Multimedia Journalism & Production with a minor in History. During her time at UNF Elena was an editorial intern at Jacksonville Magazine.

In 2021, Elena became the Outreach Manager for Riverside Avondale Preservation and the Riverside Arts Market. She is responsible for communicating with and growing our membership, securing sponsorships for community events and working to enhance RAM operations and experience. She is excited to continue the traditions created by RAP that celebrate the neighborhood, including Home Tour and Luminaria. When she’s not working, you can find Elena catching up on a podcast, spending time with loved ones or on a walk with her dog, Honey.

For questions and more information about membership, sponsorship & more -

Contact Elena: elena@riversideavondale.org

Vacant Roles

Historian

The Historian position at Riverside Avondale Preservation helps to communicate our history with the community. The Riverside and Avondale neighborhoods were established fifty years apart and have attracted a wide variety of residents, including celebrities, artists, and prominent figures in Jacksonville’s foundation. This role will allow an individual to dive deep into history and be able to tell our story, contribute their knowledge to maintain historic documents. For more information, click here