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Port Tampa Bay seeks replacement for outgoing board chairman Stephen Swindal

Swindal, appointed to the port’s governing board by three different governors, is not seeking reappointment after his term expires in February.
Port Tampa Bay chairman Steve Swindal owns Marine Towing. Swindal is not seeking reappointment after his current term expires in February, so a port nominating committee is seeking applicants with maritime experience to recommend to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will make the new appointment to the port's governing board. (Times file photo)
Port Tampa Bay chairman Steve Swindal owns Marine Towing. Swindal is not seeking reappointment after his current term expires in February, so a port nominating committee is seeking applicants with maritime experience to recommend to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will make the new appointment to the port's governing board. (Times file photo)
Published Nov. 11, 2019
Updated Nov. 11, 2019

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay is taking applications from people with maritime industry backgrounds who are interested in serving on the authority’s board of commissioners.

A seat on the board is scheduled to open next February when board chairman Stephen W. Swindal completes his term. Swindal, 65, has indicated that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

“We’ve accomplished so much,” said Swindal, the chairman of Marine Towing of Tampa, which has a tugboat fleet that helps big ships into and out of the port. “When I got in there we were in the middle of a recession.”

Now the port has diversified its lines of business, with a new refrigerated warehouse for imported produce, growing number of container ships and a 1-million-passenger-per-year cruise ship business. It also struck an agreement to sell the moribund Channelside Bay Plaza building to the developers of Water Street Tampa, who have transformed it into Sparkman Wharf.

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Still, Swindal said, “I think it’s good to have new people.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis will appoint a commissioner for the unpaid position from a list submitted by a port nominating committee. Applicants must live in and be registered to vote in Hillsborough County and must have significant experience in maritime commerce, port management, terminal management, ship agency business, ship building, ship management, ship operations, ship repair, admiralty law, international trade law, importing or exporting waterborne cargo, or other maritime-related business.

Applications are available at propellerclubtampa.com (click on the news tab) and ptmia.org (click on the resources tab). They are due by 5 p.m. Friday and must be emailed to ptb2019seat4@gmail.com.