James W. Holton

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James W. Holton

Of Counsel


James W. “Jim” Holton is Of Counsel at Hall Booth Smith in Tampa, Florida. He is the President and Owner of Holton Companies, which develops and invests in real estate projects throughout the state of Florida. He is also an attorney and fundraiser for numerous public causes.

Jim earned a Master of Laws from Boston University, from which he also holds a Juris Doctor. He also completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Stanford University.

He has served on the board of the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, Pinellas County’s Police Athletic League, and the Pinellas County Economic Development Council. Nationally, he is the long term past Chairman of the Board for the Drug Free America Foundation, and he serves on several local civic and charitable boards.

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Jim was formerly the Chairman of the Florida Transportation Commission from 2005 to 2007, a position for which he was appointed by former Governor Jeb Bush and confirmed by the Florida Senate. During his tenure, he was praised by the governor for his leadership in addressing some of the state’s most pressing transportation needs and for maintaining public accountability for the Florida Department of Transportation.

Earlier in his career, former House Speaker Allan Bense appointed Jim as a Director of Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) from 2005 to 2009. EFI is a public-private partnership between Florida business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the Sunshine State. Jim worked with the Florida Congressional Delegation, other members of Congress, and numerous state and business leaders to address issues and take steps toward improving the business environment for companies in the infrastructure, defense, banking, and finance industries.

Jim was also appointed by former Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Board of Governors of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which is the state-backed wind and property insurance company of last resort for many Florida homeowners and businesses. He was re-appointed and served through 2020.

In addition to those duties, Jim was reappointed in July 2020 by Governor Ron DeSsantis to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA), where he served as the Chairman. Jim’s leadership at TBARTA comes at a time of profound change for the transit authority after former Governor Scott signed into law a bill that charges the agency with developing a plan that ensures routes and stations form a more cohesive regional transit system. Governor DeSantis also appointed Jim to the Southwest Florida Water Management District in February 2023, and his term runs through March 2026.


Jim is the President and Owner of Holton Companies, which develops and invests in real estate projects throughout the state of Florida. He is also an attorney who has devoted much of his career to public service through leadership roles at the Florida Transportation Commission, the Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) public-private partnership, the state-backed insurer of last resort Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA).



State Courts:

  • Florida


  • J.D., Boston University
  • LL.M., Boston University
  • B.A., Philosophy, Stanford University


  • Drug Free America Foundation: Chairman of the Board
  • Pinellas County Economic Development Council
  • Pinellas County’s Police Athletic League: Board Member (former)
  • South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research: Board Member (former)

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