PACE Center for Girls Appoints Mary Marx as President and CEO

Mar 9, 2010

The PACE Center for Girls has appointed Mary Marx as its President and Chief Executive Officer. 

An announcement from the PACE Center is reprinted below.


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Jacksonville, FL (March 8, 2010) – PACE Center for Girls, Inc. announced today that Mary M. Marx has been appointed to serve as the agency’s President and CEO by the Board of Trustees.

Mary Marx joined the PACE Center for Girls, Inc. in March 2007 as the Vice President of External Affairs.  Since November 2008, she has served as the agency’s Interim President and CEO. 

Carole Zegel, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said that the PACE Center for Girls Board of Trustees selected Ms. Marx based on her track record leading a complex organization, as well as her strong executive and personal qualities.   The Board of Trustees appointed Ms. Marx after an extensive national search that began in May, 2009. “”Our search for a leader to ensure sustained success at PACE has been focused and thorough,” said Zegel.   “After evaluating many qualified candidates, including Ms. Marx, the Board of Trustees determined that Mary Marx had the necessary operational experiences, was the architect of several strategic shifts for the agency, implemented key program initiatives serving girls in Florida, and most importantly has demonstrated proven leadership during challenging times that has energized the agency.  She is ideally suited to lead PACE into the future.”

Ms. Marx has spent her 21-year career in a range of leadership, management and operations positions with youth serving agencies in the not-for profit sector.  She started her not-for-profit career as the Program Director for the East Bay Conservation Corps in Oakland, CA where she directed service learning programs for at-risk youth from middle school through early adulthood.  Marx also founded the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, CA, where she led the organization for 15 years, overseeing arts education programs for at-risk children in six Bay Area Counties. Prior to joining PACE, she served for three years as the President of the Cultural Center in Ponte Vedra Beach, the largest cultural arts facility in St. Johns County, FL.

“It is a privilege and an honor to have been selected to lead the PACE Center for Girls.  PACE offers a unique opportunity to apply my experience in helping to define the challenges facing girls in our society today and to re-enforce PACE’s core mission and commitment to all girls,” said Marx.  “Nationally, girls and young women account for 29% of total juvenile arrests and females are the fastest growing segment of both the juvenile and adult justice systems.  In Florida, girls represent 32% of all the youth referred to the Department of Juvenile Justice and last year alone more than 27,000 girls were referred to this system,” stated Marx.  “Placement of a girl in a juvenile facility predicts future involvement in the adult corrections system more so than gang affiliation or weapons possession and the cost savings of keeping a single girl out of the justice system is estimated at $1.7 to $2.3 million over her lifetime.  These large numbers and the consequences of justice system involvement are hard to ignore and require a major public policy response as well as a concentration of resources to stop this public safety and public health crisis.  I look forward to my continued work with the exceptional staff and Board of Trustees at PACE, determined to realize thoughtful change on behalf of all girls,” said Ms. Marx.

About PACE Center for Girls

PACE Center for Girls, Inc. is a Florida-based, 501(c)3 non-residential prevention program for at-risk girls and young women. Recognized as national model for keeping girls out of the juvenile justice system and improving school success, employment and self sufficiency amongst girls, PACE’s mission is to provide girls and young women an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy. PACE values all girls, believing each one deserves an opportunity to find her voice, achieve her potential and celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. Since establishing its first center in Jacksonville in 1985, PACE has grown to include 17 centers in locations across Florida and has helped more than 23,000 girls find success with their families, in school and in their communities.