Brisbane city skyline

Board of Directors

Meet the BEDA Board of Directors

Spanning construction to innovation, accounting to aviation, our Board of Directors has cultivated success in a range of different industry sectors.

Paul Spiro (Chairman), Queensland Chairman - Gadens

Paul Spiro is the Brisbane and Queensland Chairman of Gadens, a leading Australian law firm that actively supports the Museum of Brisbane and Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Paul is one the country’s most respected property lawyers and an expert in all areas of property law. He was named as Chairman of Brisbane Marketing in November 2018. Paul, who has been a long-serving champion of the Brisbane creative industries and arts community, has been Chairman of the annual Brisbane Festival since 2014 and is a member of the Lord Mayor’s Creative Brisbane Advisory Board. Paul is a Committee Member of the QAGOMA Foundation and was the recipient of the Arts Law Centre of Australia’s Arts Community Pro Bono Award for 2013, in recognition of the tremendous contribution he has made to the arts in Queensland. 

Sofie Formica, Brand Ambassador

Sofie Formica has a high public profile as a respected media personality and as a passionate advocate for tourism, the sustainability of the environment, community resilience and social inclusion. In a public career spanning over 30 years, Sofie has extensive experience in broadcast, production and content creation and has worked with both the private and government sectors, with a particular focus on tourism. After 12 years hosting Queensland’s most popular lifestyle TV show, Sofie recently founded her own production company, TravelWell Media, a multimedia producer and platform which enables its clients to tell stories about their purpose and mission based on experiences and purpose-led strategies.

Helen Besly, Executive Director - Rowland

Helen has more than 35 years’ experience providing strategic counsel in communication, issues management and organisational change. Helen is widely regarded as one of the leading minds in Australia’s communication industry and is known for her insightful and candid approach to business and communication challenges. Helen is former Managing Director of Rowland, a communication, digital and creative agency and now has a marketing facing, business development role with the firm. Prior to joining Rowland in 1996, Helen lived in Hong Kong where she was Vice President and Deputy Managing Director of global PR firm Burson-Marsteller. She is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women. An active member of the Queensland business community Helen was awarded a Centenary Medal for her services to Australian business leadership and has also won a Telstra Business Award.

John 'JC' Collins, Venue Director - The Triffid & The Fortitude Music Hall

After spending 20 years touring and recording with iconic Brisbane band Powderfinger, JC has turned his focus to the world of live music venues to support the city’s burgeoning arts economy. His first step was opening The Triffid in 2014, a new venue in the Brisbane music scene. This venue has since gone on to win countless awards and has become an industry and crowd favourite. JC and his team then combined forces with music industry power brokers, Secret Sounds and Live Nation – to open The Fortitude Music Hall. This state-of-the-art venue is located in the vibrant Brunswick Street Mall – long considered the heart of the Brisbane music scene. As Venue Director, JC was instrumental in the design, fit out and delivery of the project which has quickly gained a great reputation for pleasing artists and patrons alike. JC also proudly sits on the Board of the forward-thinking Music Industry College and Q Music and revels in the opportunity to support the industry.

Chris McCluskey, Property Industry Leader

Chris McCluskey is a Property Industry professional with over 30 years’ experience in Australian markets including in institutional funds management, property investment and development as well as advisory fields. During his last 12 years at ISPT, the company’s property assets grew to over $22 billion across retail, industrial, office, education, health and residential sectors. Having worked across all sectors of the property spectrum in creating and delivering investment grade assets he is now working to deliver development solutions at the intersection between major transport infrastructure and real estate. He is a past President and Life Member of the Committee for Brisbane and also serves currently as Vice President of the Brisbane Club.

Translational Research Institute TRI Building Greenery Woolloongabba