Board Appoints New Executive Director to Lead Tampa Police Athletic League

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Mark Sofia, a retired Rochester Police Department sergeant, was appointed to oversee Tampa's Police Athletic League program.

Tampa, Fla. (March 14, 2016) – The Tampa Police Athletic League (PAL) Board of Directors recently appointed Mark Sofia to lead the non-profit organization, which provides affordable child care and athletic programs for hundreds of children in the Tampa area. 

Sofia accepted an official offer to serve as Tampa PAL’s executive director from Board President James Lamoureux who leads the 17-member committee.  Lamoureux believes the organization and the community will greatly benefit from the new executive director’s commitment to growing the local PAL program.  “Mark has proved himself to be an idea champion who is passionate about transforming Tampa's PAL into an organization filled with exciting opportunities for kids and families.  We are excited about the new direction that his dynamic leadership style and enthusiasm will take our organization.”  

In his role as executive director, Sofia will oversee daily operations at the 25,000 square-foot facility, while developing relationships with external donors, community organizations and residents.  He will report to the Tampa PAL Board of Directors. 

Sofia will also work closely with the Tampa Police Department to ensure PAL kids are receiving lessons in crime prevention and good sportsmanship.  Police Chief Eric Ward feels the new executive director will bring added value to the department’s community outreach efforts.  “The police department is continuously working to strengthen its relationship with the youth.  I believe Mark’s experience and skills will help create more valuable opportunities for young residents in our city to see officers in a different light.” 

Prior to his appointment, Sofia served as Tampa PAL’s interim executive director for a six-month period.  During that time, the retired Rochester Police Department sergeant successfully cultivated new partnerships that led to increased participation in the organization’s academic and athletic programming.  This was in addition to effectively supervising staff and overseeing day-to-day operations during the non-profit’s reorganization.

Sofia is ready for the challenge of taking PAL to a higher level. “In some communities PAL is synonymous with organizations like the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club and my goal is to bring Tampa PAL to that level.  When families are deciding where to bring their kids for activities and sports we want our organization to be at the top of their list.”

Tampa PAL Background

The Police Athletic League is a registered non-profit 501c3 organization that is dedicated to providing affordable after school, summer and athletic opportunities to more than 500 Tampa Bay youth in low to moderate income households. PAL partners with the Tampa Police Department to provide a safe, healthy environment for children and teens. PAL’s relationship with the police department provides mentorship as well as safety and crime prevention programs. In addition, PAL has partnered with a number of community organizations to provide athletic, educational and recreational development.

Janelle McGregor