Our Team

Our Diverse & Experienced team members

Overview

To establish a new coconut industry that’s never been tried before in Australia is an ambitious, difficult and challenging process, but the Directors have bought together one of the best teams in the country to manage its operations.

In addition, KokoNiu has some of the world’s leading Agronomists and Scientists in tissue culture from within the Coconut Industry, working exclusively on assisting KokoNiu to establish it Plantations while overseeing the CTC Laboratory to ensure the consistent supply of elite ‘true to type’ coconut plants to the world.

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Management Team

Our Management Team has the skills and expertise in identifying, securing and monitoring the management of the company’s operations while actively managing the risks of the businesses.

Glen Boyle

Mr Glen Boyle

Co-Founder and Director

Mr Boyle has always been an ideas man and an entrepreneur at heart. From an early age, Glen started designing business concepts. He has a keen eye for detail and a great understanding of business.

Glen is a highly motivated professional with exceptional negotiation skills and an impressive track record. This is evident with no greater accolade than to be awarded the Best in Australia Award in 2004 for one of his concept businesses – one well ahead of its time which Glen then went on to expand to a team of 87 staff.

As a strategic thinker, Glen is able to problem solve complex matters and is highly skilled in operational and people management. He has a visionary approach and a strong focus on innovation in marketing technology.

Greg Kennish

Mr Greg Kennish

Co-Founder and Director

Mr Kennish began his working life in Hotel Management and was on the opening management team of Hamilton Island Resort before taking an interest in technology and the productivity savings it delivered to business. Greg served as Managing Director for Lodgistix based in Singapore for 8 years where he built a regional sales and support organisation that delivered highly technical computer solutions to major Hotel Groups in Asia-Pacific.

Upon his return Greg served as CEO and Group Managing Director of IntraPower Limited where his appointment brought extensive leadership and funding skills from his positions in Singapore, including a startup funded by Singapore Telecom and OUB Bank. Greg lead IntraPower Limited through a successful IPO and until it was bought out by TPG Telecom in a successful trade sale.

Greg’s experience in marketing to and negotiating with most levels of business and government in Asia Pacific over the last 25 years will assist the company in taking its products internationally.

Dr Stuart Routledge AO

Dr Stuart Routledge AO

Non-Executive Director & International Advisor

Dr Routledge is a Director on the Board of the University of Wollongong Enterprises, and 10 years ago formed STEWART ROUTLEDGE & Associates an agriculture/livestock management and consulting company, after ending 28 years with GRM International as Executive Director, responsible for international development programs. He is also Chairman of the KYEEMA Foundation Ltd. an NFP organisation for spreading improved agriculture technology around the developing world.

Dr Routledge has established himself personally as a key player in the food security, agriculture,  livestock and education sectors internationally, for which he has received several prestigious awards.  He has been Project Manager or Project Director or technical specialist for more than 50 mostly international agriculture related studies/projects covering the world west of Bangladesh, most of which have been development loan or commercial development projects, government programs, food security programs, privatisation programs, international agriculture investment and development projects as well as undertaking large trading contracts in trading farm goods, live animals and meat products and animal feeds.

Dr Routledge has 35 years of international experience mostly based overseas, marketing Australian agriculture and livestock products and service.

Mr Bernard O'Brien

Mr Bernard O'Brien

Non-Executive Director

Managing Director and Founder of The Ninox Group, Business consultant, business coach and mentor. Bernard O’Brien works with CEOs and their leadership teams to help their companies establish strong foundations and create leading strategies to result in scaling up in continued growth and creating a culture of action and accountability.

Bernard commenced his professional career overseas for 5 years, in the United Kingdom with Associated British Foods and Simons Engineering before concluding with studied in his final year in Switzerland. On returning to Australia, Bernard joined the Family Business in operational, sales and Senior Executive Roles, before departing the Family Business and expanding his experience across other Industries in food, agriculture, retailing, wholesaling, manufacturing, consulting, construction and tourism. His past 15 years across those industries has been focused on business restructure and/or business turnaround and/or business remodelling, and more recently focused on the principles of Verne Harnish’s “Scaling up”. 

The Ninox Group is different and unique to other consulting models, as it works alongside Company Owners, Boards of companies, Senior Executives to achieve a complete focus and alignment on the long term and medium term goals and aspirations and then develop the tools and strategies necessary to achieve those goals in a shorter time frame through a proven process of scaling up. The difference between The Ninox Group and other consulting and advisory groups is that they remain throughout the journey (Scaling up) alongside the client, as apposed to doing an assignment and departing.

The Ninox Group has worked with a diverse range of companies from SME to Not for Profit companies, from public listed to multinationals, from Joint Ventures to Venture Capital owned entities. The assignments have been from business start up, company turnarounds, to company restructure and consolidation and to company scaling up and expansion. 

Bernard has in the last decade completed a Masters of Marketing, and more recently been accredited by Gazelles International as a Scaling up Business Coach. He sits on several Boards across the Agricultural, Food and Tourism sectors. 

Research Team

The role of the Research Team is to oversee the UQ Project for a 3-year period. The primary outcome is to further advance the efficiency and reliability of the commercial protocol for the large-scale propagation of coconut plants using Somatic Embryogenesis (SE) technology.

The project will be undertaken by Dr Julianne Biddle, under the supervision of Professor Steve Adkins.

Dr Julianne Biddle

Dr Julianne Biddle

Dr Biddle grew up on a cattle farm in Central Queensland and has experience working in research, agriculture and science communication. Dr Biddle has a Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology, Evolution and Genetics from the Australian National University (ANU), Honours in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the ANU and a Bachelor of Science with Advanced Studies, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biological Sciences from Griffith University.

In 2017 Dr Biddle joined the Coconut Group at The University of Queensland. This role focusses on project management, research extension and commercialisation of the technology produced by the group. Dr Biddle heads up the UQ project with Mr Quang Nguyen under the supervision of Professor Steve Adkins, along with two PhD students in conjunction with her fellow World-renowned Agronomist, Mr Mike Foale.

Professor Steve Adkins

Professor Steve Adkins

Professor Adkins is Professor of Plant Physiology at The University of Queensland (UQ). He obtained a degree in Botany and Zoology from the University of London and a PhD in Seed Physiology from the University of Reading (UK). He joined UQ in 1988, founding the Integrated Seed Research Unit.

His research has focussed on the dormancy mechanisms of weeds and native plants, the management of invasive plants and the improvement of tropical crops using tissue culture.

Agricultural Team

The role of the Agricultural Team is to instruct and advise the company on site selection, site preparation including soil cultivation and irrigation, and the implementation of Best Practice in the management and operations of the plantations and the nursery.

Mr Roger Goebel

Mr Roger Goebel

Tropical Horticulture Development Officer

Mr Goebel has managed Etty Bay Exotics tropical crops partnership near Innisfail in North Queensland for over 30 years. This is a 16ha property with one of the widest collections of edible tropical plants including a collection of various coconuts. During most of that time and prior, various retirements and reengagements, he works for Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in tropical Horticulture.

After graduating from Queensland Agricultural College in 1971 he joined the Department of Primary Industries. During the next 45 years he worked on Fauna, Beekeeping (obtaining an Advanced Certificate in Beekeeping at the University of Queensland – Gatton Campus), Pollination and tropical Horticulture. He has travelled widely in the South West Pacific on for various Horticultural Development projects.

He has authored and co-authored books and numerous articles on Beekeeping and Horticulture and is a prominent instructor in Tropical Plant propagation.

He brings to the team an extensive knowledge of the Wet Tropical areas most suited to coconut growing in Queensland and a considerable network of tropical horticulturists.

Mike Foale - The Coconut Odyssey

Mr Mike Foale

Honorary Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland

Mr Foale MAgrSc (Adel), DTA (Trinidad) FAIAST, is a former Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems and consultant to ACIAR. From Adelaide University Mike attended British Colonial Service training at Cambridge University and the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad before taking up a post as Agronomist in a Joint Coconut Research Scheme on the Unilever Plantation at Yandina, British Solomon Islands (1959 to 1968).

He joined CSIRO in 1969 working in tobacco and sorghum agronomy, and then in the Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit in Toowoomba until retirement in 1998. Mike was seconded part-time to ACIAR during the 1980s and early 1990s as consultant to its coconut research projects addressing diseases and improvement in productivity. He reviewed in 1996 and 2001 the Coconut Genetic Resources Network of Bioversity International (formerly IPGRI).

He is the author of the quint-essential book on coconuts named The Coconut Odyssey: The Bounteous Possibilities of the Tree of Life. (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra 2003).

International Advisors

The role of the International Advisors is to provide guidance on the company’s international development and commercial opportunities abroad and to give considered advice in steering communications when dealing with international governments and industry bodies. This team is advised by Dr Stuart Routledge, who is also a Non-Executive Director.

Dr Stuart Routledge AO

Dr Stuart Routledge AO

Non-Executive Director & International Advisor

Dr Routledge is a Director on the Board of the University of Wollongong Enterprises, and 10 years ago formed STEWART ROUTLEDGE & Associates an agriculture/livestock management and consulting company, after ending 28 years with GRM International as Executive Director, responsible for international development programs. He is also Chairman of the KYEEMA Foundation Ltd. an NFP organisation for spreading improved agriculture technology around the developing world.

Dr Routledge has established himself personally as a key player in the food security, agriculture,  livestock and education sectors internationally, for which he has received several prestigious awards.  He has been Project Manager or Project Director or technical specialist for more than 50 mostly international agriculture related studies/projects covering the world west of Bangladesh, most of which have been development loan or commercial development projects, government programs, food security programs, privatisation programs, international agriculture investment and development projects as well as undertaking large trading contracts in trading farm goods, live animals and meat products and animal feeds.

Dr Routledge has 35 years of international experience mostly based overseas, marketing Australian agriculture and livestock products and service.

Government Liason

KokoNiu has engaged the services of Australia Strategic Advisory (ASA) to help connect with government initiates for grants and funding opportunities. Together their team has over 30 years of combined experience in federal, state and local government, as well as government relations.

Mr Kevin Parer from ASA

Mr Kevin Parer

Managing Director of ASA

After studying Public Policy and Foreign Affairs at University, Kevin has accumulated over 20 years of policy, strategy and communication experience working in senior managerial roles for both government and in the private sector. Kevin worked for the Brisbane City Council as a Strategy and Communication Adviser to then Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. He then worked for the Federal Liberal Party in Canberra and then with federal Queensland Senator and shadow Minister, Brett Mason.

Dr Arthur Chrenkoff from ASA

Dr Arthur Chrenkoff

Director of ASA

Arthur is a highly credentialed and well respected political professional with 16 years’ experience as a policy adviser in federal politics. Having worked across a range of ministerial portfolios, Arthur has an extensive knowledge of policy development, campaigning, government processes, writing and communications. During his time in government Arthur was recognised as the best speech-writer in the Senate. Arthur uses his writing skills to meet all communications needs.

Mr Zac Davis-Hancock from ASA

Zach Davis-Hancock

Director of ASA

 Zac has worked as a political strategist for over a decade at local, state and federal levels of government. He has extensive experience in stakeholder management, policy development, campaigning and market research. He has a great understanding of running successful social media campaigns and has been employed by both the major and minor parties to provide guidance in this area. Zach’s research and campaigns experience helps to better target interactions with and more effectively reach government and stakeholders.