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Meet the Team

Have you ever wondered who the people behind the Riverside Arts Market were? Well, here's your chance to get to know them:

John Silveira

Market Director

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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 Market Association 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 Experiences:

John's past volunteer service includes: President, California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets, President, Pleasanton Downtown Association, Member, Brentwood Neighborhood Advisory Committee, Chaired State of California's Direct Marketing Task Force and 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 that vision into reality. If there's any time left over you'll find him at the beach with his wife and Golden Retriever.

About RAM:

"For me, managing the Riverside Arts Market is yet another stop on my journey to help others in reaching their potential. We help a diverse group of the community and all of them have different obstacles that they encounter along their road to success. We want to address and remove those obstacles so the rising tide will continue to float all boats!"

Marisa Whittemore

Digital Media Manager

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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.

Previous Experiences:

Since graduating from college, she has worked for brands and companies like Rip Curl, Advanced Disposal, JAXUSA Partnership, and her small business, Lady Rebel Stained Glass.

About RAM:

"As someone who has always loved and admired the Riverside Avondale neighborhood, I am very happy and grateful to be a part of such a wonderful organization that works to preserve its historical features as well as promote the businesses, arts and culture that resides within the community. As a local artist, it has also been an amazing experience to dive deeper and be more integrated in the operational side of Riverside Arts Market. I love getting to know all the makers and growers and helping them grow to reach their goals."

Elena Curtis

Outreach Manager

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About:

Elena, a Jacksonville native, is the Outreach Manager for Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) and the Riverside Arts Market (RAM). A lifelong resident of the city, Elena grew up dancing at local studios and even performed on RAM’s River Stage on more than one occasion. She graduated from the University of North Florida in 2020 with a B.S. in Multimedia Journalism & Production with a minor in History. In this role she is responsible for communicating and coordinating with vendors, recruiting new vendors, securing sponsorships for RAM events and seeking feedback in order to enhance the operations of and experiences at the market. 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.

Previous Experiences:

During her senior year of college Elena was an editorial intern for Jacksonville Magazine. Since graduating she has worked for Resurrection Catholic School and Riverside Avondale Preservation.

 

About RAM:

“When I first saw there was a job opening at RAM I knew I had found what I’d been looking for. As someone who has been a longtime supporter of the market, I know the difference that it can make in the lives of everyday people. I am so happy to be part of the team and cannot wait to help RAM continue to grow!”

Avery Horn

Market Specialist

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About:

Avery is longtime Jacksonville resident and believes that Riverside/Avondale is a great community with tons of room to grow in new and exciting ways! She is currently working towards her Associates Degree in marketing and hospitality from Florida State College of Jacksonville. After which she plans to continue to complete her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida in the spring of 2023. Her passion for marketing came at an early age and she loves to meet new people. Avery has worked in various jobs throughout her life and feels more than ready for this awesome adventure that is the market specialist job! When not at work you can find Avery at the beach reading a book, or at a coffee shop listening to her
favorite podcast.

Previous Experiences:

Avery has worked in customer service roles for many years. With her experience, Avery will bring fresh, new ideas to the organization and community.

 

About RAM:

“When I first came across this job listing, I was ecstatic at the chance to help market the arts market and be able to work and support the community. I thrive on meeting new people and learning new ways to help enhance the market. I am thrilled to be a new member of this team and to see where this adventure takes me!"

Shannon Blankinship

Executive Director

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About:

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 in 2009 where she could walk to nearby markets, restaurants, and parks, so she made Riverside her home.

In May 2021, she transitioned from her role at the St. Johns Riverkeeper to Riverside Avondale Preservation as Executive Director.

Previous Experiences:

Shannon has had a long standing career in community advocacy and outreach. She served as the Outreach Director for the St. Johns River Keeper for nine years before joining Riverside Avondale Preservation.

In 2020, 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.

Frank Widner and Roy Peak

Specialized Support at RAM

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About:

Riverside Arts Market would not be what it is if not for these two extraordinary men! Frank (pictured left) and Roy (pictured right) have been providing support to RAM since the very beginning and are the backbone of our story. They show up every Saturday to help us put on the best market we can be. Frank helps us start the day by setting up and breaking down every Saturday. And Roy provides his master expertise when it comes to sound. The River Stage would not be a premier performance spot if not for his skillset.

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