Tampa Port CEO, making more than $500K a year, is up for a raise

Paul Anderson gets evaluated at Tuesday’s port meeting, where board members could vote on a salary bump.
Paul Anderson, CEO and president of Port Tampa Bay. Times (2017)
Paul Anderson, CEO and president of Port Tampa Bay. Times (2017)
Published Nov. 14

The head of Tampa’s busy port at the edge of downtown is up for a raise.

Paul Anderson, CEO and president of Port Tampa Bay since he left that same position with Jacksonville’s port in 2012, currently makes nearly $553,000. Anderson, 63, is due for his annual performance evaluation by the port’s governing board at their monthly business meeting Tuesday — a process that can include a recommendation for a bump in pay.

“They discuss it and vote it up or down,” said Lisa Wolf-Chason, spokesperson for the port. “It’s an annual review. The raise is not guaranteed.”

No specific amount has been mentioned. Last year, Anderson’s salary increased from $507,000.

In Jacksonville, Anderson was the highest-paid port leader in the state, making $320,000 annually. He was paid $350,000 a year when he started in Tampa — $81,500 more than his predecessor.

In 2014, the Port Authority’s governing board voted to give him a $250,000 bonus if he stayed in Tampa for the next five years, a move aimed at keeping him from being lured away. That bonus came with a 4.5% raise, increasing his annual salary to $365,750.

A University of Florida graduate, Anderson was nominated by President George W. Bush to the Federal Maritime Commission in 2003. He was senior director at international marine transportation company Seabulk Marine Inc. and adviser to former Florida Govs. Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist. He has served on numerous boards and committees.

Port Tampa Bay sees 33 million tons of cargo a year across 5,000 acres, is a major cruise home port and shipyard repair center and has more than $17 billion in economic impact, supporting more than 85,000 jobs in Central Florida, according to its website.

Mayor Jane Castor, who sits on the port’s governing board, recently supported a push to open up a cruise ship terminal at the port when it wasn’t in use to extend the popular Tampa Riverwalk that winds through downtown. But that proposal hit pushback and, for now, appears to be dead in the water.

“It’s not a light switch” that can be turned on and off, Anderson said during discussion last year, referring to port access.

Castor and fellow port board members are expected to discuss Anderson’s evaluation and possible raise Tuesday morning.

The current CEO at PortMiami makes $314,150 a year. The Jacksonville CEO is paid $462,500, according to a spokesperson.