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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 4, 201808:40 AM EST

Bliss named Jacksonville Historical Society executive director

UNF professor served in the interim since January, succeeds Emily Lisska.

The Jacksonville Historical Society announced Alan Bliss as its new executive director.

He served since January as the interim executive director, succeeding Emily Retherford Lisska, who retired.

Bliss holds a doctorate from the University of Florida. Beginning in 2006, Bliss taught at the University of North Florida, where his U.S. history courses include urban history, maritime history and a seminar on public history, all emphasizing Jacksonville.

The society said his research on modern Florida has won professional awards.

Bliss was elected in 2015 to the board of the Jacksonville Historical Society. He chaired or co-chaired society committees for strategic planning, programs and property management.

Bliss also is a member of Downtown Vision Inc., the Urban Land Institute North Florida, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association and the Naval Order of the United States.

“Our 2016 strategic plan shows that Jacksonville is positioned to significantly raise its game in terms of how it presents local history to its people and visitors,” Bliss said in the release.

He said the position aligns with his experience and credentials and with his “fascination with Jacksonville and its history.”

“Other Florida cities, such as Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg have set high standards in the field of local and regional history. An appetite exists across this city to, in our own way, do as those communities have done. I am eager to advance that project,” he said.

The search committee included chair Jeffrey Graf, immediate past president of the society, David Chauncey, Michael Fackler, Frederick Kent III, Harry Reagan and Charisse Thornton.

Lisska served as the society’s executive director since fall 1996.



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