The iSelect Gold Coast Titans are today delighted to announce that highly respected Gold Coast business leaders Paul Donovan and Rebecca Frizelle have joined the Titans’ board of directors.

The two need little introduction to the region’s business community. Rebecca, who will be chairman, is joint dealer-principal and group operations manager at James Frizelle’s Automotive Group and a long time sponsor and supporter of the Titans, while Paul is chief operating officer of Gold Coast Airport and chairman of Gold Coast Tourism Board.

Frizelle will become the first female club chairperson in the NRL or its previous ARL competition.

Incidentally, the Gold Coast also produced rugby league’s first female director in 1994 when Alice Flint was appointed to the Seagulls board of directors when it was playing in the NSWRL competition.

Frizelle and Donovan will join Michael Searle and Darryl Kelly on a four-person board. Shareholder Anshuman Magazine, the Indian-based businessman, will not sit on the board.

Titans board member Darryl Kelly, who has been a driving force in the development of the NRL entity since mid-2012, said the appointment of Donovan and Frizelle is a further step in the rebuilding of the Titans.

“Paul and Rebecca bring a wealth of business experience and acumen, a strong network of contacts and a fresh aspect to our business,” said Kelly. “We are very fortunate to have them involved.

“The name Frizelle has long been associated with the Gold Coast for many years and Rebecca is a successful and widely respected business leader in her own right. Paul has an outstanding record in the airline and tourism industries and has overseen significant development at the Gold Coast airport since 2005 and has been chairman of the Gold Coast Tourism Board for the past six years.

“Importantly, both are passionate about the future of the Gold Coast.

“This development is part of continued improved corporate governance of the Gold Coast Titans and arms us with an enormous pool of diverse business skills, networks and ingenuity to take us to a new level of success.”

The board is the final step in creating a new future for the Titans, complementing the appointment in October 2013 of Graham Annesley as CEO. Annesley has impeccable credentials as a former chief operating officer of the National Rugby League and sports minister in the NSW Liberal Government, as well as many years as a first grade referee.

As the Gold Coast Titans new chairman, Rebecca Frizelle brings to the role 25 years of business and workforce development, strategic skills, international negotiating experience and a unique depth of involvement in the Gold Coast community.

She has played a major role in the Frizelle group growing from 16 staff to its current workforce of 540 in six locations and two states, although she attributes great credit to the incredible team and strong management culture she has worked with, led by her father-in-law and company founder James and her husband Brett. 

“We signed on as a sponsor of the Titans in 2006 and have been a passionate partner of the Titans ever since,” said Frizelle. “I have a great faith in the Titans management and the club’s potential and am very proud to associate my name with them.

“I’m naturally very proud and honoured to learn that I am the first female chairman in Australian rugby league at a professional level. I bring a female perspective which can at times be extremely different in some aspects, recognising that women are often the decision makers in families. I’d certainly like to see more females attend matches. It’s a family game and we need to be targeting that enthusiastically, which I know the Titans already do.”

Donovan has managed Gold Coast airport since 2005 after holding several executive appointments with airlines in Australia and New Zealand for many years. He has had involvement in rugby league through his previous airline positions since the 1980s. He has overseen several key projects for Gold Coast Airport, delivering a runway extension, a $100 million terminal redevelopment, a long-term car park and the 2011 airport master plan.

“I’ve become involved with the Titans because I care about the Gold Coast and the Titans are a large part of the Gold Coast community,” said Donovan, who has been a member of the Gold Coast Tourism board for eight years, and chairman for six.

“I want the Gold Coast to be successful and with that comes the Titans being successful. During my time on Gold Coast Tourism I’d like to think we have the best governance in terms of any board on the Gold Coast and I would like to replicate that with the Titans.”