© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

TIA CEO Gets Third Pay Bump in 20 Months

Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport Chief Executive Officer Joe Lopano has received a 5 percent merit raise, his second pay raise this year and third in the last 20 months.

Thanks to Thursday's vote by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, Lopano will have an annual salary of $330,750 starting October 1st. That's a bump of $80,750 in base salary since he was named CEO in January 2011.

The Tampa Bay Times reports two of the three increases have been annual performance-based raises, but the most recent increase came during contract renegotiations in May. At that time, he was given a five-year contract extension through 2018, along with a $500,000 bonus if he stays through the end of the contract.

That contract extension was loudly criticized by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who sits on the board. But five months later, it was the mayor who seconded the motion for Lopano's performance raise. There was no debate about the CEO's raise. All of the board members gave Lopano outstanding marks in his annual performance evaluations, giving him an average score of 4.85 with 5 being the highest score possible.

TBO.com reports Lopano cited a bad economy in declining a $50,000 raise in October 2011, but accepted the same offer three months later, along with a $15,000 increase in October 2012 and Thursday's $15,750 raise.

Under the fiscal 2014 budget, the airport's more than 600 employees will receive an average 3.2 percent merit increase starting January 1st.

The Times adds that Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist warned Lopano that his next evaluation depends on how he executes the airport's $2.5 billion master plan, which includes expansion of the main terminal, a new rental car facility and a tram between the two structures.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.