Matthew Dodds - President

Matt is a Chartered Accountant and the Head of Intelligence & Analytics at PKF Gold Coast, one of the largest full-service accounting firms on the coast, and a member of the global accountancy network of firms operating across 150 countries under the PKF brand.

Born, raised, and educated on the Gold Coast, Matt originally cut his teeth working in the business services and taxation service lines. From there his passion for assisting businesses in leveraging their data to make informed and flexible decisions led him to transition into the business intelligence space. Matt is enlivened by the Gold Coast and all it has to offer and is particularly passionate about helping young local businesses and professionals to reach their ultimate potential in this city.

Speak to Matt about how the team at PKF can use their extensive knowledge and local experience to provide you with the best possible service and advice.

Lauren Thompson - Co-Vice President

Lauren is the Leisure & Entertainment Marketing Executive for The Star Entertainment Group. Aspiring to be Australia’s leading integrated resort and entertainment company, Lauren’s role is to strategise & execute a range of events, promotions and other marketing initiatives designed to drive revenue growth for the group, as well as provide a meaningful experience for guests across the Gold Coast property.

With a passion for scaling Gold Coast businesses, whether SME or enterprise, through advanced marketing, communications & public relations strategies. Lauren holds a double degree in Business [Marketing] and Public Relations & Communications, although her diverse skills portfolio includes copy writing, content creation, event management, CRM & Automation management, SEO optimisation, graphic & website design, stakeholder and brand relationship management, public relations and crisis management.

Jacqueline Bojanowski - Co-Vice President

Jacqueline is an Account Director at leading integrated communications agency, Sabio 

With over eight years in the industry, Jacqueline has driven widely recognised campaigns and projects for a diverse portfolio of the city’s most recognised brands across major events, tourism, hospitality, and retail.

Known in the industry for delivering outside the box campaigns that pack a punch, Jacqueline’s skills span across event management, activations, brand positioning, strategy development, and brand positioning.

An avid storyteller, Jacqueline works within the marketing and communications function of YP Gold Coast, driving awareness for the brand and delivering a calendar of high-quality events.

Having grown up on the Gold Coast and seen her professional career flourish, Jacqueline is a fierce advocate for growing the professional landscape of the Gold Coast, paving the way for other young professionals and the city's success.

Joshua Lumley - Treasurer

Josh is the founder and CEO of prmpt. a Research & Development (R&D) consulting firm on the Gold Coast that works with start-ups and Australian companies to access the R&D Tax Incentive and government grants. Josh is the former Chair of the Griffith Business School Alumni Advisory Group and a Co-Founder of the Gold Coast SUNS Captain’s Club, a coterie group created to bring together local Gold Coasters and professionals via the SUNS AFL team.
Josh moved to the Gold Coast in 2010 for its unique lifestyle and is driven to support local businesses by providing a forum to encourage growth and innovation here in the city.

Cleopatra Jackson - Secretary 

Cleopatra is a solicitor at Cronin Miller Litigation, a boutique law firm in the heart of the Gold Coast specializing in commercial litigation. She works closely with business owners and corporations to achieve efficient and practical outcomes for their individual commercial needs.

As a young professional on the Gold Coast, she enjoys having a corporate career and a coastal lifestyle. Cleopatra moved to the Gold Coast to study a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws at Bond University and has called the Gold Coast home ever since.

At the height of the pandemic, Cleopatra worked closely with local business owners and assisted them in navigating through the sudden demand to pivot and adapt to minimise any adverse impact resulting from the pandemic. She provided strategic advice regarding the ever changing legislative and regulatory framework in order to keep local businesses operational during the pandemic. Assisting businesses during that uncertain time was essential to her practice and she has since seen those same businesses innovate and grow into new markets.

Cleopatra is impassioned about supporting local businesses and advocating for growth and development on the Gold Coast. She is always looking at ways to drive the YP Gold Coast committee’s commitment to the Gold Coast forward and effect positive change in the lives of the people who call this great city home.

James Fulton-Kennedy

James is an experienced, dual-degree qualified Financial Planner. Prior to joining Morgans, James worked within the NAB Financial Planning network on the Gold Coast. In 2017, James was recognised as being in the top 1 per cent of performers within the National Australia Banks' 35,000 employees. James has also completed the CFP® Certification program, which is the highest designation in financial planning for professional competency, ethics and professional practice standards.

Karleigh Pearson

Karleigh Pearson is the marketing and communications manager at Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel & Residences, an iconic hotel located in the heart of the Gold Coast. In her third year working for the global hospitality brand, Karleigh manages all digital marketing, PR, and eCommerce strategies for the hotel, its outlets, and conference and events to drive revenue, maintain guest loyalty, and build positive brand awareness. 

With a passion for the hospitality industry, Karleigh has been integral in implementing the post-pandemic, recovery strategy for the hotel, in support of reigniting tourism on the Gold Coast. Prior to working for Hilton, Karleigh led a team at Ruby Communications (now SABIO) where she had the opportunity to work with some of the city’s most renowned tourism, hospitality, and event organisations. 

With a deep love for storytelling and exceptional attention to detail, Karleigh holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Griffith University.

Nicholas Rossi

Nicholas Rossi is an Associate Solicitor in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team at Marino Law. Nicholas’ interest and passion in civil litigation stem from the multifaceted and diverse range of matters and clients which fall within the scope of civil litigation. Nicholas has a practical, commercial, and personalised approach to servicing his clients, and facilitates commercial outcomes by striving to keep his clients actively involved throughout the process.

By way of providing strategically focused advice predominantly to clients located and operating from the Gold Coast in the SME sector, Nicholas has obtained a unique perspective on the issues and challenges faced by Gold Coast businesses, particularly during the pandemic.

Nicholas has a passion to promote the Gold Coast as the destination for business development and economic growth and considers that an integral element in achieving this is fostering the development of the young professionals of the Gold Coast. 

Gabrielle Armes

Gaby has always had a huge interest in the digital space. Growing up in the times of social media and digital marketing means her understanding of these tools are second to none. Completing a Bachelor of Communications (majoring in Advertising) at Bond University only expanded her passion for the digital world.

As the marketing manager at Australia's highest-rated web design agency, Five by Five, Gaby is responsible for the company growth, brand awareness, and digital marketing as well as team happiness.

Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Gaby has seen the shift in the way the city is now viewed, once just a coastal beach town to a thriving metropolis, she is excited to be a part of growing this new direction.

Grant Brisland

Grant is Director, Business Growth & Development at HOTA, Home of the Arts, and moved to the Gold Coast from the UK in January 2020; a move at the cusp of the global pandemic.

With a career spanning 20 years in arts and culture, Grant is a strong advocate for the cultural, social, and civic role of the arts and has a deep commitment to communities and their role in placemaking and city growth.

He brings these insights to YP along with a strategic mindset to position the voices of young professionals as a critical part of the conversation. 

Joshua Daley

Beginning his career at Urban Strategies in South Brisbane, he focussed on low density residential subdivision, medium impact industry and high impact industry projects.

Initially working on projects in Brisbane, Josh expanded to the greater Southeast region of QLD and eventually further north to Mackay, to assist in the completion of a High Impact Industry project for Mackay’s largest Metal Recycling site.

In 2021, Josh was invited to become the town planning representative for the PDA Developers Course on the Gold Coast. This course instructs future developers on the importance of town planning consultants and instructs them on how to best utilise their advice.

Since joining Urbis’ Gold Coast team in March 2022, he has assisted in the lodgement on multiple High Density Residential projects in Surfers Paradise and become a valued member of the YP Gold Coast committee.

Josh studied Town Planning at PDA Queensland; the University of Queensland, St Lucia.