Foundation Elects Rays' Mark Fernandez to Board of Directors

Posted on: April 20, 2009

Phoenix, AZ/Tampa, FL – Helios Education Foundation’s Board of Directors has elected Mark Fernandez as its newest member. Fernandez, who has strong community ties in both Florida and Arizona, will serve on the board through 2012. He currently serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Tampa Bay, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Fernandez is also a member of the Tampa Bay Partnership's 2008 CEO Direct program and he serves on the community advisory board for the St. Petersburg Times' Bay Magazine.

“Helios Education Foundation’s commitment to changing lives through education is realized through the strategic partnerships we build and the community investments we make in Arizona and Florida,” said Foundation Chairman Vince Roig. “We’re excited to have Mark Fernandez on the board because he brings the unique perspective of having been intricately involved in both communities on many levels, and he’s able to marry that with his understanding of philanthropy. Mark’s election really is a positive extension of his community involvement, and we believe it will go a long way toward helping us impact education in both states.”

A native of Tampa Bay, Fernandez is the Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for the Tampa Bay Rays where he oversees the Rays sales and corporate marketing efforts, broadcast operations, merchandising operations and ticket and suite sales. Prior to joining the Rays, Fernandez served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also spent two years as the Diamondbacks' Vice President of Community Affairs and Executive Director of the Arizona Diamondbacks Charities followed by four years as the team's Vice President of Corporate Sales.

“I am honored to serve on Helios Education Foundation’s board of directors and to be part of an organization that is creating opportunities for students to succeed across the whole spectrum, from early childhood education through postsecondary education,” Fernandez said. “I was born and raised in Tampa Bay and am a product of the public school system and know wholeheartedly that investing in education is really about investing in our future. I look forward to continuing to support education and to helping students prepare to succeed through my work on the Helios board.”

Helios Education Foundation is governed by a seven-member board comprised of individuals with strong ties to Arizona and Florida. In addition to Chairman Vince Roig and President and CEO Paul Luna, other board members include: Don Aripoli, Vice President for Student Affairs Emeritus and Director of Development at Missouri State University; Dr. Ioanna Morfessis a business and economic development executive and CEO of IO.INC; Tom Herndon, former Executive Director of the Florida State Board of Administration and chief of staff to two Florida Governors; and Barbara Ralston, President and CEO of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation in Arizona and founder of Camelback Community Bank.

About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education. The Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education, and its community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Education. Since inception in 2004, Helios Education Foundation has invested over $62 million into education-related programs and initiatives in both states. For more information, visit the Foundation online at

Category: Foundation Feature

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