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Port Tampa Bay is pleased to introduce CEO Corner, from President and CEO Paul Anderson. CEO Corner is a monthly blog that takes a high-level look at issues that affect the maritime community, as well as Tampa Bay.
As we approach Hurricane season and continue to live through a global pandemic, I would like to shine a spotlight on the robust resiliency planning our port undertakes yearlong. As Florida’s largest and most cargo-diverse port, it is critically important that our port can resume operations as quickly as possible following an emergency or disaster.

Hello and welcome to the latest installment of CEO Corner. A monthly blog where we take a deep dive into the issues that affect the maritime industry. This month, we are talking about the importance of raising awareness and preventing human trafficking. As you may already know, January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This is an issue of personal importance and one that is important to Port Tampa Bay and our maritime community. Human Trafficking is modern-day slavery and I have remained focused on raising awareness and preventing this tragedy.

I am proud to share that Port Tampa Bay has a long track record of raising awareness on this important issue. Through my work with the USDOT’s select advisory committee on Human Trafficking, our ongoing work with Truckers Against Trafficking, The Department of Homeland Security, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), as well as many other trade associations and third-party groups, Port Tampa Bay leads our maritime industry to continue fighting against this terrible practice. I encourage you to read more about our partnership with BEST on the Port Tampa Bay Newsroom. Additionally, port leaders sit on Hillsborough County’s Human Trafficking Awareness advisory committee, ensuring that we maintain best practices with other leaders in the county.

Last year, during a meeting of the National Council of State Legislators, I was proud to participate in a panel discussion on Human Trafficking hosted by Women in Government. This robust discussion showed me that although we have made great progress, there is still more to be done. As part of Port Tampa Bay’s ongoing commitment to end trafficking, in January, our employees took part in a virtual training course to provide our staff with the information needed to recognize and report trafficking and worker exploitation. The training includes discussions on who is at risk, where human trafficking is most pervasive, and the laws involved, as well as how to recognize signs and offer help and support. Our work to prevent modern-day slavery will continue.

Every person deserves a life of dignity. I am proud of our actions to bring awareness and lead toward an end of the scourge of human trafficking.

Welcome to the second installment of CEO Corner. As we approach the holiday season, I am writing to you today to shed light on the important work and mission of our maritime community’s charitable partners. Each year, Port Tampa Bay hosts a Golf Tournament, BaySlam Fishing Tournament, and the Anchor Ball to raise money and awareness for Tampa Port Ministries and the Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation. In 2021, Port Tampa Bay was able to raise approximately $250,000 for these charitable partners.

I want to invite you to learn about each of the charitable organizations we partner with and I encourage you to offer your support as well.

Tampa Port Ministries

Mission – Tampa Port Ministries objective is to meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of seafarers and others who use the facilities of the Port Tampa Bay.

Impact – Transportation is available from dockside to the Tampa Seafarers Center, Post Office, banking, shopping center, and other locations as the seafarers might have need. Center personnel will help to locate medical, pharmacy, and dental care, legal aid, and recreational opportunities. Seafarers can find casual wear as well as work clothes in the free clothes closet. For those who don’t have the time to go shopping, the Center offers a small convenience store with toiletries, snacks, and other personal items.

The Tampa Seafarers Center provides for the seafarers' social needs in our comfortable recreation area with free Wi-Fi, billiards, ping pong, and foosball as well as music and television. 

The Tampa Seafarers Center offers worship opportunities at the Center as well as onboard their ship. Transportation is available to take seafarers to local churches. Bibles and tracts are available in several different languages. Chaplains are available to seafarers and all port personnel for Biblical guidance and comfort.

By the Numbers – 

In 2021:

  • 1,237 total COVID-19 vaccines were administered to seafarers representing over 35 nations.
  • Pre-COVID, the Seafarer’s Center sent/received more than 26,000 packages on behalf of their guests. They currently receive about 70 packages per day (every day)!
  • Conduct approximately 8 shopping trips per week, or about 400 a year.
  • More than 10,000 individuals visit the Seafarer’s Center each year for services that include Wi-Fi, phone access, fellowship, or other physical, social, and spiritual needs.

    For more information visit


Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation

Mission – The mission of the Foundation is to assist high-achieving graduates of the Hillsborough County Maritime Technology Programs at Thomas Jefferson High School Magnet Honors Maritime Academy and other public institutions by providing meaningful scholarship support for post-high school education leading to maritime careers.

All scholarships awarded are issued under the name of ‘The George Steinbrenner Memorial Maritime Scholarship’ honoring the late Mr. George Steinbrenner.

Impact – The Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation has provided the means to pursue educational opportunities for students at training centers and schools around the country. Their scholarship recipients have attended:

SUNY Maritime College (NY), Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, California Maritime Academy, Texas A&M Maritime College (Galveston), Great Lakes Maritime Academy, University of South Florida, University of Florida, Brigham Young University, and Hillsborough Community College

By the Numbers – Since the organization began in 2015, it has awarded 26 total scholarships. As of 2021, the Foundation has awarded $157,000 in scholarships.

Through the support of Port Tampa Bay, the foundation has grown from providing one $2,500 scholarship in 2015 to provide five $10,000 scholarships in 2021. “Port Tampa Bay’s three charitable events comprise almost all of the revenue that TBMSF generates every year. Without PTB, the Foundation would not be able to underwrite nearly the amount of scholarships that it presently does. We are deeply indebted to the port,” explained Jere White, TBMSF President.

For more information, visit the Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation’s website at


In the inaugural segment, Paul Anderson explains how Port Tampa Bay changed operations to ensure safety and efficiency in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.