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.
Lisa Donofrio, Director
Lisa Donofrio recently joined the team to manage Bendigo Co.’s newest asset, Strata Powered by Turnkey Intelligence, a research platform which measures the convergence of sports and healthcare related industries.
Lisa spent over 18 years in the financial services industry, developing and activating key strategic partnerships with top financial institutions and their investments across professional sports and entertainment. Through the integration of marketing programs, branding, and research, she supported their credit card portfolios to increase revenue and profitability. After having her second child, Lisa left the banking world and launched a successful event planning business in Manhattan, where she managed both events and long term clients, generating significant revenue growth each year.
After living and working in NYC for over 20 years, Lisa’s family recently made the move to the NJ suburbs, where she is raising her two daughters with her husband. When not racing to various sports activities on the weekend, Lisa enjoys boxing and yoga. Lisa is also very active with JDRF in support of her oldest daughter, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. In just six years, Lisa and her family have raised over $135K, via yearly JDRF Walks, to support type 1 diabetes research.
Aleyna Yamaguchi, Account Manager
Aleyna Yamaguchi is a Seattle native transplanted to the east coast to fulfill her passion of working in the sports industry by supporting the enhancement of Bendigo Co.'s clients. A recent Master of Jurisprudence graduate from the University of Washington School of Law, Aleyna has expanded her experience by working in an NFL accredited agency (Focus Sports Agency), assisting agents to get their football players signed to teams such as, the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos. While supporting the players in the agency, Aleyna also supported her home team by working for the Seattle Seahawks, providing high-class service under the Fan Development Department.
As a former competitive gymnast, Aleyna enjoys being active and spends her time running, hiking, and boxing. When she is not spending her free time out and about, she always loves to travel - visiting Italy, France and other European countries as often as she can.
Mike LaPorta, Consultant
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 is currently serving as an oversees ambassador of Bendigo, currently on a yearlong world tour, while working remotely on select projects.