Rick Sharp

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

How long have you worked for/with the Port? I started working at the Port of Jacksonville in 1982. During my time in the industry I’ve worked at the ports of Charleston, Savannah, Brunswick, Cape Canaveral, Manatee, Mobile and New Orleans. I have been attending the Tampa Steel conference since the 1 st year and have long time relationships with several members of Port Tampa Bay.

What are your main responsibilities? My main responsibilities with PLRS include the design and construction of the new cold storage facility, hiring of all associates, purchasing of all equipment, setting up all vendors, business development and customer relations. Once we are operational, I will be in charge of all the operations on a daily basis as well as interacting with customers, vendors, government agencies and Port Tampa Bay’s marketing team.

What do you love most about your job? I love to create jobs and give associates opportunities to grow within the company. I love to know that what I do on a daily basis goes towards helping people provide for their families. It doesn’t get any better than that.

What advice would you give to the young generation? Don’t be complacent. Have a great work Ethic at an early age. Don’t be afraid of making a mistake. I’ve learned over the years that you will make a mistake. Admit it and make sure you put processes in place not to make the same mistake again.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was one of those kids that was born with a shackle in my crib and not a pacifier. I’m a second-generation waterfront guy that used to visit my father at the port as a young child and was always amazed at how cargo was discharged off vessels. I knew once I started working with my father that my career would involve working vessels at some capacity.

When you are not at work, what you do enjoy doing? First of all, spending time with my family is the most important thing to me. Also, I love offshore sports fishing and playing golf.