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Blue Sox Advisory Board

Bob Turner

Turner Bob Turner is one of Australia's most recognisable and respected sports personalities and Chairman of the Blue Sox Board.

Best known for his basketball coaching and administration, Bob is renowned throughout many other sporting organisations for his marketing and management ability. His work with the Canberra Cannons and the Sydney Kings in developing marketing and sponsorship programs set the standard for the NBL during the 80's and early '90s. Since 1979, his expertise has seen four NBL Clubs (Newcastle Falcons, Canberra, Sydney and the Singapore Slingers) become highly competitive and well administered.

His personal success as a basketballer, coach, marketer and businessman combine to make him an authority and excellent speaker on a variety of issues including team building, motivation, success, leadership and selling and marketing sport.

Bob has been actively engaged as Head Coach, General Manager, Managing Director and part owner of four NBL teams and most recently was the driving force in the resurrection of the Sydney Kings. His media profile and access to high profile decision makers in the sporting, political and business arenas, combined with strong credibility and hard work ethic, has produced an individual with proven ability to tackle a challenge. Those skills were put to the test with the creation and implementation of the Singapore Slingers, the last team to join the NBL. The Slingers are now playing in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) the first professional sports league for the ASEAN block of countries, a competition pioneered by the Slingers and their Chairman Tony Fernandes of AirAsia.

Over the years, Bob has combined his leadership and marketing skills to promote a variety of sports including Baseball, Gymnastics, Lawn Bowls, Speedway and Basketball. He is currently Chairman of the Sydney Blue Sox and Chief Adviser to NSW Baseball.

Bob has just joined the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as their General Manager Marketing & Business Development.

Mike Baird
Board Member

Mike Baird Mike Baird was elected Leader of the NSW Liberal Party at a party-room meeting on Thursday 17 April, 2014, and was later that day sworn in as Premier by the Governor, Professor Marie Bashir. He is the 44th Premier of NSW.

Mike Baird was appointed Treasurer of NSW after the election of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government on 26 March 2011. In September 2012 he was also appointed Minister for Industrial Relations. Mike had served as Shadow Treasurer since December 2008 and previously as Shadow Minister for Energy, Finance and Youth Affairs.

Mike was elected Member for Manly in 2007 after an 18-year banking career incorporating corporate banking, securitisation, debt capital markets and project finance in Australia, London and Hong Kong.

His career highlights include managing corporate finance transactions across a range of industries for Deutsche Bank and Head of Originations, debt capital markets in London for the NAB. Prior to his election to Parliament, Mike was Head of Institutional Banking for HSBC in Australia and New Zealand.

Mike has been a baseball fan for decades. By the late '70s, the Baird family had relocated to New York, where Bruce Baird had been posted as Australian Trade Commissioner. They lived in a cul-de-sac that was home to 15 other kids in the affluent commuter community of Rye. "I just thrived; thrived on the culture, the energy, the sport," said Baird, who quickly emerged as a star turn for the local baseball team. "You'd bolt home from school, you'd chuck your bag inside, chuck a Twinkie in your mouth, run out on the street, and you know, 'What are we playing today? Kickball? American football?' "

He was appalled when, in 1980, his father's contract was up and the family had to return to Sydney. Baird arrived at The King's School in Parramatta midway through his second year of high school with a decisive American accent and a sense of despair.

Stephanie Brantz
Board Member

Brantz Stephanie Brantz is the face of women's sport on ABC TV and a self-confessed 'sports nut'. Regarded as Australia's premier female television sports presenter, Stephanie has an authority and presence that demands attention.

She has interviewed a variety of athletes and personalities including Harry Kewell, Steve Waugh, Ian Thorpe, John Eales, Shane Warne and Mark Schwartzer and has covered The Ashes, FIFA World Cup, Ironman Series and The National Basketball League.

Before joining the national broadcaster in 2010, Stephanie spent four years at Channel 9 where she presented sport on National Nine News, Nightline and The Sunday Show. Stephanie spent the six years prior at SBS where she was co-host of SBS World Sport with Les Murray and the face of the 2006 World Cup coverage in Australia. She originally joined the SBS Sports team in 2000 working for On the Ball.

When not fulfilling her presenting roles, Stephanie Brantz is in demand for MC and speaking roles. Her work has included hosting functions for the NSW Waratahs, the Sydney Roosters, and the 2007 Ashes Series, along with many other corporate events. She hosted the Australian of the Year Awards 2012 and hosted the Anzac Day Dawn Service from Gallipoli and the Paralympic coverage from London, also in 2012.

Before embarking on her sports presenting career, Stephanie represented her home state of Queensland in netball, basketball and swimming. She was also a model for more than 15 years, appearing in major magazine campaigns and TV commercials, before her career called for her relocation to Sydney.

Anthony Brasher
Board Member

Brasher Anthony holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA, and is member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Anthony started a finance/accounting career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers following university; he has worked at several blue chip companies including Barclays Bank plc, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bank and is currently working at Credit Suisse.

He has been involved in a wide range of activities including major public merger & acquisition transactions, capital markets financing, strategic business consulting, operations outsourcing and cross border structured finance over a 13-year period. His experience includes several Board positions across a number of operational companies whilst working at both Commonwealth Bank and Deutsche Bank.

Anthony's baseball experience includes playing Sydney club baseball, junior representative baseball at both State and National level, and playing for the Sydney Blues and more.

Justin Papps
Board Member

Papps Justin is Group Head of Communications for QBE Insurance and a member of the Sydney Blue Sox Board.

Pete Shmigel
Board Member

Shmigel Over some 20 years, Pete Shmigel has worked at the highest levels of Australian politics, business and the consulting sector, particularly on sustainability-related opportunities.

Based on Crosby|Textor's research, Pete provides private sector, public sector and NGO clients with advantageous advice in public affairs, organisational reputation, community relations strategy and programs, and more.

Pete strongly contributes to Crosby|Textor's work with indigenous, environmental and sports agencies, organisations and businesses.
In a voluntary capacity, Pete has served on a number of government-appointed advisory groups in environmental affairs. He also currently serves: on the Advisory Board of the Sydney Blue Sox professional baseball team; the Board of Directors of his ethnic community's national peak body; as a Life Member of the RSPCA, and; as an adviser to Together for Humanity, a multicultural education NGO. Pete's writing has been publicly published.

Craig Meagher
Board Member

Meagher Currently the General Manager and Company Director for Rational Group as well as Board Director of Meals on Wheels NSW, Craig Meagher is one of the most connected executives in Australia.

Craig has successfully built and managed businesses and brands via strategic leadership, staff engagement, marketing and planning, market research, sponsorship, membership, consumer segmentation, advertising, integrated communications programs, event management, promotions, on line/e-commerce development and targeted media plans.

An ardent supporter of sport, Craig works with Australian Ladies Professional Golf and Bicycle NSW in addition to his work with the Blue Sox.


Laurie Patton
Board Member

Patton The Executive Director of Conexion Management Group, Laurie is one of the luminaries of television development in Australia.

Some of Laurie's career accomplishments include winning the audience ratings for the first time at regional television network Seven Queensland and subsequently posting a record profit through increased advertising sales, creating the World Movies subscription television channel, which was critically acclaimed and became profitable well ahead of business plan projections, securing highly-prized digital broadcast spectrum for the community television sector (for the University of Western Sydney), brokering agreement for the National Indigenous Television channel (NITV) to move to SBS so it could broadcast nationwide (for the Communications department), and more.


Ray Vercoe
Board Member