Port Tampa Bay pays tribute to former commissioner Joseph Garcia

- Port Tampa Bay fondly remembers the legacy and impact Joseph Garcia had on our maritime community. Mr. Joseph Garcia performed approximately seventeen years of distinguished public service as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Port Tampa Bay. He was first appointed to the Port Board by Governor Bob Graham in November 1981 with successive appointments through November of 1989, and was subsequently re-appointment by Governor Lawton Chiles in April 1991 and continued service through April of 1999.

In his capacity as a Port Commissioner, Mr. Garcia consistently provided strong leadership and direction to the Port’s efforts to develop Port Tampa Bay during the course of his seven terms as Chairman of the Port Board of Commissioners and ten years as either Vice Chairman or Treasurer of the Board.

Mr. Garcia’s unflagging devotion to the continued growth and prosperity of the Port and the surrounding community served as a driving force in helping the Port accomplish such important goals as the acquisition and development of approximately twenty acres of land in Channelside as a multi-purpose cruise, retail and entertainment area encompassing The Florida Aquarium, Cruise Terminal No. 2 and Sparkman Wharf areas; the acquisition of an additional eighteen acres of land for the construction of the Port’s office building and Cruise Terminal No. 6; the acquisition of over two hundred acres of land from Port Sutton, Inc. in the area known as Pendola Point and part of Port Sutton for industrial maritime development and operations; the acquisition of approximately 160 acres on Port Redwing for industrial and maritime usage; the funding and construction of three new cruise terminals to accommodate the increased cruise traffic serving the Port; the development of general cargo facilities for increased cargo volumes; and the commencement and expansion of cruise ship operations from the Port.

"Port Tampa Bay is a more expansive and efficient facility thanks to the dedication of Former Board Commissioner, Joseph Garcia. Mr. Garcia was a lifelong ambassador of our port and transformed the way we serve our community and region. He was responsible for significant improvement projects, which paved the way for Port Tampa Bay to grow cruise, container and other lines of business today. He will be missed greatly by our entire maritime community," said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO.

Even after his official service on the port board concluded, Mr. Garcia remained a champion and an ambassador for the port throughout the rest of his life. Mr. Garcia worked tirelessly to, among other things, help the Port create a state-of-the-art office facility, where educational, government and international business communities can come together and explore the advantages and benefits of working together on projects that would bring potential benefits to the entire region. The Port’s office building, the Joseph Garcia International Building, is named in his honor. Mr. Garcia devoted his time, energy and talents in the government business and legal communities to help the Port Tampa Bay become recognized as a center for international trade.

Mr. Garcia will be fondly remembered for his graciousness, smile and dignity in which he carried himself and conducted port business. He was an ambassador of Port Tampa Bay and was proud to educate the community on the impact the port had on the region. His vision, leadership, dedication and devotion to Port Tampa Bay and the entire Tampa Bay community are greatly appreciated and will be forever remembered.