A Tampa native, Mark Sharpe was elected to the County Commission Countywide District 7 seat in 2004. He was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2010 to serve his final four-year term. Sharpe was elected chairman of the County Commission in November 2013. He was the Board’s vice chairman from 2007-2011.
Prior to his election, Sharpe served eight years as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Navy. He retired after two decades of service, which included 12 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in multinational business from Florida State University, he earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the University of South Florida.
Economic development and transportation comprise his top priorities in office. In 2013, Sharpe championed the development of the Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2), a comprehensive program developed to drive the growth of technology and innovation startups through funding for startup activities and events. Also in 2013, he led efforts to form the Transportation Economic Development Policy Group, composed of members of the county commission, the mayor’s of Hillsborough’s three cities and the executive director of HART, to develop transit solutions that support high-wage economic development. Sharpe is chairman of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization and is an active member of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART).
He serves on the board of directors for the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and Tampa Bay Partnership, and also represents the County Commission on the boards of the Museum of Science and Industry and Tourist Development Council