Meet Tom

Tom Mullins is running for the St. Pete City Council seat for District 4.  He is running as a candidate who can bring important new capabilities and experience to the City Council as a result of a long career in the private sector at one of Tampa Bay’s most successful companies, Raymond James.  He and his wife Andi are 30-year residents of St. Pete, raised their children here, and love what St. Pete has become in recent years.  He is committed to inclusive, smart-growth policies intended to bring More Jobs, More Friends and More Cool Stuff to all of us.

Tom grew up in a close-knit middle class family in suburban Chicago, the oldest of four kids.  His dad was a manager for Jewel/Osco stores and his mom was a stay-at-home mom who generously spent much of her time driving Tom and his siblings from one sporting event to another.  Tom went to public schools from kindergarten through high school, and was proud to be the captain and leading scorer for his Stevenson H.S. basketball team his junior and senior years.

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he studied economics and political science and earned magna cum laude academic honors.  During college summers and holiday breaks, he was a forklift operator in a Chicago warehouse, where he became a member of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (and has retained his old union card in case this City Council thing doesn’t work out).

Graduating early from Vanderbilt, Tom joined Raymond James here in St. Pete at age 21 as one the earliest employees of the firm’s nascent investment banking department, which manages merger & acquisition transactions for corporations and raises growth capital for high-potential companies through public stock offerings and private placements.  Except for two years when he went north to get an MBA degree at Dartmouth, he has been an investment banker at Raymond James and a resident of St. Pete ever since.  Tom and his wife Andi have been married for 24 years, and their two children are now both in college. 

Tom has been a basketball “gym rat” the whole time he has lived here, and owes his detailed knowledge of the City to countless nights and weekends playing ball in city leagues and pickup games in rec centers and playgrounds in every part of St. Petersburg. Tom has also been a member of St. Petersburg Country Club in south St. Pete for many years.  Like many golf clubs, SPCC experienced financial distress during the Great Recession of 2009-2010, and became unable to meet its obligations to its primary bank.  In a “rescue mission” led by SPCC member Bo Godbold that was never reported publicly, Tom and 19 other individuals each wrote a check for $50,000 to acquire the bank loan and stabilize the club’s finances.  While our motives were not entirely altruistic – we wanted to save our favorite golf course after all – this successful initiative also rescued the single most important greenspace area in south St. Pete.  The 6,000 residents of the Lakewood neighborhood in south St. Pete never had any idea how close they were to losing their cherished greenspace and seeing it replaced by construction sites if the bank had foreclosed and sold the golf course land piecemeal to developers.

Raymond James Career

Tom is proud of his career at Raymond James.  He is one of a very small number of officers that have been with the firm since the late-1980s.  The firm’s improbable rise over that 35 year period has seen its annual revenues grow from barely $100 million in 1986 to over $9 billion today, and client assets grow to over $1 trillion.  The firm is the single largest provider of highly-compensated jobs in Tampa Bay, and Raymond James and its employees are together the largest supporters of arts, cultural and charitable organizations in the area by far.

For most of the last 20 years, Tom has led the firm’s investment banking practice for the Transport & Infrastructure industries.  He has developed particular expertise in the environmental service and transport sectors, expertise that is directly relevant to the work of the City Council.  His past environmental clients include Waste Connections and Green For Life (GFL) Environmental, now two of the four largest environmental companies in North America, which have brought that industry’s most advanced recycling and waste management practices to hundreds of communities nationwide.  On the transport side, he has raised growth capital for many of the successful low-fare airlines – including Spirit, Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier, Sun Country and Westjet – that carry millions of annual visitors to the Tampa Bay area and who in turn power our local economy.  Of particular note, he raised the initial private equity capital for Allegiant Air, which turned St. Pete Clearwater Airport from a ghost town into a thriving airport that welcomes more than 2,000,000 visitors a year to Pinellas County, and which offers St. Pete residents low-fare nonstop flights to over 50 cities not previously served by any airline from either of the Tampa Bay airports.

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