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Port Tampa Bay welcomes Mark “Clay” Clayton Hollis III, as its new Chief of Staff. Hollis begins his position on February 18, 2019.

Tampa Bay

Former Adam Putnam staffer named Port Tampa Bay chief of staff

Clay Hollis was former Ag. Commissioner Putnam’s External Affairs Director.

Port Tampa Bay hired a new Chief of Staff: Mark Clayton “Clay” Hollis III starts work next Monday.

Hollis previously served as the External Affairs Director for former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Hollis replaces Jamal Sowell, who left after being tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to lead Enterprise Florida.

In his new role, Hollis will oversee coordination of operations within the President and CEO’s office and will assist the Port’s executive team manage public affairs with the County, city of Tampa and state. 

He also will serve as a liaison to DeSantis and his administration.

While working for Putnam, Hollis served as his representative at various functions the elected official could not attend. He also served as a go-between for the Department of Agriculture and various industries it oversaw or served.

Hollis has also served as a legislative assistant and senior legislative assistant to Republican former Congressman Tom Rooney.

During that time, Hollis handled maritime issues with the Army Corp of Engineers and on transportation, as well as managed Rooney’s work on the House Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and the Food and Drug Administration.

Before that, he was a travel aide for Putnam and interned for former U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican and House Majority Leader who served 2001-14. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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