ABOUT NICK

Nick Sortal is semi-retired after 35 years as a newspaper writer and editor, with 30 of those years dedicated to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He spent the majority of his career as a community news writer and editor, delving into the issues and topics most newsworthy to local residents.

He has a reputation for being fair – weighing every sides of an issue – and checked and re-checked information almost to the point of being annoying.

He also is known for having an excellent touch with people. His story, “A Wave for Grandpa Bob” was re-published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating People Who Make a Difference. The Society for Features Journalism and the Florida Press Club also recognized him for such human articles as “A Walk in the Park,” about an old man’s daily strolls through Plantation Central Park.

He also developed a passion for recreation issues, earning a media excellence award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association in 2006. He developed a broad knowledge of water safety programs in the county, the Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant process for municipal park development and the ins and outs of developing successful youth sports programs in a community. He was named a Sports Ethics Fellow by the Positive Coaching Alliance at Northeastern University in 2009.

His last years at the newspaper included entertainment coverage, including developing an expert’s knowledge on the complicated South Florida gambling rules and regulations. Along the way, he formulated his plan to enter public service after leaving newspapers.

  “I wanted to actually do, instead of write about people who do,” he says. “And I was fortunate to see how a variety of cities operated, with hopes that I could bring the best of everyone’s practices to a city I love.”

Career and Hobbies

Nick took a voluntary buyout from the Sun-Sentinel in November 2015 and signed a free-lance contract with The Miami Herald in December 2015 that concluded when he filed to run for office. He has worked for 10 years as professional adviser for the American Heritage School’s award-winning Patriot Post newspaper. He also has spent the past 30 years on school campuses as a basketball coach, at Cardinal Gibbons High, St. Thomas Aquinas and American Heritage School. He merged his journalism and basketball passions in 2001 to write the book Basketball Tip-Ins: 100 Drills and Tips for Young Players, published by McGraw-Hill.

Meanwhile, he continues his hobby of triathlon racing, competing in 8 to 10 races each year. His daily routine of swimming, biking, running and yoga has kept him in excellent shape, to the point that he has completed eight 70.3 (half-ironman) triathlons, which consist of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. Yes, in the same day.

Family Life

Nick has been married since 1993 to his wife Robyn, the first woman to become an assistant sports editor at the Sun-Sentinel and an honoree as one of Broward’s 100 Outstanding Women in 2014. They live in Jacaranda Lakes after first settling at Quatraine II and have three children: Diane, strategy officer at a local advertising company, who is married to Hamilton Financial executive Nick Kiefer. They have a baby girl, Mia, born in January 2018. Michelle is a guidance counselor and BRACE advisor at the College Academy at Broward College; she married Merick Lewin Feb. 29, 2020. Aaron is a production assistant in Los Angeles for Free Form media after graduating from Syracuse University in 2019. The children attended Peters and Central Park elementaries, Plantation Middle School, Plantation High School and American Heritage.

Nick grew up in Herrin, Ill., where his father was the basketball coach and junior high assistant principal. A gym is named in Mike Sortal’s honor. Nick graduated from Southern Illinois University with degrees in mathematics and journalism and worked in Carbondale, Ill., Owensboro, Ky., St. Louis and Indianapolis before moving to Florida and a 30-year career at the Sun-Sentinel.

South Florida activities

  • Plantation Athletic League volunteer basketball, flag football and soccer coach, 1993-2004
  • Plantation Christmas Eve volunteer Santa, visiting city neighborhoods, various years
  • Volunteer, Plantation Relay for Life, various years
  • Co-host, Sports Talk cable television show on Comcast, creating and hosting a telethon in 1996 that raised more than $100,000 for Kendrick English a Stranahan High football player who was paralyzed while making a tackle
  • Former volunteer food delivery Craig’s Pantry, which provides groceries to seniors in need
  • Former classroom and office volunteer at Peters Elementary and Central Park Elementary
  • Member Plantation Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Friends of the Helen B. Hoffman Library, 5000 Role Models of Excellence, Freedoms Foundation, Take Stock in Children/Broward.
  • Graduate, Broward County Water and Climate Academy, 2020. Please read the article that ran as part of “The Invading Sea” series. https://bit.ly/2BXQZ7E
  • Guest speaker and presenter of “10 Topics in Plantation” to various clubs, HOAs and other organizations, 2019-20

ABOUT NICK

Nick Sortal is semi-retired after 35 years as a newspaper writer and editor, with 30 of those years dedicated to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He spent the majority of his career as a community news writer and editor, delving into the issues and topics most newsworthy to local residents.

He has a reputation for being fair – weighing every sides of an issue – and checked and re-checked information almost to the point of being annoying.

He also is known for having an excellent touch with people. His story, “A Wave for Grandpa Bob” was re-published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating People Who Make a Difference. The Society for Features Journalism and the Florida Press Club also recognized him for such human articles as “A Walk in the Park,” about an old man’s daily strolls through Plantation Central Park.

He also developed a passion for recreation issues, earning a media excellence award from the Florida Recreation and Park Association in 2006. He developed a broad knowledge of water safety programs in the county, the Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) grant process for municipal park development and the ins and outs of developing successful youth sports programs in a community. He was named a Sports Ethics Fellow by the Positive Coaching Alliance at Northeastern University in 2009.

His last years at the newspaper included entertainment coverage, including developing an expert’s knowledge on the complicated South Florida gambling rules and regulations. Along the way, he formulated his plan to enter public service after leaving newspapers.

  “I wanted to actually do, instead of write about people who do,” he says. “And I was fortunate to see how a variety of cities operated, with hopes that I could bring the best of everyone’s practices to a city I love.”

Career and Hobbies

Nick took a voluntary buyout from the Sun-Sentinel in November 2015 and signed a free-lance contract with The Miami Herald in December 2015 that concluded when he filed to run for office. He has worked for 10 years as professional adviser for the American Heritage School’s award-winning Patriot Post newspaper. He also has spent the past 30 years on school campuses as a basketball coach, at Cardinal Gibbons High, St. Thomas Aquinas and American Heritage School. He merged his journalism and basketball passions in 2001 to write the book Basketball Tip-Ins: 100 Drills and Tips for Young Players, published by McGraw-Hill.

Meanwhile, he continues his hobby of triathlon racing, competing in 8 to 10 races each year. His daily routine of swimming, biking, running and yoga has kept him in excellent shape, to the point that he has completed eight 70.3 (half-ironman) triathlons, which consist of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. Yes, in the same day.

Family Life

Nick has been married since 1993 to his wife Robyn, the first woman to become an assistant sports editor at the Sun-Sentinel and an honoree as one of Broward’s 100 Outstanding Women in 2014. They live in Jacaranda Lakes after first settling at Quatraine II and have three children: Diane, strategy officer at a local advertising company, who is married to Hamilton Financial executive Nick Kiefer. They have a baby girl, Mia, born in January 2018. Michelle is a guidance counselor and BRACE advisor at the College Academy at Broward College; she married Merick Lewin Feb. 29, 2020. Aaron is a production assistant in Los Angeles for Free Form media after graduating from Syracuse University in 2019. The children attended Peters and Central Park elementaries, Plantation Middle School, Plantation High School and American Heritage.

Nick grew up in Herrin, Ill., where his father was the basketball coach and junior high assistant principal. A gym is named in Mike Sortal’s honor. Nick graduated from Southern Illinois University with degrees in mathematics and journalism and worked in Carbondale, Ill., Owensboro, Ky., St. Louis and Indianapolis before moving to Florida and a 30-year career at the Sun-Sentinel.

South Florida activities

  • Plantation Athletic League volunteer basketball, flag football and soccer coach, 1993-2004
  • Plantation Christmas Eve volunteer Santa, visiting city neighborhoods, various years
  • Volunteer, Plantation Relay for Life, various years
  • Co-host, Sports Talk cable television show on Comcast, creating and hosting a telethon in 1996 that raised more than $100,000 for Kendrick English a Stranahan High football player who was paralyzed while making a tackle
  • Former volunteer food delivery Craig’s Pantry, which provides groceries to seniors in need
  • Former classroom and office volunteer at Peters Elementary and Central Park Elementary
  • Member Plantation Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Friends of the Helen B. Hoffman Library, 5000 Role Models of Excellence, Freedoms Foundation, Take Stock in Children/Broward.
  • Graduate, Broward County Water and Climate Academy, 2020. Please read the article that ran as part of “The Invading Sea” series. https://bit.ly/2BXQZ7E
  • Guest speaker and presenter of “10 Topics in Plantation” to various clubs, HOAs and other organizations, 2019-20

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Nick Sortal for Plantation City Council, Group 5