The Board

Ted O’Brien

Ted is Founder & Chairman of Generation Innovation.

He is a community leader, an experienced company director and brings over 20 years of blue chip commercial experience in Australia and across the Asia Pacific.

Ted is committed to the Sunshine Coast. He has a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship and a strong track record of community service.

He has a Master in Economics (London School of Economics); Master in International Business 1st Class Hons (University of Melbourne); Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland); Asia Pacific Fellowship in Chinese Mandarin (National Taiwan Normal University) and he is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ross Hepworth

Ross is Treasurer of Generation Innovation.

He is a highly experienced leader in vocational and educational training, having lead TAFE’s Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay campuses for many years. Ross is CEO of Horizon2, a niche training provider in the Children’s services sector.

Ross is deeply engaged in the Sunshine Coast business and community sectors, having led and served various business associations and community organisations.

Ross is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds qualifications in Accounting. 

Kris McCue

Kris is Vice Chairman of Generation Innovation.

He is Director of Stones Throw Consulting and brings 15 years experience in the private, public and community sectors in the areas of management, business and workforce development, labour market intervention, strategy, policy and stakeholder engagement.

Kris is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and has qualifications in commerce and management. He has held executive and board positions with not for profits and senior roles in the public sector in employment and Vocational Education and Training (VET).  

Sophia O’Brien

Sophia is a Director of Generation Innovation.

She teaches law at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She is admitted to practice in the legal profession and brings experience as a litigation lawyer. Previously, she lived and worked in Beijing, where she studied Chinese language, law and politics at Peking University while also working at the North Asia desk of International Crisis Group.

Sophia holds a Bachelor of International Relations and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours. She won the University Medal and was awarded the Commonwealth Government’s Prime Ministerʼs Endeavour Award.

Simon Verdouw

Simon is a Director of Generation Innovation.

He is the Business Engagement Manager in North Brisbane and North Queensland for the Beacon Foundation. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the youth sector, has a passion for entrepreneurship and has skills in stakeholder engagement, project management and advocacy. 

Simon has been working passionately over a number of years to empower young people to understand and achieve stability, self-confidence and career opportunities. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Communications) from the University of Tasmania and a Masters in Child and Adolescent Welfare from Charles Sturt University.

Alice McNamara

Alice is a Director and Company Secretary of Generation Innovation.

She is an admitted legal practitioner working as a solicitor on the Sunshine Coast. Alice is passionate about seeing the youth of the Sunshine Coast develop and prosper and relishes any opportunity to facilitate innovation within the community.

Alice has previously lived in the United Arab Emirates where she worked at the Australian Consulate-General in Dubai. In this role, she drove the supply of Australian goods, services and technologies from Australia to the Middle East and North Africa Region and facilitated two-way investment between the regions.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of International Relations with a major in Diplomacy from Bond University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. 

Dean Alle

Dean is a Director of Generation Innovation.

Dr Dean Alle is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dean has a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, startups and commercialisation of new technoligies. In addition to several tech related startups of his own, Dean has led major commercialisation projects with Australian Universities and Research Centres, spinoff and startup companies, and corporate organisations.

Dean lectures at Universities, conducts innovation workshops and has been the lead mentor at several startup weekends. Dean has a PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the University of QLD and Maroochydore State High School


Nicole Allen

Nicole is a Business and Executive Coach partnering with clients from local businesses right through to corporate and government executives in South East Queensland.  She works for AltusQ, an Australian coaching firm, and is also responsible for their accreditation processes with the global industry body EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council), ensuring that AltusQ’s coach training and professional standards continue to align with the highest in the industry globally.  Nicole’s background prior to working as a Coach included 20 years of experience across corporate, government and small business environments in Human Resources and Quality roles, with deep experience in innovative service delivery projects and programs.

Growing up Nicole was heavily involved in Youth Groups on the Sunshine Coast, and Nicole continues this passion today in her desire to provide young people with the support and accountability they need to grow.

Nicole has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Human Resource Management and Management (QUT) and is an accredited coach with the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council).