Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa International CEO may get $500,000 bonus if he stays five years

To keep Joe Lopano as CEO at TIA, a plan calls for him to get a hefty bonus if he stays until 2018.

To keep Joe Lopano as CEO at TIA, a plan calls for him to get a hefty bonus if he stays until 2018.

TAMPA — If Joe Lopano stays on as CEO of Tampa International Airport for another five years until 2018, he'll get a bonus of more than $500,000 — on top of his annual $315,000 salary.

That's the proposal that the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority will consider during today's meeting. The Tampa Bay Times obtained a copy of the proposal Wednesday.

During the board's March 1 meeting, it voted 3-1 to renegotiate Lopano's contract, fearing that another airport might try to lure away its CEO. Lopano's old airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, is looking for a new CEO, and his name has been floated there as a possible candidate.

So the Hillsborough board discussed ways to keep Lopano, including a noncompete clause and additional compensation and perks. Mayor Bob Buckhorn was the only objector, and he criticized the notion of giving Lopano another raise even though he's under contract through 2016.

Lopano, who has been on the job for two years and two months, got two raises and two contract extensions last year. In January 2012, the board voted 3-2 to give Lopano a $50,000 raise. Then in October, the board voted 5-0 on a $15,000 merit raise.

There's no noncompete clause in the new contract, but the five-year requirement gives him incentive not to look anywhere else. Lopano wouldn't fully vest until after the five-year anniversary date. By that time, he would have also have made almost $1.6 million in salary.

Lopano would receive the bonus in the form of a deferred compensation plan under section 457(F) of the Internal Revenue Code. That allows organizations to make tax-deferred contributions to executives that exceed the restrictions imposed on 401(k) plans.

There are also provisions in the proposal to pay Lopano a prorated version of that $500,000 bonus before the five-year qualification period. He could still collect some of it if he is disabled on the job, or if his heirs could collect it. He could even receive some if he's terminated, depending on the circumstances.

The board is set to discuss Lopano's contract today, after a scheduled vote on Tampa International Airport's new master plan.

Tampa International CEO may get $500,000 bonus if he stays five years 04/03/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]