Our Board

The Board of BaseballSoftballUK Ltd, based on provisions of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, is made up of a Chair, two Directors appointed by each Federation and up to five Independent Directors who can bring valuable skills to the Board.  The Independent Directors are people who have no direct connection to the BBF Board or BSF Executive, but who can contribute valuable skills and experience to the BSUK Board and bring a different perspective to the challenges we face.

The Board provides policy direction and review for BSUK and for the work carried out by BSUK staff, and meets on a quarterly basis.  But much of the Board’s work is now carried out through subcommittees that meet more regularly and consist of both Independent and Federation Directors.  These subcommittees cover areas such as development strategy, diversity, employment, finance, governance, marketing and the service level agreement (SLA) between BSUK and the Federations.


Diversity

The Board is committed to making appointments on the basis that no less than 30% of its total membership be represented by either gender, progressing to gender parity and progressing towards achieving greater diversity on the Board.  The Board has also adopted the Diversity Action Plan.

The current demographic of the BSUK Board and staff is:

  • Gender: 75% Male; 25% Female
  • LGBT: 18% LGBT
  • Disability: 0% 
  • BAME: 59% White British; 35% White Other; 6% Other 

Minutes from meetings of the Board and sub-committees are published in the Company Documents section.

 

BSUK Chair

Lara Lill

Lara Lill profile pictureI have always loved sport and being active and have been lucky enough to work within the sector for over 15 years. Having trained as a secondary school PE teacher, I am currently the Managing Director of Global Active Ltd, a consultancy to promote health through physical activity. I have worked for a range of Olympic and Paralympic Federations, with the most recent being Swim England as Head of Health and Wellbeing.

I am currently the Senior Independent Advisor and trustee to UK Deaf Sport and a trustee of Sports Leaders UK. I have also been a Board member for European Women and Sport, leading the EU Gender Equality guidelines and promoting leadership. I have a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Durham University.

I have a very active and competitive family who swim competitively, play football, mountain bike and canoe! Although we aren’t regularly involved in baseball or softball, I did watch USA v Cuba in the semi-finals at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona! I am delighted to be appointed as Chair of BaseballSoftballUK.

 

Independent Directors

Chris Greenhalgh

Chris GreenhalghI first experienced baseball at the age of five on holiday in Canada watching the Blue Jays at the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in 1991. Then in 2007 I visited my aunt in St Louis and watched the Cardinals at the new Busch Stadium with Albert Pujols launching a huge home run over left field. He may have moved on but I still follow the Redbirds from afar.

I have been employed for the last six years in an evolving sports development team which has moved from a district to a unitary authority then to a charitable leisure trust. I have been involved in a number of diverse projects, originally delivery focused around national products such as Sport Unlimited and Sportivate; more recently focusing on local strategic work and embedding an improvement culture through the team.

Personally, I am a keen cricketer playing, coaching, and acting as club welfare and development officer for my local club. I live with my wife and young son in South Cheshire.

 

Julia Phillips

Julia Phillips profile picAfter a number of years working within the travel and tourism industry, my career in sport began in 1992 with the Royal NSW Bowling Association in Sydney, initially as Operations Manager and then as CEO. In 1997 I was invited to lead Badminton Australia during its preparation for, and participation in, the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Soon after my appointment as CEO I bid for and secured the rights to host the Badminton World Youth Championships, which took place in Melbourne in 1998. I was awarded the Australian Sport Medal in 2000.

Following the 2000 Olympics I took up the CEO role for a number of sport organisations: firstly, Masters Swimming Australia, which gave me the opportunity to work closely with a participation-based membership; the International Netball Federation in England, which introduced me to the world of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and General Assembly of International Sports Federations (SportAccord) and enabled me to develop a good working relationship with UK Sport and the home country sport bodies; then six years as CEO of Netball Tasmania, which included a restructure of both the state league and the governance system and securing four-year government funding instead of the usual year by year application.

I have also served as a director for several organisations including the Confederation of Australian Sport and Volunteering Tasmania, been a delegate for bodies such as the Australian Olympic Committee and Australian Commonwealth Games Association, undertaken consultancy work to review governance for tennis organisations in the USA and Netherlands, and conducted post-graduate research in the sociological aspects of doping in sport while working as a part-time lecturer at Warwickshire College.

Following an accident that caused ongoing disability with my left wrist, I eventually took early retirement in 2017, returning to my home in the Cotswolds area of England. I now offer tailored consultancy services for sport organisations and was delighted to be appointed as an Independent Director to BaseballSoftballUK.

 

Evan Ray

Evan Ray profile pictureMy first experience of the baseball was playing T-ball and later Little League as a child in Marin County, California.  I lived and breathed baseball, had an impressive baseball card collection and was a devoted fan of the Oakland A’s.  At 10 years old I was a decent shortstop, but my playing days, outside the occasional social game of softball in the park, are mostly behind me.

I am a lawyer specialising in commercial contracts and compliance in the sports sector.  Having worked for the Premier League since 2013, my remit includes advising on, drafting and negotiating the Premier League’s commercial contracts, ensuring the business meets its compliance and safeguarding obligations and advising on sport specific legal issues from ticket touting to safe standing.  Prior to retraining as a solicitor, I worked for a number of years as a talent booker in broadcast (BBC, ITV) and print media (FHM Magazine), negotiating television appearances and securing exclusive magazine interviews with celebrities.

I live in North London with my wife and young son.

 

Judith Tacon

Judith Tacon profile pictureMy experience of baseball and softball is largely focused on spectating, both MLB games when I am in the US for work or holiday and softball games in Regents Park or elsewhere in London when I am at home.  I am a massive enthusiast for virtually all sports, from my season ticket at Craven Cottage to attending 26 events at the London 2012 Olympic Games but sadly my personal sporting prowess has never matched up to my hopes and expectations!

I am an audit partner at Deloitte LLP in London, working primarily with large listed UK and global corporates, providing audit and accounting and transaction advisory services.  I have been at Deloitte for nearly 18 years, having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2000 with an MA in History and MPhil in Classics.

I am one of the founding governors of Reach Academy in Feltham, the first 'all-through' free school for children from ages 4 to 18 to be rated by OFSTED as ‘outstanding’ in all areas.  I live in Chiswick with my husband.

 

Simon Winman

Simon Winman profile pictureFollowing an 11-year teaching career, I have worked for the Rugby Football Union for 17 years and am currently Head of Club Development, responsible for: the retention, recruitment and recognition of volunteers; facility investment and improving the leadership; management and governance of clubs.

I have been responsible for the facility investment programme at the RFU since its inception in 2003 following England’s Rugby World Cup success to its current position where it has invested £69m, generating investment of over £200m in a range of grass roots club facilities. I am currently leading the development of a ground-breaking volunteer leadership programme to support volunteers in clubs and counties.

I played rugby for a number of years, including Exeter University and Exeter RFC, but I found I was a better coach, going on to coach Oxford University.

I am married with two children and can, on occasions, be seen out running around the streets of Aylesbury and Twickenham.

 

BBF Board Nominated Directors

Chris Deacon

Competing with a stick, bat or club and a ball of various compositions has always been part of my sporting life before I enthusiastically decided to become involved in baseball in 2008, having previously only been a spectator at handful of games in the US.  In fact, it was my then 5-year-old son who was the catalyst; he started playing and inevitably parents are asked to help out, which ultimately lead to being encouraged to start playing baseball myself in my early 40s. 

In 2012, involvement ratcheted up after joining a new club and my son moving to a new league.  Since then I’ve looked after baseball fields, been an assistant coach, run a team, managed a club, umpired and served on the British Baseball Federation board as the Officials Commissioner. I have also well been fortunate to travel with my family to support my son playing in various locations round Europe.

The last decade in British sport, like in many sectors, has seen huge successes, near misses and importantly changes to improve aspects of governance and development. Expanding access to sports and activities is a cornerstone of the recent sport funding review and with baseball and softball included in the 2020 Olympics, there is a bright future for our sports particularly as they cater for a wide section of the population and arguably wider than many other traditional field sports.  While on the BBF Board, I worked on a project to explore how baseball and softball organisations can work more closely together and look forward to progressing this along with bringing my sporting and professional experience to BaseballSoftballUK.  

Professionally, after leaving the Royal Navy, I have worked in investment services in various roles and more recently have changed sector to payrolling and contracting services, a challenging EU cross-border business even before Brexit. 

 

BSF Board Nominated Directors

Jenny Fromer

Jenny Fromer profile pictureI worked for BaseballSoftballUK for over fifteen years, first as Director of Baseball Operations and from 2005-2017 as Joint CEO and Head of Operations. During my tenure with BSUK, my particular focus and legacy was on strong governance and this was demonstrated in the high regard with which BSUK was held across sport. I was an integral part of successfully securing Sport England investment from 2005-2019.

On leaving BSUK, I took up the voluntary role of President of the British Softball Federation and joined the BaseballSoftballUK Board.

Prior to my time at BSUK, I spent several years working with Major League Baseball, first running their various youth programmes and later as Director of Game Development. I have also previously worked in social housing and run a pair of independent cinemas in the Washington, DC area. My current role is Head of HR for a secondary school in Hammersmith.

I have run a slowpitch softball team, SPAM, for over 25 years and am a devoted New York Yankees fan.

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