Tampa city attorney James Shimberg Jr. leaving to work for Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa City Attorney James Shimberg Jr. on Wednesday was named executive vice president and general counsel of the parent company of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The team said Shimberg will start his new position on May 1 and will have direct oversight of all legal matters for the organization, along with owner Jeff Vinik’s outside real estate interests.
Shimberg, who supervised 24 attorneys and a support staff of about 10 at City Hall, described his new position as a "dream job."
"I'll sort of have an opportunity to combine law with business with some real estate development with some of the great work in the community that the Lightning Foundation is doing with Mr. Vinik," he said. He paused. "I don't think i mentioned sports."
Shimberg, 53, had known Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn for 25 years when Buckhorn was elected in 2011, and he said he told Buckhorn he wanted to help get the mayor's administration off to a good start but probably would be able to stay for only two years. Buckhorn hired him at a city salary of $175,000 annually, less than he was making as the head of Holland & Knight's Tampa Bay real estate group.
Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment chief executive officer Tod Leiweke said in a statement that Shimberg has “an outstanding legal track record in Tampa Bay with Holland & Knight and most recently as a public servant for the City of Tampa and Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
“His wealth of local knowledge, legal expertise and deep community relationships will elevate our executive team as we continue to develop the organization and its presence in Tampa Bay,” he said.
Shimberg’s duties will include providing counsel on corporate, contractual, real estate and administrative matters; negotiating and drafting agreements for events, sponsorships, television broadcasts, venue promotions and media activities. He will also manage the legal and human resources, administrative and information technology service functions within the company.
Shimberg is the second member of Buckhorn's senior staff to leave. Last week, Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough County's tourism development agency, hired Buckhorn chief of staff Santiago Corrada as its new president and chief executive officer.
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