Everton in the Community Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club, Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale has been honoured by the Queen for “services to the Merseyside community”.
Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale was in attendance at an Investiture at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning and was officially presented with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty the Queen.
The announcement of the Queen’s Birthday honours in June saw Dr Barrett-Baxendale awarded the honour, which pays tribute to those people who have made achievements in public life and/or committed themselves to serving and helping their country and recognises the service of extraordinary people right across the United Kingdom.
Dr Barrett-Baxendale accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer for Everton in the Community (EITC) in January 2010, bringing with her a wealth of experience from across all phases in the education sector.
Since her appointment, the official charity of Everton Football Club has received a plethora of local, national and international award wins in recognition of the life-changing work it undertakes on a daily basis and, in 2013, was awarded a Big Society Award by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The high-profile award recognises the charity’s numerous achievements, from providing a huge range of sporting opportunities to the people of Liverpool and wider Merseyside, to its successful health, education, disability and employment projects.
During Denise’s tenure, EITC has been successful in gaining new and significant funding to help the most hard-to-reach groups of people in the city region realise their potential and take full advantage of the life-changing opportunities the charity has to offer.
In the past two years alone, the charity has secured almost £1million from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver a programme to help young offenders integrate back into society and also gained approval from the Department for Education to open Everton Free School – the first charity affiliated to a Premier League club to open a Free School.
More recently, Everton in the Community secured £4.5million worth of government and business investment to deliver a flagship traineeship programme which offers young people from across the region access to qualifications and employment.
Denise was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Everton Football Club in October 2011 and promoted to Deputy Chief Executive in June 2013. Her Club position sees her working to improve the matchday experience for supporters and raising standards and performance across the Club.
After the Investiture, Denise said: “It has been a wonderful honour to be presented with this MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace today. To receive such prestigious recognition is a massive honour and I am truly humbled.
“I owe this to the inspirational community leaders and delivery staff that I have had the privilege to work with in the last 15 years in our city. This MBE is not just for me personally, but also to all the staff at Everton in the Community, our fantastic partners and our amazing participants. They are the people who truly inspire me and my team on a daily basis and help us support some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“To be given the opportunity to build something sustainable that is making a difference to the lives of so many across Merseyside is incredible and I would like to thank Everton Football Club for providing me with the support and courage to innovate each and every day in my role. I am particularly grateful to the Board of Directors, Robert Elstone and the Board of Trustees for affording me the opportunity to lead Everton in the Community, a phenomenal charity with extraordinary staff, which has served as a fantastic canvas for our pioneering and progressive vision for social change.
“Her Majesty said to me that this is a side of football that people are unaware of; for the work of Everton in the Community to be recognised at such a prestigious level is overwhelming and only serves to further cement our desire to keep continually developing the charity and to keep on tackling the social issues which are so prevalent in Merseyside.”
Chairman of Everton Football Club, Bill Kenwright, said after the Investiture: “From the moment Denise stepped into Goodison Park she has brought an energy, a vibrancy, and a work ethic that few have ever bettered. Our extraordinary success as the country’s leading “Football Club in the Community” is hugely down to her skill and her relentless enthusiasm - attributes she has continued to display magnificently as she has climbed the Everton ladder to her current position as Deputy CEO.
“I can think of few people who are more worthy of the acclaim that Denise is currently, and quite correctly, receiving. As I often say to fans, and shareholders meetings, she is our “Little Miss Dynamite” - and we adore her.”
Born and raised in Liverpool, Denise resides in South Liverpool with her husband and two children. Since graduating from university in Manchester, she has held various positions in education, including those at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester Business School, the University of Chester and a role as Chief Executive of The Fiveways Trust, the first collaborative educational trust in Liverpool.
Everton's deputy chief executive only UK sports figure shortlisted for prestigious international award
Denise Barrett-Baxendale up against execs from LA Dodgers and Baltimore Ravens in international Stadium Business Awards
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community's Chief Executive Officer Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale
Everton’s deputy chief executive has become the only UK sports leader to be shortlisted for a prestigious international award.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who is also chief executive of Everton in the Community, has been selected as a finalist in the Executive of the Year category of this year's Stadium Business Awards alongside leaders from the Baltimore Ravens, LA Dodgers and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and more.
Launched in 2010, The Stadium Business Awards recognise leadership, innovation and achievements in the global sports and stadium industry, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on 10 June.
Denise said: “It is a great honour to be nominated in this category alongside such prestigious international peers from across the world of sport.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale with her MBE
“At Everton we continually work to break the boundaries and be the first to cover new ground whether that be as a football club, as Everton in the Community, or both. It gives me great pride to be shortlisted in this category as the only UK nominee and represent my club, charity and colleagues.”
In her dual role at Everton, Denise directs the non-football operations side of the cub and its direct charitable engagement with the local community.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. An exec from the Ravens is one of the leaders competing against Everton's Denise Barrett-Baxendale
Since her appointment as chief executive of EITC in January 2010, the charity has received a plethora of local, national and international award wins in recognition of the life-changing work it undertakes on a daily basis.
Her club position involves working to improve fan engagement, the matchday experience for supporters and raising standards within the club.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale showing her allegiance from an early age by making Everton rosettes with her sisters
The Everton Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale M.B.E. will join the Club’s Board this month.
Denise joined Everton in 2010 as Chief Executive of Everton in the Community and also became the Club’s Chief Operating Officer in 2011, with responsibility for the HR, ICT, Stadium Operations and Stadium Safety and Security teams.
Since 2013, when she was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive, she has worked closely with the Chief Executive and Board of Directors to develop and implement a number of the Club’s off-the-field strategies.
In 2014, Denise was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the community of Merseyside.
Denise said: “I am so proud to have been invited to join the Club’s Board and I am very grateful to Mr Kenwright and Mr Moshiri for giving me the opportunity to help achieve the owners’ and Directors’ ambition for Everton. This is something I am really excited by and a responsibility I take very seriously.
"There is so much we want to do to take this great Club forward and I am confident that through the Board’s ambition and the talent within our Senior Executive Team we can make positive progress very quickly.”
Chairman Bill Kenwright added: “On behalf of all the Directors and Farhad, I am pleased to welcome Denise to the Board. I’m pleased for her, of course, but also pleased for every Evertonian as I know Denise will be such a dedicated custodian of our Club.
“Over the last six years, Denise has brought energy and tenacity to both the Club and the Charity. She has transformed Everton in the Community – making it one of the most respected sports charities in the world and, most importantly, led initiatives that have changed and saved lives across the city.
"Working with Robert Elstone, Denise has also played a significant role in some of the Club’s most important projects; projects that are not always seen from the outside but have helped put us in the strong position we are in today.
“Put simply, Denise embodies Everton. She embodies the People’s Club. To have her on the Board just makes perfect sense.”
Robert Elstone, Chief Executive of Everton Football Club and Club Director, said: “The work Denise has done for both our Charity and our Club has been outstanding. Everton in the Community now runs schemes to address almost every social need in our community. From the Free School – giving opportunity to hundreds of young people each year - to programmes for the homeless and those living with physical and mental health conditions, the Charity, led by Denise, makes a huge difference to people’s lives. Everton in the Community is the best there is.
"For the Club, she has taken the lead on many major projects, including restructuring the organisation, resulting in the strongest off-the-field team I’ve known during my time here. I’m delighted to welcome Denise on to the Board and excited by what lies ahead for us all.”
Denise will continue in her role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Club and will take up the new position of Executive Chair at Everton in the Community. She becomes the fifth member of the new-look Everton Board, joining Alexander Ryazantsev and Robert Elstone who were appointed following the investment into Everton by Farhad Moshiri in February.