Bendigo was named after the legendary Australian “Gold Rush” city, where the historic Bendigo Mining Company dug deep beneath the original strike to find gold hidden beneath the surface. Bendigo Agency was created to help its clients uncover and monetize their hidden assets.
Jeff Sofka, Founder & Principal
As Founder and Principal of Bendigo Co., Jeff Sofka has had the privilege of serving some of the world’s greatest companies, driving brand asset development, management and execution. Jeff has generated hundreds of $Millions in new revenue and share value as a Senior Marketing Executive for the following industry leading companies:
City of New York Marketing
Clear Channel Worldwide (Live Nation)
National Football League
Lord & Taylor
Sofka created Bendigo Co. to help organizations monetize their hidden and underutilized intellectual property assets.
Jeff enjoys spending time with his family and playing music with his 80s tribute band “Martha Quinn College.” He has created and produced many local music events including Ridgewood Unplugged, which have raised more than $75,000 for a range of charities.
Stacy Slade, VP Client Services
Stacy joined Bendigo to create our west coast office. She resides in Seattle focusing on work for CHI Franciscan Health and Cedars Sinai.
Stacy has worked in sports since 2000, most recently with Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer in corporate partnerships. She excels at connecting local and national brands with best-in-class sports properties to elevate both through activation, exposure, and earned media. Stacy’s sports marketing experience includes work in Major League Soccer (Sounders FC and Columbus Crew), NCAA at the University of Washington Athletic Department and in the NBA with the Seattle Sonics.
When Stacy isn’t at a sporting event, she spends her time outdoors with her family or with her two Bernese Mountain Dogs, Tag and Chase. She shows, trains and breeds Bernese with having the success of owning the #1 Bernese Mountain Dog who won at the famous Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2017.
Mike LaPorta, SVP Strategic Development
After honing his skills in experiential and digital marketing and brand partnerships at jobs both oversees and in NYC, Mike joined the Bendigo team in 2013, leading the charge as our clients expanded into a digital world. Mike LaPorta brings almost a decade of experiential marketing, paired with his natural high energy and “can do” outlook, he served as the lead for a number of our clients.
Prior to his time at Bendigo, Mike worked on LivingSocial’s “Experiences” team, after spending several years growing a small niche tourism concept into one of the leading youth tour operators in Europe.
Mike currently resides in Denver. When he isn’t blazing a trail in the mountains, he is overseeing development of our clients strategic relationships, including sports and entertainment sponsorships, facilities, innovative partnerships with consumer brands, and activation of these partnerships across traditional, digital, social media, and CRM integration.
Larry Pendergast, VP Innovation
Larry joins the Bendigo family, bringing with him over fifteen years of marketing and business development experience. He’s worked in collaboration and partnership with a diverse set of blue-chip companies including Amazon, American Express, National Geographic Magazine, Verizon and many more.
With an equal mix of left and right brain function, Larry brings to Bendigo an ideal blend of analytic and creative thinking. As Vice President of Business Development, Larry will be focused on developing Bendigo’s beverage, wellness, philanthropy and recycling programs.
Based in Ridgewood, NJ, Larry has struck an ideal balance of work, family and social life. When not working or spending time with his three children, Larry enjoys riding his motorcycle, entertaining audiences with his live musical performances (singing, strumming and grooving), DJing and baking bread.