Riverside Avondale Preservation Staff

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Shannon Blankinship
Executive Director


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.

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John Silveira
Market Director


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.


Chloe Kuhn
Market Manager


Chloe is a lifelong Floridian who moved to Jacksonville after graduation from the University of Florida in 2016. She quickly planted roots in the urban core and is delighted to join the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) team. Weekly visits to RAM were one of the first ways she felt connected to the city, and she is excited to help future visitors to the Market build that strong connection to the neighborhood, and to Jacksonville as a whole.

Chloe can be found every Saturday at RAM and would love to meet you (and your dogs) at the information booth. Outside of work, she can be found spending time with her latest foster pet, hiking or biking through our local city & state parks, or watching a movie.

Contact Chloe for questions and more information about the Riverside Arts Market.

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Marisa Whittemore
Digital Media Manager


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.

Contact Marisa for questions about Events, to share news, photos & more.

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Austin Belet
Development Manager


Austin lives, eats, and breathes Jacksonville! Born and raised in Arlington, he fell in love with Riverside and Avondale ever since he was skipping his high school classes in 5-Points. Austin has spent the last 9 years working in outreach efforts for numerous campaigns across the state. In 2021, Austin was working in the Florida State Senate and came back home to Jacksonville in November of 2022. He also is currently a drilling reservist with the U.S. Navy Reserves where he serves as a Petty Officer First Class. He is passionate about helping others see the wonderful things that Jacksonville has to offer- to include our parks, diverse population, and the vibrant community events that happen constantly. When he isn’t at work, you may be able to find him walking the neighborhood, enjoying a cup of coffee at Bold Bean, or enjoying the restaurants at the Shoppes of Avondale.

Contact Austin for questions about Sponsorships, Memberships or Outreach.

Vacant Roles


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