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Baton Awards Team

The Founder

Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe is an award-winning global empowerment ambassador and Diversity Marketing pioneer who has made an immeasurable impact. She steadfastly established a global reputation in PR as the first to specialise in diversity marketing and race relations almost 30-years ago. Diahanne is a respected agent of change with a clear and driven purpose to promote self-esteem as a tool for empowerment. Her experience in psychology and self-esteem centred healing is based firmly on identity, empowerment, inclusion and the inner-self. Having travelled the world in her mission to empower women all over the globe, studied extensively, and consistently implemented her method for female empowerment; Dr Rhiney founded The Baton Awards to honour women from diverse racial groups.

The NatWest Every Woman Award winner and TEDX speaker has been awarded a British Citizen Award for her positive contribution to empowering young people.

Serena Walker, FRAS  

Founding Member of The Baton Awards 

Serena Walker is a senior marketer leader with global experience, across multiple industries and a successful background working within large IT organisations. Her contribution in industry has garnered recognition and inclusion in CRN’s 2023 Women of the Channel list as a leader in the IT Channel. And honoured as a recipient of Computing’s Women In Tech Excellence – Tech Role Model award in 2022. UN Women UK delegate for Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68).  

With a passion for promoting gender equality in STEM fields, Serena strives to inspire and support the next generation of young people in achieving their goals. A founding member of The Baton Awards an initiative that celebrates the remarkable achievements of women from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds. And showcased her expertise as a book contributor to ‘Tech Treats and Treasures’ a collection of short stories and Nuggets of wisdom from the world of technology. 

Driven by her desire to make a positive impact, Serena actively serves as a trustee for S.W.I.M and volunteered for YFYA for several years, supported the University of Greenwich and Queen Mary University (in their STEM, Business and Marketing faculties) and secondary school students empowering them through coaching and mentoring programs.  

Serita Murray, CGMA, ACMA 

Founding Member of The Baton Awards 

Serita is an Award-Winning experienced Finance and Treasury Transformation, Management Consultancy Professional and has worked on a vast amount of treasury and financial transformation projects in top 4 Professional Services Companies.                  

Serita is the Founder and Director of ‘Black Excellence Network UK’ Black Excellence Network UK. Founder and Director of SM Events Management Agency Ltd a Diversity & Inclusion focused event company and has created and executed several well-known platforms that creates awareness of Diverse and Inclusive subjects and enable empowerment of the target audience. Founding Member and Ambassador of the Baton Awards. 

Serita is a Diversity and Inclusion Leader and Change Agent and has made a significant difference in this space. Serita plays key roles in the Diversity and Inclusion space in the companies she works in Co-Lead of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Group in Finance Transformation, Management Consultancy, KPMG. Ex Chair and Co-Chair of the EY Black Network. Member of the delivery of the KPMG Black Entrepreneurs Awards and also Internal Judge.  

Serita has Hosted several high-profile events including Award ceremonies and Conferences including being the organiser of the EYBN Black Tie Ball, increasing the awareness of influential Black leaders and celebrating black excellence and the Black British Business Awards (BBBA) for a number of years, an awards ceremony recognising rising stars and black leaders.    

Serita is a Public Speaker at events and on panels covering several subjects including Diversity in the Workplace, Women in Finance, Women in Tech, Women of Colour Entrepreneurs, The importance of Authenticity. Serita is the Co-host of the series Securing Venture Capital and Funding for Businesses. Serita will be hosting the Black Excellence Network UK Podcast. 

Serita delivers inspirational talks, events, and workshops to raise awareness of increasingly important and vital issues to move the dial forward in the gender and diversity space. Serita is highly thought of in her drive to make a change and create an impact.                         

Serita is an award winner of the ‘Creating an Initiative for Better’ Values Award at KPMG 2022, an initiative created to help to breakdown current barriers for Black Entrepreneurs. Serita is listed No.19 on the EMpower Future Leaders Yahoo Finance & FT List 2019 EMpower Top 50 Future Ethnic Minority Leaders 2019, WeAreTheCity Awards Finalist- Professional Services 2019. Serita is listed as one of 100 Influential Black Women in the UK. 

Serita has been featured for her work in several well know publications including the Financial Times.          

A member of a variety of progressive networks including a TNON member, a network that works on best practice for diversity networks.  

Daniella Maison 

Founding Member of The Baton Awards 

Writer, activist and Author Daniella Maison’s article series ‘Black women & Hip Hop’ went viral in 2008, notably exposing R. Kelly and gained her global acclaim ; followed by a viral contribution on the death of Sarah Reed. Maison has been hailed as ‘one of the brightest minds of our time’ by Benjamin Zephaniah.  

A founding member of The Baton Awards, Maison is Editor of Social Cause issues, and columnist for Black Wall St Media.  

Maison has most notably and bravely spoken out on issues of feminism, police brutality, FGM and honour killings, appearing in Emel Magazine, Hard knocks radio, Peace TV, New Nation, Black Thought Radio and the BBC. The N Word is her highly anticipated debut book, featuring a foreword by Benjamin Zephaniah and is a best seller in the U.K. and the USA.