Host Committee

The RNC Host Committee is a 501c3 non-profit, non-partisan organization formed to organize the RNC and any other large event in the Tampa Bay area.  We’re being generous in this description.  The Host Committee is  an exclusive club of local businessmen and politicians who are directly responsible for bringing the RNC in Tampa at the extraordinary expense the city will incur.

Each member of the Host Committee has their own story to tell.  They range in professions from politicians to businessmen to developers and company executives.  Check out brief explanations of some of these people, their lives and addresses.


Al Austin

Al is the chairman of the RNC Host Committee.  At 83 years of age, Al spent most of his adult his life running Austin Companies, a Tampa based development firm.  For 46 years, he’s been a Republican activist.

Al’s work on the development scene can claim responsibility for the Austin Center, a 300,000 square foot office complex located in the center of the Westshore Business District. 1111 N. Westshore Blvd – 1411 N. Westshore Blvd.

When not developing Tampa, or organizing for the GOP, Al and his wife Beverley can be found reading in bed at 4617 W San Miguel St, Tampa, FL.


Don DeFosset

Don is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Walter Industries, Inc. (now Walter Energy, Inc.), a public company with businesses in water infrastructure products, metallurgical coal and natural gas, home building and mortgage financing.

In addition to his work on corporate boards, Don serves on the board of the Tampa Sports Authority, Florida Chamber of Commerce, vice chairman University of Tampa, and the Tampa Performing Arts Center.


Don enjoys watching the ocean view in his condo at3203 Bayshore Blvd Unit 1900.


Dick Beard

Dick has been dicking around Florida for decades. Making his bread as a real estate developer, Dick formed the R.A. Beard Development Company. Prior to forming the company so creatively named, Dick worked with the Paragon Group, a real estate holdings company responsible for a number of downtown developments.

As a developer, he can claim responsibility for Barnett Plaza (now renamed Bank of America Plaza…think, RNC Host Committee HQ) and 100 North Tampa. Dick is a part owner in both of these buildings and pulls in a share of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent a month.

With all these developers on the Host Committee, a strike to downtown is a strike to the convention.

Dick, like many of his compatriots, resides in Bayshore. He calls 4417 Bayshore Blvd home, a nice brick house with a stunning yard.


Ken Jones

Ken is the General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Communications Equity Associates (CEA). CEA is an investment firm with investments primarily in telecommunications, real estate and entertainment. Ken’s role in the company is to get, finance and close deals. He’s their closer.

As much as Ken is rockin’ the 1% in his current job, the real goods lie in his past.

Prior to joining CEA in 2005, Ken worked as Deputy chief of Staff and General Counsel for former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Amongst many repudiate things, Lott is famous for supporting Strom Thurmon’s segregationist party bid for president. While working for the bigot, Ken obtained top secret security clearance and worked on intelligence “issues”.

Ken served as general counsel for George W. Bush and helped mastermind the stolen elections in, you guessed it, Florida. He has served on the Bush inaugural committees as well as the last three RNCs.

When not messing with the entire world, Ken can be found chillin’ in his posh pad at 6044 Yeats Manor Dr, Tampa, FL


Ron Ciganek

Senior Vice President USAmeri Bank

Ron Ciganek is the Senior vice President of USAmeri Bank. He assumed this role in 2010. Prior to taking on his current position, Ron was formerly the lead Tampa Bay area commercial banking executive for Regions Bank.

Ron is also a member of the Bellair Country Club. When not putting on the green with his lovely wife Carolyn, Ron can be seen chillin in his pad at 2219 Donato Dr, Bellair Beach FL 33786-3432


Paul Catoe

President and CEO of Tampa Bay & Co

Paul Catoerecently joined the ranks of the retired and fixed income. Paul retired in 2011 as the CEO of Tampa Bay and Company, the bay’s unofficial travel and tourism portal. From his former post, Paul ran the company responsible for ensuring tourists find their way through the mean streets of Tampa; the same company that stands to gain buckets of cash from the RNC.

But despite Paul’s rise to opulence, his early years in Tampa weren’t quite so meteoric. 30 years ago, Paul started his professional career as a WFLA meteorologist. From there, Paul moved on to sales management, then to Vice President, to Station Manager of WLFA-TV in t 1991 and to President in 1996.

In his free time, Paul is on the board of directors for the Outback Bowl, Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. And to top it off, Paul received a key to the city of Tampa. As if controlling the tourist pursestrings weren’t enough!

Paul, whose real name is William Paul Catoe, enjoys sipping lemonade on his patio with his wife Sandra at their spot at 13936 CLUBHOUSE CIR, TAMPA, FL 33618-7504


Jim Davis

Attorney Holland & Knight

Jim Davis, also known as James Oscar Davis III, is an Partner at Holland Knight, one of the world’s largest law firms, and a former Representative in the House of Representatives. While in the house, Jim served on the Energy and Commerce Committee where he focused on energy, telecommunications and electronic commerce issues. In 2002, he voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

Jim spends part of his time in Tampa, chillin with his wife Peggy, and sons Pete and Will. The rest of his time is spent jetsetting between Tampa and the Nation’s capital, Washington DC.

When not going to his Episcopalian Church, Jim can be found thumbing through the Bible at 209 Blanca Ave, Tampa, FL 33606-3327


Maryann Ferenc

CEO of Mis En Place

Maryann Ference is the co-owner of yuppy cafes Mis En Place and Sono Cafe, located at the Tampa Museum.

She is also a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, board member of Visit Florida, the state tourism agency, and past chairwoman of Tampa Bay & Co.

And, with all her activity, one might wonder, when does she sleep? Most of her work happens at night, but her alarm clock wakes her at 6:30AM. So, if you want to catch a moment with her, she tells us she’d love to chat around 3AM, or anytime on Sundays. She can be reached at her pad on St. Pete’s at 108 4th Ave St Pete Beach FL 33706-4308, or her cafe at 42 W Kennedy Blvd # 110, Tampa, FL.


Paul Tash

CEO St. Petersburg Times

Paul Tash is the CEO of the St. Petersburg Times so we can expect fair and unbiased reporting of the convention. In his spare time, he serves on the Florida Council of 100, a statewide businessman’s club. While not chillin with the dudes, he swims at North Shore Pool in attempts to get in 100 miles each year. He also enjoys sailing on the Gulf with his wife Kary and kids Kaley and Kendyl on his 21 foot sport boat.

Paul can be found resting and writing at his pad at 111 Bay Point Dr NE
St Petersburg FL 33704-3805, He can be reached at 727-825-0705


Michelle Robinson

VP of Verizon – SE Region

Michelle ruled the SE region of Verizon from the comforts of her Tampa Bay home. According to inside sources, she is in the process of being transferred to Atlanta by the end of this Summer. During this time of turmoil in her professional life, Michelle prides herself on being a ”working mom” of John (JJ) and Ethan. She enjoys playing tidal wave in the tub with her sons, slurping spaghetti, and singing “Hush, Little Baby” before bedtime.

While in Tampa, Michelle can be found chillaxing at 11910 Marblehead Dr,
Tampa, FL 33626-2519. She enjoys evening phone calls by candlelight at 813-855-7134


Joseph Kadow

Executive VP, Outback Steakhouse

Joe is an odd bunch, overseeing the overpriced world of mediocre food as Executive VP of Bloomin’ Brands. Since 1994, he’s been climbing the deep fried ivory tower of steak on the barby and oversized fried onions. Outside of work, he serves on the board of trustees of the University of Scranton, his alma mater.

When not reminiscing of his days in Scranton, he enjoys sipping martinis porchside with his wife Teresa at 850 S Newport Ave, Tampa, FL 33606-2935


John Ramil

President, Tampa Electric

John stands to gain buckets from the RNC invading Tampa. With over 15,000 visitors and media outlets from across the globe, the convention center was forced to upgrade their electrical systems. With upgrades, comes more electrical use. As the president of Tamp Electric, John is set to see profits rise like helium in a balloon.

Besides powering Tampa, John sits on the boards of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. In 2001, he was appointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush to the charter Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida, and was elected chair of the board in June 2010.

John is married to Naida and chills at 345 BAYSHORE BLVD APT 1601, TAMPA, FL 33606-2354

He also owns: 6416 E MACLAURIN DR, TAMPA, FL 33647-1170


John R. Schueler

President, Media General, Florida Communications Group

John Spends his days a media mogul, presiding over the media outlets set to cover the convention. In 2011, he came close to becoming the Dean of University of South Florida School of business, but failed at that endeavor. Instead, he chairs the Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay, part of the Tampa Bay Partnership, and sits on the Florida Council of 100 (a business executives’ closed door club).

He enjoys lounging around with his wife Linda at 506 S ROYAL PALM WAY, TAMPA, FL 33609-3718


Mel Sembler

Professional A-hole

Mel joins the host committee after a long history of fucking the world over. His resume includes fundraising for daddy and baby Bush, working with Regan’s Drug Free America Campaign, running teen drug treatment programs that was held liable in false imprisonment suits, and chairing the Scooter Libby Defense Fund.

Outside of the political arena, Mel runs shopping centers in the Tampa Bay area under the company Sembler Management Company.

Mel enjoys chilling in the rubble at his place (under construction) with his wife Betty. Real Estate Baron as he is, he can be found at  180 Beach Dr NE # 2500 ST Petersburg FL 3370, and his luxurious self also owns 10324 Paradise Blvd Treasure Island, FL 33706-3121. 


Rick Baker

Former St. Petersburg Mayor

Who says 501c3 non-profit organizations have to be non-partisan? The IRS does! But that doesn’t stop the Tampa Bay Host Committee, a 501c3 non-partisan not-for-profit charitable organization, from keeping the likes of Rick Baker on their board. Rick, former Mayor of ST. Petersburg famously states:

Mitt Romney is the strongest Republican candidate and he is the only person capable of defeating Barack Obama in 2012,” Baker said in a statement. “Mitt Romney has the experience, the vision and the commitment to conservative values that our Republican nominee will need to draw bold contrasts with the President’s failed, big government agenda. It is an honor to join his team and I look forward to working to ensure that he is elected the next President of the United States.”

But, the 501c3 non-profit promoting the Tampa Bay area is, of course, only promoting Tampa and not any candidate…

In 2010 Rick opted against running for Mayor again, instead spending time with his wife Joyce and kids. He likes to build sand castles near his castle at 205 25TH AVE N ST PETERSBURG FL 33704-3445.


Dick A. Greco

Former Tampa Mayor

So long as we’re on the subject of ex-Mayors, Dick is yet another seeking to bring the Republican National Catastrophe to town. Dick, a democrat (we’re still trying to figure out what the difference is), has wholeheartedly supported the arrival of the suit and tie masses.

In fact, it’s a family affar. His wife, Linda F. McClintock-Greco, a TV doctor, also co-chairs the Friends of the Tampa Police Department Community Foundation.

When the two of them aren’t militarizing the city, or wining and dining in sheer opulence, they can be found eating lobster bisque at their condo at 3435 Bayshore Blvd Apt 1800, Tampa, FL 33629-8811


Kathleen Shanahan

President & CEO, WRS Compass

Kathleen runs the environmental remediation and civil construction firm WRS Compass in Tampa. Outside of work, she serves on the Committee of 100, the Florida Businessmen(and women) club, and Governor Crist’s Energy Action Plan. In 2008, Jeb Bush tapped Kathleen to the Florida Supreme Court nominating committee.

Kathleen likes to sip martinis while watching American Idol at her pad at 2625 W Sunset Dr, Tampa, FL 33629-5340


Chuck Sykes

CEO, Sykes Enterprises

Chuck runs the Tampa based call center, Sykes Enterprises. More accurately, Sykes enterprises describes themselves as “Helpdesk, outsourcing, software localization, translation, information development and technical writing”. In other words, they take your job.

Chuck, who also serves as the head of the Chamber of Commerce, has been described as the “Chuck Norris of area business leadership.” Apparently, he enjoys kicking his competitors’ ass, or maybe just his workers…

He also supports the Tampa Bay Rays and professional soccer.

When not trying to steal your job, or promote overpaid athletes, Sykes and his wife Rebecca, watch pro wrestling from the comfort of their home at 18121 Longwater, Tampa, FL 33647-2212


J. Patrick Michaels, Jr.

Chairman, Communications Equity Associates

J. Patrick Michaels Jr, otherwise known as Rick, ran the home shopping network. You can thank him for overly zealous TV hawkers selling cheap crap on your TV screen. Currently, he runs Communications Equity Associates, a firm that provides financial ‘expertise’ to media industry professionals. He convinces companies to gobble up smaller companies as they make large conglomerates. In the process, through his consulting fees, he takes a share of the profit. 

Rick enjoys bathing in a tub of merlot while wiping his ass with Ben Franklins at his posh pad at 5117 S Nichol St, Tampa, FL 33611-4132


Sandy Mackinnon

CEO, Yale Industrial Trucks

A.D. Sandy Mackinnon runs Yale Industrial Trucks, a dealer in heavy machinery. Outside of truckin’ Sandy, chairs Tampa Bay and Company, the regional tourism authority. He has also served on the Tampa Sports Authority and the Florida State Fair Authority.

Sandy thoroughly enjoys promoting Tampa Bay, even if its at the expense of the residents of Tampa, and the people of the world. While not plotting global domination of the backhoe industry, Sandy likes flying the American flag at 334 Blanca Ave, Tampa, FL 33606.


Lou Plasencia

CEO, Plasencia Group

Lou runs a hospitality portfolio. He coordinates transactions of deals in the hotel and restaurant industry, a very fancy middleman. Amongst his portfolio of past deeds includes Marriott Wardman in DC, Four Seasons in Atlanta, and Amelia Island Plantation in Florida. In addition to making deals, Lou advises hotels on how to better manage their properties. He’s made millions on the Intercontinental, Ameristar, Wyndham and Hilton properties. Can you guess who will be hosting some of the delegates…???

Despite Lou’s hotel advising empire, he still enjoys kicking off his shoes  at 10306 CARROLL SHORES PL, TAMPA, FL 33612-6511


Carlos Alfonso

CEO, Alfonso Architects

Carlos runs the Architect firm Alfonso Architects, which he inherited the firm from his late father. The firm redesigned the airport, parts of the University of South Florida, and Florida Power and Electric’s Headquarters.

Outside of developing Tampa, Carlos enjoys frolicking in the meadows of his stately quarters at 2913 and 2915 W Harbor View Ave, Tampa,  FL 33611-1642.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s