Leadership Team

Paul Anderson – President/CEO

Former Federal Maritime Commissioner Paul Anderson joined Port Tampa Bay as Chief Executive Officer in December 2012 after holding a series of high-profile leadership positions in the public and private sectors over the last three (3) decades. Prior to joining Port Tampa Bay, Mr. Anderson, was the Chief Executive Officer at the Jacksonville Port Authority. 
 
Nominated to the Federal Maritime Commission by President George W. Bush in 2003, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2004, Mr. Anderson served a five-year term ending in 2008. In addition, the president designated Anderson as the Commission’s Chairman and re-nominated him for a second five year term.   A highlight of Anderson’s service included his appointment to the Committee on Marine Transportation, a cabinet-level strategy group responsible for the nation’s seaports and reporting directly to the president.
 
Anderson spent 10 years with JM Family Enterprises, a diversified automobile business headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and was previously a senior director of Seabulk Marine, Inc., an international marine transportation company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has also served as an advisor on intermodal issues to former Florida governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist. 
 
Paul recently was reelected for a second term as the Chairman of the Florida Ports Council by his fellow Florida’s port directors. He also serves multiple national leadership positions including the board of directors of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC).  Paul also serves on the board of directors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce; Associated Industries of Florida; Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation; Leukemia Lymphoma Society; Florida Aquarium; Visit Tampa Bay; Tampa Hillsborough EDC; Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and the National Executive Committee of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. He has also held numerous community leadership positions including Chair, Board of Trustees, Broward (FL) Community College; Chair, Broward Alliance; Chair, Broward Health Foundation; Board of Directors of The Orange Bowl Committee; and Board of Advisors of the South Florida PGA.
 
Anderson has lived in Florida for over 35 years and relocated with his family to Tampa, except during the period of his public service in Washington, D.C.  Anderson is a 1982 graduate of the University of Florida and completed the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Raul Alfonso - Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer(CCO)

Raul Alfonso was hired by Port Tampa Bay February, 2013 as the Chief Commercial Officer to lead the Port’s Marketing, Business Development and Real Estate departments. He was promoted to assume the Executive Vice President & CCO position in August.

Raul has over 31 years of professional experience in the port industry. He started his port career at the Port of Miami, where he was part of a team that elevated Miami to its position as the leading Florida port for cargo and cruise.

Prior to Port Tampa Bay, Raul was the Sr. Director of Trade Development & Global Marketing for the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT). Prior to joining JAXPORT, Raul was the Director of Marketing and Trade Development for the world’s largest terminal operator, Hutchison Port Holdings, with commercial responsibilities for the Americas region. During this time, Raul was successful in the commercial development of Hutchison’s port terminals in Freeport, Bahamas and the ports of Balboa and Cristobal, in Panama.

Raul has lived in Panama, the Bahamas and is tri-lingual, speaking Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Charles E. Klug - Principal Counsel

Charles E. Klug is the Principal Counsel for Port Tampa Bay; Florida’s largest and most cargo-diverse seaport. Mr. Klug is currently responsible for advising the Board of Commissioners and the President & CEO and as well as overseeing the Port Strategic and Master Plan.   In past, he has served as Chief Legal Officer  and General Counsel for Port Tampa Bay since 2004 and served as Deputy Port Director for Administration, from 2008 to 2013.

In addition, he recently served as Interim Port Director from September through December of 2012 during Port Tampa Bay’s search for a new Port Director and CEO. Prior to joining Port Tampa Bay, Mr. Klug was a partner with the law firm of Gray Robinson, P.A., where he concentrated his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, local government, land use and environmental law. Mr. Klug received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Florida, College of Business in 1983 (with Honors) and a J.D. from the University of Florida, College of Law in 1986. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1986 and has been certified by the Florida Bar as specialist in Real Estate Law since 1993 and as a specialist in City, County and Local Government Law since 1998. He is an "AV" rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell and currently serves on the Florida Bar's Real Estate Certification Committee. Mr Klug was recognized as the "Top Corporate Counsel for Government and Non-profits" by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2014 based on leadership, ethical standards and exemplary professional skills.

Mike Macaluso - Chief Financial Officer(CFO)

Mike Macaluso was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of Port Tampa Bay in April 1998. Both the Port’s Finance and Information Technology Departments report to the CFO position.

In his current position, Mike has management oversight and responsibility for control and maintenance of the port’s financial records and reporting requirements, the development and monitoring of the annual Operating and Capital Budgets, management of the Port’s debt and investment portfolios, control and monitoring of all project grant funds, oversight of the Port’s Risk Management program and development and maintenance of the Port’s Information Technology visibility, procedures and controls.

Prior to joining the Port, Mike served as the Controller of the New York Yankees’ Player Development and Scouting Department and then as CFO for the Yankees’ organization. He was initially employed by GTE Corp., holding numerous management positions in GTE’s financial area.

Mr. Macaluso was educated at the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa, and holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and an MBA in Finance. He maintains active memberships in the Government Finance Officers Association, Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA), Association of Financial Professionals, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), and The International Propeller Club. Mike also participates in many educational outreach and charitable organizations in our community.

John T. Thorington, Jr. - Vice President of Government Affairs and Board Coordination

John Thorington serves as the Port’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Board Coordination. In this capacity, Mr. Thorington directs the Port's legislative agenda at the local, State and Federal levels. He also oversees a number of the Port’s community outreach initiatives, and he handles various Board coordination issues. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Thorington was Director of Marketing Services. He has been with the Port since 1981.

Mr. Thorington has broad international trade experience, including extensive travel to Latin America. He has served on the boards of the Tampa Bay International Trade Council, the Port of Tampa Propeller Club, the Tampa Foreign Trade Zone Board and Visit Tampa Bay (formerly the Tampa Bay and Company). He is currently a member of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Policy Council.

Mr. Thorington graduated from Plant High School in Tampa and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Auburn University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Auburn. He currently lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and two children.

Ram Kancharla - Vice President of Planning and Development

Ram Kancharla is Vice President of Planning and Development for Florida’s largest port. For more than two decades he has overseen the Port’s capital improvements, strategic planning, economic development, transportation planning, capital resource management, regulatory compliance, and inter-agency coordination and outreach.

Kancharla has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Florida and is certified by the American Association of Port Authorities as a Professional Port Manager (PPM®). He is in the current class of Leadership Florida, an alumnus of Leadership Tampa, and represents the port of Tampa on various committees involved in freight movement, intermodal planning, finance, trade, logistics and the maritime industry.

He is active in the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay Partnership, Government Finance Officers Association, and American Association of Port Authorities, and he advises or serves on the boards of Floridians for Better Transportation, the Tampa Bay Economic Development Corporation, the Florida Ports Financing Commission, and the USF Center for Urban Transportation Research. Kancharla is also a Global Advisory Council member for Barranquilla-based Innovation in Logistics, Supply Chain and Port Management (LOGPORT) and, U.S. Maritime Administration Strong Ports focus group member. He is an active Rotarian and serves on several community boards including Feeding America.

Kenneth L. Washington - Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Ken Washington began his employment with Port Tampa Bay in October 1996 and was promoted to his current position, Chief Information Officer, in 1998. In this capacity, Mr. Washington provides strategic oversight of organizational-wide information technology activities, as well as oversees the development, execution, and evaluation of all technological frameworks and infrastructure for Port Tampa Bay.

Mr. Washington brings 35 years of experience in the field of information technology and has a diverse background in both corporate and governmental settings, with extensive experience in enterprise computing, telecommunications and implementations.

Mr. Washington received his formal education from Hillsborough Community College, Harold Washington College, and the University of South Florida. He obtained his professional certifications as Master Certified Novell Engineer, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Professional.

Prior to joining the Port Authority, Mr. Washington was employed by the Florida Aquarium as Manager of MIS, GTE as a Research Analyst, IBM as a Senior Technician, and served in the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence.  

Bruce A. Laurion - Vice President of Engineering

Bruce Laurion was appointed to the position of Director of Engineering at Port Tampa Bay in 1998 and was promoted to Sr. Director of Engineering and Facilities Management in 2005 and then Vice President Engineering in 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa. In his position Laurion is in charge of engineering activities that include managing the 17 person Engineering Department, outside engineering consultants and contractors that are involved in the Port’s $60 million annual capital program. He is also responsible for the 20 person Facilities Management Department that performs maintenance and repair of Port facilities.


He has over 40 years experience in design and construction, with the last twenty-five years related to seaport facilities. Prior to that, he worked 3-years as a Florida general contractor and 12 years as an Engineer in the petroleum industry.

He is licensed as a Florida P.E and as a Florida General Contractor.

Wade Elliott - Vice President of Marketing & Business Development

Wade Elliott joined the Port in 2003 and is responsible for the marketing and business development activities of Port Tampa Bay.

Mr. Elliott has more than 25 years of port marketing, business development and research experience working with clients across the globe, including exporters, importers, ocean carriers, terminal operators and cruise lines. He was previously Executive Director of the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission, reporting to the Commission’s board of directors for this agency responsible for port business development and marketing, as well as public, media and government relations.

Mr. Elliott is a graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he also worked as Research Associate conducting economic and policy research in the maritime sector. He began his career working at sea aboard a variety of container, bulk, tanker, offshore supply and seismic survey vessels.

He is the Chairman of the Tampa Foreign Trade Zone, and serves on the board of directors of Tampa Port Ministries Seafarers’ Center and the Tampa Bay International Business Council.

Mark Dubina - Vice President of Security

Mark Dubina currently serves as Vice President – Security for Port Tampa Bay. Mr. Dubina is a graduate of Florida State University, with extensive additional specialized training in law enforcement operations and seaport security. Mr. Dubina is a Certified Law Enforcement Officer, Certified Law Enforcement Instructor, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Port Executive™.

Mr. Dubina has a combined 32 years of law enforcement and public sector management experience. Mr. Dubina’s current duties include management of all aspects of security operations for the Port, Florida’s largest and most diversified port. Mr. Dubina serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Working Group, the State of Florida Domestic Security Oversight Council Critical Infrastructure Working Group, the Tampa Bay Regional Domestic Security Task Force and the Area Maritime Security Committee. Mr. Dubina is also a board member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Immediately prior to his current position, Mr. Dubina was the Chief of Investigations for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in Tampa. During his career with FDLE, Mr. Dubina gained extensive experience organizing and directing investigations, supervising special events and coordinating security details for visiting dignitaries.

Donna Wysong - Vice President of Legal Affairs

As Vice President of Legal Affairs, Donna Wysong oversees all legal matters on behalf of Port Tampa Bay and manages the Legal Department.  She joined Port Tampa Bay in 2012 as Assistant Port Counsel and was promoted to Vice President of Legal Affairs in August of 2013.  She is a board member of the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives, and received her Accredited Marine Port Executive (AMPE) certification in 2016.

Ms. Wysong received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of South Florida in 1993 and her Juris Doctor degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Stetson University College of Law in 1996. After graduation from law school, she served a two-year federal judicial clerkship in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and practiced law at the Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings & Evans law firm and the Annis, Mitchell, Cockey, Edwards & Roehn law firm in Tampa.  Ms. Wysong also worked as an Assistant County Attorney for the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office and became Board Certified in City, County & Local Government Law in 2004.  She subsequently joined the City of Tampa Attorney’s Office as an Assistant City Attorney, where she worked for several years prior to joining Port Tampa Bay.  She has experience in the fields of real estate and land use law, as well as all areas pertaining to public entities including public records, Sunshine Law, procurement, public contracts, and quasi-judicial procedures.  She has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1996 and is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida.  Ms. Wysong is a Florida Supreme Court certified circuit and county court mediator.  She is also a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, Ferguson-White Inn of Court, Association of Corporate Counsel, Tampa Tiger Bay Club, Hillsborough County League of Women Voters, Tampa Propeller Club, and a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay’s Class of 2017.  

Karl Strauch - Vice President of Brand Development & Strategic Alliances

Karl Strauch is the Vice President of Brand Development and Strategic Alliances at the Port. He leads a team focused on strategic message positioning and planning, creative development and implementation for marketing, advertising, PR and digital/interactive/social media programs.

A dynamic brand marketer, strategist, award-winning creative writer and executive project manager, Karl develops programs that build brand value around Port Tampa Bay, positively impacting the Port’s target audiences with the goal of gaining market share and increasing revenue. 

Karl’s experience spans more than 30 years in large media markets such as NYC, Los Angeles and Atlanta and he currently resides in Tampa, FL. He has worked at or on some of the top brands in the world including those at RJR Nabisco, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, I Love NY, Pearle Vision and Friedman’s Jewelers as well as agency stalwarts N.W. Ayer, Darcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Wells, Rich, Greene, among others. His experience includes a wide variety of product and service categories, but has among his specialties, retail, tourism, economic development and transportation. Karl has a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Florida, ’83.

Karl's activities and awards include: District & Local ADDYs (including awards for Best of Show [Savannah] and multiple Best of the Bays [Tampa]), Tellys, AMA and Industry Specific Honors including the Georgia Governor’s choice award from the DCA for best Downtown District Campaign 2009. He is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), has held positions within multiple local chapters of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and has served on several advisory boards including HCC and the Savannah Technical College, Hillsborough Co. Film Commission and Tampa Trade & Protocol.  He currently serves on the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce board and is a member of the Tampa Bay propeller Club.

Joeanne Toledo - Vice President of Human Resources

Joeanne Toledo currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for Port Tampa Bay. With over 15 years of Human Resources experience, she received her Bachelor of Business Administration and Executive Master of Human Resource Management from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She received her Professional of Human Resources (PHR) certification shortly after graduation.

Prior to joining Port Tampa Bay, she was the head of Human Resources for a national Professional Employer Organization (PEO) specializing in HR services for small to mid-size businesses. Prior to moving to Tampa, she resided in Hawai’i where she started up and ran a Human Resources department for one of Hawai’i’s top five litigation and employment law firms. In addition, she held Co-Chair positions for the programs and college relations committees for the O’ahu Educational Foundation’s Hawai’i Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Ms. Toledo is an active member of the national and local Tampa chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Her current areas of responsibility and expertise include benefits, compensation, recruitment, employment law, employee relations, succession planning, HRIS programs, educational and career development, and HR technology programs.

Lane Ramsfield - Vice President of Real Estate

Lane Ramsfield has more than three decades of experience with commercial and industrial real estate ventures including multiple asset classes within the Real Estate industry.

Mr. Ramsfield was previously employed by Trammell Crow Company, Commercial Net Lease Realty, as well Orange County Government. His principal responsibilities included Executive Management of Business Units in Real Estate Development and Investment. During his tenure with these organizations, Mr. Ramsfield was tasked with leading the planning, leasing, acquisitions, disposition, entitlement and design and construction of numerous projects and properties. Over the span of his career, Lane has been directly responsible for the development and investment of properties with a total value of over $2.5 billion.

Currently Mr. Ramsfield serves as Vice President of Real Estate at Port Tampa Bay, where he is responsible for acquisition, disposition and leasing of industrial properties of all Port Tampa Bay Real Estate business. Mr. Ramsfield has a B. S. from North Dakota State University, College of Engineering and Architecture.

Sal Kass - Vice President of Operations

Sal Kass currently serves as Vice-President of Operations for Port Tampa Bay. He has been in the shipping industry for the past 40 years (20yrs shipping lines and 20yrs as a stevedore). His career path has taken him from New Orleans, LA to Tampa back in December 1994 when Lykes Brothers Steamship relocated their headquarters. He has worked for Morflot American Shipping Agencies, New Orleans Marine Contractors, Lykes Lines, CP Ships and Ports America formally P&O Ports. Sal’s vast maritime experiences as a Vessel Planner and Director of Marine Operations have taken him to many ports around the world including North Europe, Asia, South America, Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

His participation locally has taken him in many different directions including past Chairman of the Board for the Tampa Maritime Association – ILA Pension and Welfare Fund, board member for the Tampa Port Ministries, Inc., co-founder of the current TCSSI program, board member of the TBHSSC.

Sal is a member of IVOGDA (International Vessel Operators Dangerous Goods Association) as well as the Secretary for the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee (TBHSSC). He also serves on many local shipping committees including Vessel Movement Committee (VMC), PORTS, and Port Heavy Weather Advisory Group (PHWAG). Sal lives with his wife Mary in Lutz for the past 23 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Greg Lovelace - Director of Marketing & Business Development - Cargo & Cruise

Greg Lovelace is Director of Cargo & Cruise Marketing for Port Tampa Bay and is responsible for new business development for the Port of Tampa. He is also responsible for managing the port tariff, maintaining port statistics and trade data and is involved with strategic planning for the Authority. Mr. Lovelace began his career with the Port Authority in March of 1996. He received a BS Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina in 1985 and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of New Orleans in 1994. Prior to his employment with the Port Authority, he was employed for ten years with Evergreen, one of the largest container shipping lines in the world.

Greg serves on the Executive Committee of the Gulf Seaports Marine Terminal Conference, an association of U.S. Gulf ports authorized to discuss, fix and regulate rates, and previously served as their Chairman.

Greg also serves as the President of the CSCMP Central Florida Roundtable and previously served on the Board in various capacities.

Andrew “Andy” W. Fobes - Director of Special Events

Andy Fobes joined Port Tampa Bay team as Director of Public Relations May 30, 2006. He came to Port Tampa Bay from the Port of New Orleans, where he served as Chief of Protocol, hosting foreign groups, elected officials and dignitaries, as well as coordinating the port’s high-profile special events. Prior to working in New Orleans, he served as Public Information Officer for the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport, where he directed communications efforts. His experience includes media relations, speech writing, publication design, media buying and event planning in both the private and public sectors, where he has served as liaison for corporate and government affairs. He has served on various core committees for project development, policy and industry-related efforts. As Marketing and Development Director for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast, in the 1990s, he cultivated skills in grant writing and corporate partnerships.

Mr. Fobes graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Journalism (1992) and a Master’s degree in Public Relations (1994), both from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a member of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Public Relations Committee of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the marketing council of the Tampa Bay Partnership, and the Propeller Club—Port of Tampa, and also served as Secretary-Treasurer and Board Member for the Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Association (IRPT), while in New Orleans. Additionally, he was an adjunct professor in communications for Tulane University. Mr. Fobes was awarded Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award in 1995 and was named Rotarian of the Year in 1997.

Today, Mr. Fobes handles communications efforts of the state’s largest port, including community involvement and social media. In recent years, he has garnered several prestigious awards for the port authority from the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and communications awards from the American Association of Port Authorities. He is a proud Tampa native and resides in southern Hillsborough County.

Nancy Lembke Marino - Director of Procurement

Nancy Marino joined Port Tampa Bay in 2009. As the Procurement Director, she is responsible for the management, administration and supervision of the agency’s purchasing programs. These plans incorporate activities to bring more spending under management, enhance the procurement department's skills and visibility, and increase both internal and external collaboration. The Procurement Director also oversees the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program.

Nancy’s career includes 6 years management experience with the Tampa Expressway Authority, and prior to that, she accumulated over 20 years of business administration experience within the private sector. She has worked in management and other leadership roles for engineering, construction and manufacturing firms ranging from small local businesses to global corporations.

Ms. Marino grew up in western Nebraska and graduated from Chadron State College (NE) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. She moved to the Tampa area in 1981. She and her husband currently reside in Valrico, FL.

Norberto Sanchez - Director of Facilities

Norberto Sanchez began his career in 1999, after completing his education as an Electronic Engineer Technician and Master Electrician back in his home island of Puerto Rico. Norberto worked in different positions in this field from crew leader to Journeyman Electrician; and in 2006 he was hired by Port Tampa Bay as an Electrician III for the Facilities Management Department where he holds the Department’s Director Position since 2010.

Norberto has over 13 years of combined experience working in the construction and port industries with his specialty. Norberto’s dedication and leadership qualities made him a noticeable candidate to take on the responsibility of managing a team of 8 staff members ranging from Trades Workers, Electricians and HVAC Technicians; and became the ideal candidate for the Director’s position 4 years later, with 18 staff members at the present time.

Norberto’s passion and dedication only increased with his promotion, as he is a true “hands-on” Director, always working by his staff and not hesitating to get involved in the facility’s repairs, whether is an electrical issue or not. His leadership abilities are well noticed in his team performance and how he earned the trust of his team almost immediately, due in the most part to his work ethics and family values that keep him grounded, showing his staff the perfect example of where your hard work and determination can lead you.

In addition to his Electrical field background, Norberto also worked as a Licensed Real Estate Agent; his experience in this field along with his personal approach, increased his professional commitment towards clients, customers and Port tenants.

Gonzalo Padron - Director of Marketing & Business Development - Latin America

Gonzalo Padron has more than 20 years of sales and business development experience within the maritime transportation industry.  His responsibilities include Port Tampa Bay's outreach and liaison with beneficial cargo owners and ocean carriers, with a particular focus on trade with Latin America.

Gonzalo began his career working for ocean carriers Tecmarine Lines and Seaboard Marine, traveling the Caribbean and Latin America extensively.  Prior to joining the Port Tampa Bay, he was employed by DHL Global Forwarding as Manager of Strategic Accounts, Datamyne as Business Development Manager - Maritime, and PIERS as Maritime Regional Manager.

Gonzalo is a graduate of Barry University.  Fluently bi-lingual English/Spanish, he has a strong background in international trade data analysis and account management.  Gonzalo is active in numerous transportation professional organizations.

Christopher "Chris" J. Cooley - Director of Environmental Affairs

Chris Cooley is Director of Environmental Affairs for Port Tampa Bay. In this position, he is responsible for managing and directing the Port’s environmental compliance program, marine construction permitting program, clean-up and remediation activities, while overseeing environmental site assessments and Port expansion projects, and assisting Port tenants with environmental matters. He works closely with federal, state, and local agency partners on regional environmental and emergency planning issues, as well as ongoing environmental and protected wildlife species projects.

Mr. Cooley represents the Port on various committees such as the Florida Ports Council Seaport Environmental Managers Committee, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s Agency on Bay Management, Tampa Bay Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Interagency Migratory Bird Protection Committee. He is a member of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, Florida Brownfields Association, and serves on the Management Board of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and the Board of Trustees for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

Mr. Cooley is a graduate of the University of South Florida, where he studied Environmental Science and Policy. Prior to joining Port Tampa Bay, he managed several wetland permitting and assessment programs at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County. His experience and expertise include environmental site assessments, wetland impacts and mitigation, project management, rule writing and analysis, conflict resolution, court certified expert witness, development and land use, and interagency coordination.

James "Jim" Forsyth - Director of Operations

Jim Forsyth began his career at Port Tampa Bay in 2013 as the Wharfinger but was soon promoted to Operations Manager and subsequently Director of Operations. This swift career development was done due to his intense hands on management style and creating a team ambiance among his staff.

Jim brings over 25 years of maritime operational experience including terminal aerations as well as stevedoring and business management to the port. He has worked with a diverse group of worldwide shipping companies such as Hoegh Autoliners, Suzuki Del Caribe, Sea Star Line, Tecmarine Lines NMCC, International Shipping Co., CSAV, and Mitsui OSK Bulk Shipping before joining the port.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Jim is completely bi-lingual in English and Spanish and in his operational capacity has worked in ports from Jacksonville to the North coast of South America and most of the Windward and Leeward Islands.

Jim has established himself at the port by actively participating in the port resilience and storm preparations and severs as the Group Leader for the Re-entry Strike Teams after an adverse event.

Jim also serves on all of the port committees such as TBHSSC, TCSSI, PHWAG, VMC, and acts as Department head of the Operations Department in the absence of the Vice President. On the International front, Jim has served in the Puerto Rico Shipping Association and is now the second delegate for Port Tampa Bay in the Caribbean Shipping Association.

Wade Barnes - Director of Information Technology

Wade Barnes joined the Port Tampa Bay Team in 2015 and serves as the Director of Information Technology. In this capacity, Mr. Barnes is responsible for executing Port Tampa Bay’s and the CIO’s vision, helping to align the Port’s business and IT strategies, and directing day-to-day IT operations.


Mr. Barnes has his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Network Administration and earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Tampa. His current professional certifications include the Project Management Professional (PMP), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), and CompTIA Security +.

Mr. Barnes has a combined 14 years of Military, Government, and private sector leadership experience. He is an active member of the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) IT and Cybersecurity Committees.

Jorge Torres - Director of Security & Safety Compliance

Jorge Torres joined Port Tampa Bay in 2015, and serves as Director of Security & Safety Compliance, as well as the Port Authority’s designated Facility Security Officer (FSO).  Jorge is responsible for ensuring compliance with all maritime security regulatory requirements, manages the port security grant program, he is the Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism program manager, and directs the day-to-day operations of the security department. 
 
Jorge served 14 years on active duty with the US Coast Guard. Transitioning to the reserve component in 2009, he continues to serve proudly to this day, totaling 20 years of military service. Prior to joining PTB he was a Facility Security Manager and designated Facility Security Officer at the Port of Houston Authority.  Jorge is a graduate of American Military University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Security Management, with Honors. He has completed extensive training provided by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, satisfying the requirements for Infrastructure Protection, and is a Certified Port Executive. Jorge is also an NRA nationally certified law enforcement firearm instructor. 
 
Jorge is a participating member of the American Association of Port Authorities Security Committee (AAPA), the local Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), as well as the national and local chapter of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).

Katie Mahoney - Creative Director

Katie Mahoney is the Creative Director of Communications, Marketing and Branding at Port Tampa Bay. She is responsible for strategic messaging, advertising, and the execution of all creative internal and external content for the Port. She serves as an integral support to marketing and business development, engaging companies on both the national and international stage.

As a creative director with more than nearly two decades of experience working on national accounts, Katie has promoted some of the world's most recognizable brands. She mastered messaging for TV, web, and digital content for both large and small advertising agencies. She's managed teams of designers, writers and developers for companies including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Delta Airlines. 

Katie has mastered the art of understanding of customers want - from their first impulse of desire to purchasing a product. 

Katie received an undergraduate degree in advertising and communications from Michigan State University. She also graduated from Portfolio Center in Atlanta with a speciality in art direction. 

Samara Sodos - Director of Public Relations

Samara Sodos is the Director of Public Relations for Port Tampa Bay, handling all media inquiries and proactively showcasing the Port’s crucial role in our community, state, and country. Sam has experience in both the private and public sectors of the public relations arena, managing corporate relations for AT&T and serving as the spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Previously, Sam was an award-winning TV news reporter, spending more than a decade at the NBC affiliate in Tampa. During her time at WFLA-TV, she wrote for the Tampa Tribune and its online partner: covering two wars, countless hurricanes, high profile murder cases and dozens of national and statewide political campaigns. Sam also worked for NBC News as a reporter and producer, covering the Ferguson riots and several renowned criminal cases. She previously worked as a reporter for the NBC affiliate in Roanoke, and was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ-TV in her hometown of Milwaukee. Sam won dozens of awards for her reporting, from regional Emmy awards to the National Edward R. Murrow award. Sam graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jamal Sowell - Director of Special Projects

Jamal Sowell is Port Tampa Bay’s Director of Special Projects, directly advising President and CEO Paul Anderson and the executive team with management oversight. In his capacity he serves as a liaison for the Port on business, government and real estate matters. Jamal works closely with local, state and federal leaders to represent Port Tampa Bay.

He served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, including combat operations in Afghanistan. Jamal enlisted as a Private First Class in the Marine Corps Reserve eventually serving on active duty as an officer. As an officer, he was a battalion assistant operations officer (S-3A), company executive officer, tank detachment officer in charge, platoon commander, anti-terrorism force protection officer, electronic warfare officer, and a martial arts instructor. 

For several years, Jamal worked as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Corporate Secretary to the UF Board of Trustees. He supported the UF president in overseeing a $4.6 billion budget and gave strategic advice to the president and the board of trustees. In this role, he directed university initiatives pertaining to elected officials, faculty, staff, students, and economic development. During this time, he assisted the president with the addition of Texas A&M and the University of Missouri to the Southeastern Athletic Conference.

Jamal received his bachelors from UF while serving as the UF Student Body President, University Trustee, member of Florida Blue Key, and was selected for the UF Hall of Fame. He also obtained a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, while working at Amherst College. He graduated with a doctor of jurisprudence as a Pat Tillman scholar from Indiana University Bloomington Maurer School of Law, while working for United States Senator Todd Young (then-congressman). In law school, Jamal was an editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Symposium, worked in Israel for Shurat HaDin, and served as a state board appointee of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Jamal is a 6th generation Floridian and proud monthly donor to his parents’ alma mater, Florida A&M University.