As part of our commitment to giving back in our local community we’re working with St Petersburg Athletic League (PAL), a non profit organization with an amazing mission and commitment to inspiring hope and transforming the lives of youth.  PAL works to provide opportunities for youth participation in athletics, education and leadership development, and builds meaningful partnerships with its constituents and police.

There were three problems the PAL Board of Directors set out to solve:

  1. Whilst PAL had deep roots, history, and traction, they wanted to ensure their strategy was contemporary and had relevance for the YOUTH OF TODAY, particularly those in South St. Petersburg, where low income areas offered the greatest opportunity to provide impact.
  2. The Board wanted to dedicate their time and efforts to areas that had the GREATEST IMPACT on eradicating poverty.
  3. It was also important for PAL to be connected to the strategies already in place across the City of St. Petersburg, and it was important that they ALIGNED with the community at large.


AGREEING ON CURRENT STATE – This meant the Board of Directors had to take a tough introspective view of their value as a board, how they were viewed in the community, and the measures of their strengths and weaknesses. The self-examination wasn’t only one piece of the puzzle and consideration had to be given to the views and opinions of external stakeholders including parents, teachers, and faith leaders. The Board also sought insights from City’s Deputy Mayor, Kanika Tomalin, and Director of Intervention, Revered Kenneth Irby were instrumental in the conversation.

ALIGNING ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT – This involved taking a hard look at the future of PAL and where we needed to move. This meant a strategy of “honor the past, but cast an eye to the future” on what’s really needed.

DEFINING WHAT WE NEED TO ACHIEVE – Our starting point was to use the five key levers known to eradicate poverty as a platform.

DETERMINING ACCOUNTABILITY – Tim Walsh, one of PAL’s board members and Vice President at UBS, was instrumental in prompting a radical discussion on how the Board is organized, and challenged to Board to answer the question: “what is the work and to whom does the work belong?” Tim coined the phrase “Defining our Eco System.”

REVIEWING, MEASURING AND ACTING – Measuring success is all about the metrics and keeping the mantra of, “actions speak louder than words,” at the front of everyone’s mind. PAL’s Operations Director, Denyve Boyle, was assigned responsibility for managing the process of metrics execution and driving accountability.

There’s so much more to this story and I can’t do justice to it here in this blog! The PAL Board is just at the beginning and know they are far from finished.

This strategy realization process will undoubtedly take time, leadership and endurance, but they are a fully committed energized Board. I’m excited to see where this goes and the impact PAL will have on changing lives of St. Petersburg’s youth.

To support the great work that is taking place at the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League and the youth they serve, please contact Denyve Boyle, Director of Operations, at (727) 800-1725 or As you can see from the work the Board is doing your contributions are always put to great use!