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Meet the Team


Only days after Robert Hennigar was elected 2017-18 JHS President on May 31, a motorcycle accident caused serious damage to his right leg. By mid-July, Bob thought it was best to resign his board position as his ability to get around was limited for the time being. While Bob played a crucial role as chair for the past Gingerbread Extravaganza, as JHS treasurer, and volunteer extraordinaire, JHS board talent runs deep. The newly elected JHS Vice-President Alan Bliss immediately assumed the JHS presidency.

Alan Bliss is founder and principal of River Pilot, LLC, a Jacksonville, Florida firm specializing in historical resource consulting and project management. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida, where his popular U.S. history courses include urban history, maritime history, and a seminar on public history—all emphasizing Jacksonville.

Alan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. His research on modern Florida has won professional awards. Prior to returning to higher education, he had a successful career in the real estate industry, and continues his interest in real estate investing.

A JHS board member since 2015, Alan has chaired or co-chaired JHS committees for Strategic Planning, Programs, and Property Management, the latter of which he continues to lead.

In addition to the JHS, Alan is a member of Jacksonville’s Downtown Vision Alliance, the Urban Land Institute (North Florida Chapter), the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, and the Naval Order of the United States. He is an active member of Riverside Presbyterian Church.

An experienced offshore sailor, for twenty-five years Alan held a U.S. Coast Guard Master’s License and captained a variety of sailing and motorized passenger vessels.

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