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Tampa Port Authority to take time finding new chief

Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 06:17 PM

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Tampa Port Authority board members said Tuesday that they have no favorite to replace Richard Wainio as port director and agreed to select an executive search firm at their July 17 meeting.

"We are going to do a national search," board member and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman said. "Let's dispel any theory that we have predetermined (this)."

Wainio surprised port officials June 6 when he submitted his resignation, effective Sept. 7, citing personal issues that included a desire to spend more time with his family.

The board will schedule a public workshop once it hires a search firm to review the port's role and what it's seeking in a director, ranging from strengths in marketing to administration.

Murman wants Wainio to prepare a report on potential collaboration with port interests in Manatee and Pinellas counties, the latter of which is under discussion to handle larger cruise ships than can sail beneath the Sunshine Skyway to Tampa's port.

Board members said it could take months to hire a new director, adding it was important to take time on the decision. The port board will appoint a temporary director if that becomes necessary.

tjackovics@tampatribune.com (813) 259-7817

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