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, BEDA Chairman

Paul Spiro is a renowned and respected figure in Brisbane’s business and art community with a distinguished career spanning more than forty years. He is the former Executive Chairman of the Brisbane and Adelaide offices of leading Australian law firm, Gadens, and one of the country’s most respected experts in property law and commercial negotiation.

Paul was named Chairman of BEDA, formerly Brisbane Marketing, in November 2018 and is a passionate advocate for Brisbane and it’s creative industries with a desire to grow the city’s business and art profile across Australia and the world. Paul has held several influential positions including as Chairman of the annual Brisbane Festival from 2014 – 2019 and as a Committee Member of the QAGOMA Foundation 2013 – 2019. He is a member of the Lord Mayor’s Creative Brisbane Advisory Board, and in 2013 was a recipient of the Arts Law Centre of Australia’s Arts Community Pro Bono Award in recognition of the tremendous contribution he has made to the Arts in Queensland.

As BEDA’s Chairman, Paul is committed to assisting the organisation to guide and shape the future of Brisbane and helping BEDA to produce sustainable economic results by capitalising on the city's competitive strengths.

Sofie Formica, Broadcaster

Sofie Formica is an accomplished media broadcaster with a public career spanning over 30 years. After 12 years hosting Queensland’s most popular lifestyle TV show, The Great South East, Sofie founded her own production company, TravelWell Media, a multimedia producer and platform that showcases stories about real people, their purpose and mission based on personal experiences and purpose-led strategies. Sofie has long-been a passionate advocate for tourism, sustainability of the environment, community resilience and social inclusion. Sofie currently hosts ‘Afternoons’ on Brisbane radio station 4BC.

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 AM, 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. In June 2024, JC was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the arts through music, and to the community.

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