Thursday, November 23, 2017
Business

Hillsborough GOP activist Sam Rashid named to aviation board

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Sam Rashid, one of the most active and influential Republican activists in Hillsborough County, received an appointment to the Hillsborough County Aviation board from Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.

The board oversees Tampa International Airport. But Rashid says he will focus on upholding the legacy of the former chairman of the board, Steve Burton, who died at 52 in April 2013.

"He was one of my closest friends," said Rashid, 52. "I think his legacy was promoting a world-class airport and making sure it was run in a very above-board manner and being run without any cronyism.

"I think Steve Burton's legacy was also to bring more international business to the airport. I think Steve's legacy was ensuring that there's accountability in just about everything he put his hand into."

Burton joined the Aviation Authority in 2009 and was elected chairman in 2011. He pushed for TIA to expand its portfolio of international destinations, helped usher out the old CEO and sparked the effort to bring in current CEO Joe Lopano. The airport has since added direct overseas flights to Cuba, Switzerland and Panama.

Rashid joins the board as TIA is about to embark on another initiative Burton helped bring to fruition: a $943 million plan to expand, renovate and upgrade the airport. It is the largest public infrastructure project in the bay area.

Rashid has served on several public boards in his career, but this will be his first stint on a board in at least a decade.

"My goal is to try and sit and listen," he said, "and to figure out where we are as an airport and as an authority, give advice when asked, and give opinions when needed."

Rashid has called East Hillsborough home since he was 19. He is a Valrico resident, the father of two adult children and CEO of a Plant City company, Holtec USA, which is the American arm of a German manufacturer of specialized sawing equipment. He also owns businesses and properties in the area.

He fills the seat vacated by Tampa attorney Martin Garcia, who abruptly resigned in May after 10 months on the board. Garcia clashed with other airport officials on financial transparency issues and the funding projections behind the expansion plan.

"I was very sad to see him leave," Rashid said.

He applied last year for one of the board's openings but said he wasn't looking to fill Garcia's seat. Then, Scott called him.

"The governor reached out to me a couple of days back and asked me if I would be interested," Rashid said. "I told him if I could make a difference, if I could make sure Steve Burton's legacy was followed, then I would be interested."

Chairman Robert Watkins, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist, Robert I. Watkins and real estate executive Gary W. Harrod hold the other seats on the board.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3404. Follow him on Twitter @jthalji.

Comments
Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Associated PressSome smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.Store owners are going well beyond the usual holiday dec...
Published: 11/22/17
Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

ST. PETERSBURG — After six years of negotiations, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and its flight attendants union reached a tentative contract to improve worker pay and benefits and solidify airline policies."We feel like it’s an agreement that is cert...
Published: 11/22/17
Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly three dozen workers at ONE St. Petersburg, a luxury condo tower under construction in the heart of downtown, haven’t been paid in weeks and are owed thousands of dollars.With the holidays nearing, some of the men say they are ...
Published: 11/22/17
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Published: 11/22/17
More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

TAMPA — Here’s some travel math for this traditionally heavy day for long trips: More people carrying guns plus more people flying equals more guns going to the airport.The numbers bear this out. The federal Transportation Security Administration has...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17

Florida Supreme Court suspends two Hillsborough lawyers

Times Staff WriterTwo Hillsborough County lawyers have been suspended from practice because of professional misconduct.The Florida Supreme Court ordered a 91-day suspension for Richard Luther Bradford of Brandon after he was found in contempt for fai...
Published: 11/22/17
Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

The Tampa Bay Times Thanksgiving Early Bird edition, with all of the Black Friday ads and sales circulars, is available today.That’s right. You don’t have to wait until Thursday to check out the savings. Weighing nearly five pounds, the Early Bird Ed...
Published: 11/22/17
U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

WASHINGTON — When the Trump administration announced new Cuba regulations, it sparked a new round of hand-wringing in Washington over a return to a posture not seen since the Cold War. But now, the American business community is quietly spreading the...
Published: 11/22/17
Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Although the crowds might still be unruly and the lines long, Black Friday as "The Day" is slowly waning. Steve Kirn, a University of Florida professor and executive director for the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education & Research, said the...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17