Deignan and Baynes appointed to Basketball England board

Basketball England has appointed two new non-executive directors to its Board. 

Brandie Deignan and Joel Baynes will join the organisation, providing ED&I (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) and digital and IT expertise, respectively. 

The duo succeed Benny Bonsu and Julie Page with BE chair Matt Neville saying: “I am delighted to welcome Brandie and Joel to the Basketball England Board. 

“Both bring skills, knowledge and experience to help steer us in our work and I am looking forward to them making big contributions to us achieving our strategic aims.” 

Brandie Deignan

Deignan, who will also chair BE’s ED&I Committee, describes herself as ‘a catalyst, a mentor, a guest lecturer, a trustee, non-exec director, a JP, an advisory board member, a CEO by the day and oh, a twin-mommy!’ 

She has worked in executive roles in hospitality, retail, aviation and is currently a Chief Executive Officer in the NHS.  

Deignan was the first black female MD within branded restaurant groups in the UK, she was named as one of the top 15 Black Asian and Minority Ethnic high-fliers in travel and tourism industry and was a finalist at the Black British Business Awards.  

Voted one of top 50 listening leaders, she was also nominated in the National Diversity Awards and is passionate about ED&I, recently being nominated in the West Country Women’s awards for Equality and Diversity. 

She said: I have no direct connection with basketball. I am not a player. This is why this NED position is electrifying - I see things better when I am not close enough.  

“Basketball England is spearheading ED&I in so many ways already, having already established an ED&I Committee in 2021. I am excited to be a part of something super-special and look forward to bringing all my passion and curiosity with me, so that together we take a stronger approach to tackle discrimination and promoting fairness, inclusion and respect across the game.  

“As we power the future, diversity, equity, inclusion and equality power us too and my goal is to ensure that at Basketball England, ED&I is woven into the fabric of who we are.” 

New Basketball England board members Brandie Deignan and Joel Baynes

Joel Baynes

Baynes is a ‘strategic board advisor, people, process and technology specialist, who guides the creation of commercially focused platforms for growth in technology-led start-ups and scale-ups.’ 

He said: “Sport has always been a major passion of mine, with my interest in American-origin sports developing at an early age when I was given a basketball aged six. Throughout my school years, every spare moment was spent on the court or trading basketball cards in the playground.  

“I went on to represent South East England at under-16 level; sadly, my knees called time on competitive play, but it has not dampened my interest. Basketball England’s purpose and work align with my values and motivations. 

“Throughout my professional career, supporting organisations in digital transformation has been a core focus for me. I have spent the last 15-plus years in leadership roles in tech-focused companies. During this time, I have built and led teams responsible for client services, partnerships, advanced data and analytics, development, marketing and operations. My key strength is solving business needs through people and technology.”