Board of Directors, Surfers Paradise Alliance

Laura Younger, Chairperson

Laura has a business background in membership organisations in Australia and Britain. Laura has a Master of Business Administration from Griffith University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Southern Queensland and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Laura is the General Manager for Australian Timeshare and General Manager QLD for the Accommodation Association of Australia, Board member and Chair of the QTIC Associations Council and Deputy President of the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce.

Lex Bell, Director

Mr Bell OAM received a Master of Laws from Bond University and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Queensland before becoming a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland. Lex was also a Councillor with The Council of the City of Gold Coast from 1985–2001, including a period as mayor 1988–1994. He was also a chancellor with the Anglican Catholic Church.

Gary Baildon, Director

Councillor Gary Baildon AM is the elected representative for Division 7 (Surfers Paradise) on the Council of the City of Gold Coast.  A semi-retired businessman with experience in retailing, wholesaling and advertising, Councillor Baildon has also served on a number of community and government boards and been awarded Doctor of The University (Griffith); Australian Sports Medal; the Centenary Medal and member “Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.”  He has over 14 years’ experience as a Councillor with the City of Gold Coast, including three terms as Mayor.

Leschen Smaller, Director

Ms Smaller has held numerous senior accounting and finance positions throughout Australia, including an appointment as the first female Director of WMS Chartered Accountants.

Paul Callander, Director

Paul Callander is the Chief Operating Officer for Ardent Leisure Theme Parks & Attractions. His position encompasses the role of General Manager of SkyPoint Observation Deck & SkyPoint Climb in Surfers Paradise. Over the past 25 years, Mr Callander has held various senior roles across some of Australia's most premium tourism operations.

Tania Cowey, Director

Tania is the licensee of McDonald’s Cavill in Surfers Paradise and McDonald’s Niecon Plaza in Broadbeach. Tania holds National and State Leadership committee positions within the McDonald’s franchise business. Previously she worked in McDonald’s Corporate office as the Franchise Manager for QLD/NT and Managed the company owned restaurants.

Michael Coe, Director

Michael Coe is the Regional General Manager – Gold Coast | Northern NSW for Mantra Group, and oversees the strategic and operational management of 29 hotels & resorts under the Peppers, Mantra & BreakFree brands. Michael has worked in the Queensland tourism and accommodation industry for over 25 years and held numerous positions on the boards of industry peak bodies in this time.

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