The new BAFA board met on Saturday 19/5/18 and were due to send this update on
Sunday when we heard about the tragic death of Charles Mack of the
Cambridgeshire Cats. We hope the membership will understand that we postponed
this update as a result.
BAFA BOARD UPDATE TO MEMBERSHIP:
As communicated in previous updates the BAFA board is undergoing an important
process of change with the aim of improving the governance, communication,
reach and success of British American Football.
Here’s a quick reminder of how we’ve got to this point:
Feb. ’17 Membership consultation
begins on BAFA’s future direction
Mar. ’17 Sports management
consultancy Sports Structures hired to manage change
Apr. ’17 BAFA Strategy Day held
to discuss future of the sport’s governance & strategy
Aug. ’17 New strategic plan
presented to members
Oct. ’17 New strategic plan
presented to MPs
Feb. ‘18 Sports Structures &
BAFA develop & announce new board structure
Mar. ’18 Board positions
Apr. ’18 Candidates interviewed
for board positions
May ’18 New board members
notified & meet for first meeting
Sep. ’18 AGM to approve new
board (Date TBC)
Between now and the AGM the outgoing and incoming BAFA boards will operate
together with Martin Cockerill as Chair, and Nichole Trudeau-McCulloch as Vice
It is also important to note that alongside a new board, a new operations group
is being created, responsible for much of the day-to-day running of the game.
This will allow the board to focus on strategic development, governance,
finance and communication. Details of this group will be unveiled at a later
date, but we are delighted to confirm that many of the current BAFA board will
continue in operations roles.
We have included our contact details below. If you have any questions please
feel free to email us. We’ll share further updates before the AGM, and we look
forward to working with you all.
Five positions to be approved at an AGM:
Nichole Trudeau-McCulloch – Chair
Nichole has an MBA and is an experienced management consultant and executive
search professional with over a decade’s worth of experience advising boards,
CEOs and government officials globally across Energy and Natural Resources. She
is also the Managing Director of Women in Mining and a board member. Nichole has a family of American football
enthusiasts with an uncle that is a former NFL quarterback. Nichole is keen to
bring British American Football to a wider audience and participation base.
Noting the similarities between Association football in the UK and American
Football in the USA, she will bring a range of leadership skills that will
guide BAFA through their strategy and will be a great asset to lead the board.
Steve Rains – Director of Operations
Steve has a background in human resources and is a current interim HR
consultant having previously held Board positions at Royal Mail International
and Guernsey Post Ltd. Steve has been coaching since 1985 (Wight Rhinos) before
leading the Farnham Knights to the National Championship in 2004 and three
second tier championships (2000, 2007, 2015) and the EFAF (Europe) Cup Final
2004. He is the current Head Coach at the Solent Thrashers and has taken
various coach education opportunities in the USA over his 33-year
coaching career. Steve has extensive knowledge of the sporting structures of
American football in the United Kingdom and will apply this to
support the strategic direction to meet the operational needs of the sport.
Ian Deakin – Director
Ian is an employment solicitor, predominantly working with professional sports
clubs from the top tiers of football and rugby. He has extensive commercial law
experience and is skilled in giving simplistic, succinct and pragmatic advice
to his clients. He has also served on the board of Warrington Wolves Supporters
Trust and White Rose Academy Trust. He is a fan of all types of football in the
UK, including football, rugby and of course American football, and he hopes to
bring this passion to BAFA.
Amy de Marsac – Director
Amy has a degree from the University of Birmingham in accounting and finance
and is currently the head of investor relations at Mitchell and Butlers PLC.
Amy is a skilful influencer with a wealth of knowledge on commercial analysis.
She has expertise in meeting business objectives, meeting performance targets
and influencing decision makers. Amy will bring a fresh prospective from the
business world outside of American football.
Richard Watson – Director
Richard currently works for Birmingham County Football Association and brings a
wealth of specialist knowledge in safeguarding, discipline and supporting a
volunteer workforce He is the current safeguarding and referees
officer in the Birmingham area leading on safeguarding provision for
all youth football clubs across Birmingham County FA, including 10 youth
leagues and 630 clubs. Richard has extensive best practice knowledge from
working in a national governing body of sport and hopes to apply
this to BAFA. He is also a level four Football Association referee and a big
fan of American football.
Four positions directly appointed:
Bruce Leatherman – Director of Business process
With over 10 years of experience as a technically focused manager, Bruce has
delivered multiple enterprise level software projects within the
national government and financial sectors. He currently works as a Senior
Solutions Consultant, advising on technological solutions and ensuring
contractual and regulatory compliance. He has extensive experience of data
security principles and will apply this knowledge to BAFA's business and data
processes. A qualified American football coach and official, he has been
involved in the British game for over 26 years.
Graham Swanson – Director of Business development
Graham is the current Business Development Manager at England Hockey. An
accomplished account manager with a proven track record for delivering and
sustaining revenue through strong client relationships, Graham is a high
performing team player who consistently delivers business development
objectives and raises commercial awareness. He’s a former American Football
player, coach and administrator; his former teams include London Blitz, East
Kent Mavericks, City University and the University of Kent. He will bring this knowledge
to negotiate new business opportunities for BAFA.
Stephen Jones – Director of Finance
Stephen is a consummate finance professional, who is currently the Director of
Finance for the leading UK photo print company called Harrier LLC and is a
former Director of Finance for British Triathlon. In addition to being a
qualified accountant he has a degree in Pure Maths and Statistics and an MA in
Sports Development and Coaching. He will bring 24 years of finance management
experience in making leadership decisions on BAFA’s finances. Stephen is a huge
fan of American football having been a director at BAFCA, a current offensive
co-ordinator at Plymouth Blitz as well as founding the Cardiff Cobras. His
knowledge of both the sport of American Football and finance will be a great asset
to the board of directors.
Geoff Jein - Director of Communications
Geoff has over 15 years’ experience as an award-winning radio and TV producer,
working for the BBC (Radio 2, 6 Music, & Five Live) as well as commercial
radio in the UK and Australia. Now working as a Communications specialist Geoff
brings press relations, marketing and social media experience to BAFA to help
the board deploy a communications strategy that truly meets the needs of BAFA’s
members, stakeholders and commercial partners. He attended his first British
American Football game at the age of nine and has been a fan ever since.