Our people

Board of Directors

Sean Joyce

Chair
Being AI Group

Sean has over 30 years’ experience in the corporate sector as a corporate lawyer and a market participant. Sean started his legal career at Phillips Fox (now DLA Piper) in 1993. He was then a founding member of boutique corporate law firm, Jones Young, and was partner in that firm for over 10 years. In 2010, Sean set up his own corporate law practice, Sean Joyce – Corporate Counsel.

Sean is a principal of Auckland based capital markets advisory firm, CM Partners Limited, which has been involved in a significant number of capital markets transactions since itsformation in 2014. Sean has a particular focus on the capital markets and securities laws in New Zealand and Australia. This includes regulatory compliance, initial public offerings, compliance listings, reverse listings, fundraising and offerings of various types of securities in New Zealand.

Sean is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors (CMinstD) and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Auckland University.

Sean is a director of New Zealand’s largest early childhood education company, Best Start Educare Limited, which has a roll of approximately 15,000+ children. Sean is also a director of Auckland based technology company, Mega Limited, and is a director of several other private companies.

Sean brings a broad range of skills to the Board, including his extensive legal expertise, experience in the capital markets, and his operational and leadership skill sets garnered through his time in executive, advisory and board roles undertaken within a wide range of corporate entities.

David McDonald

Executive Director
Being AI Group

David is a well-regarded participant in the AI, Web3, and digital transformation sectors, with over two decades of pioneering the tech landscape. He founded Altered State Machine (ASM), which achieved New Zealand's largest seed funding round, and comprised the largest piece in the formation of Futureverse, a $1 billion NZD ‘Kiwi unicorn.’ His patented AI technology is a core component of Futureverse's platform.

Under David's leadership, Futureverse's industry-leading R&D department created ground-breaking projects like Jen AI, an AI music composer. David's vision extends to fostering global partnerships and collaborations, ASM and Futureverse engaging with global brands such as Warner Bros Discovery, Authentic Brands Group, Muhammad Ali Enterprises, FIFA, Snoop Dogg, and Warner Music.

David’s forward-thinking approach in transforming complex concepts into practical solutions positions him as a dynamic force in the tech industry, continually shaping the future of technology with innovative solutions. David enjoys restoring and collecting cars, with a particular love for JDM classics, doing wood and metal work and creating video games. Through Futureverse, David was able to donate over $1 million to the Auckland City Mission last year and continue to support that cause. David belongs to Ngāi Tahu iwi.

Katherine Allsopp-Smith

Executive Director
AGE School

Katherine is actively involved in managing family investments, leading exceptionally talented and innovative individuals, driving purpose-driven initiatives, and spearheading culture-related projects.

She dedicates her time to various family investments, including 2061.ai, Te Turanga Ukaipo Charitable Trust, AGE School, and her Colorado-based property business.

Katherine holds a design degree from Auckland University of Technology, which fuels her deep passion for creativity and understanding of physiology. Her interests revolve around the convergence of business, environmental sustainability, and emotional well-being.

Her driving force and superpower are “radical change and deep connection.”

In her leisure time, Katherine enjoys traveling, seeking adventure, and challenging herself. She proudly represented New Zealand on the global stage in the UK by winning Miss World New Zealand, accomplished and won a triathlon, hiked Changla Mountain in the Himalayas, and immersed herself in various cultures during extensive travels. Katherine's heritage, a mix of Pacific Ukaipo and European roots, provides her with a profound appreciation for cultural diversity.

As a director of Being AI, Katherine has played a pivotal role in inspiring the vision to transform industries through Exponentially Accelerated Technology (EAT). Additionally, Katherine is the Founder of the Te Turanga Ukaipo Charitable Trust, which empowers students not only to survive but to thrive.

When she's not driving business transformations or shaping epic futures for students, Katherine resides in Auckland, New Zealand, with her partner Evan Christian and their three young children.

Joe Jensen

Independent Director
Being AI Group

Joe resides in the State of Arizona in the United States of America and has completed an MBA from W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from South Dakota State University.

Joe has a storied career in the technology sector in North America and has held various senior executive roles during his 28-year tenure at Intel Corporation.

His last role, held until his retirement from Intel in 2022, was as Vice President, Internet of Things Group—General Manager, Retail, Banking, Hospitality & Education. Previous roles at Intel included General Manager of the Low Power Embedded Products Division, and General Manager of the Embedded Computing Division at Intel Corporation.

Roger Gower

Independent Director
Being AI Group

Roger is an experienced executive, director and chair of public and private companies. Roger had a corporate career in logistics and transportation, which included being a key executive in listing a New Zealand transport company on the NASDAQ and completing significant offshore financing of transport assets.

Following his executive career, he completed a Master of Philosophy at Cambridge University, with his research focusing on the use of economic tools to improve environmental outcomes and the key attributes of successful spinouts. Roger also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and an MBA from Massey University.

He is currently Chairman of PrimePort Timaru and New Zealand Food Innovation Auckland (otherwise known as The FoodBowl). Roger is an independent director of a number of private and NZX-listed companies and is an chaired the audit and risk committees for a number of these companies.

Being AI Executive team

Nyssa Waters

Chief Executive Officer
Being AI - Customer Solutions

Nyssa Waters is a dynamic and experienced technology leader with a remarkable 20 year career across the tech sector, culminating in her role as Co-Founder and CEO of Being AI - Customer Solutions.

Nyssa is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Being AI - Customer Solutions, ensuring operational efficiency, and leading the overall management of the company,overseeing financial planning, risk management, and stakeholder engagement relations, while promoting innovation and growth.

Prior to co-founding Being AI - Customer Solutions, Nyssa held several high-impact roles. At Google, she notably served as Head of Financial Services for Google Cloud NZ, where she was instrumental in devising strategies that leverage Cloud, Data and AI to improve operational efficiency and drive business transformation for clients.

She has led the strategic development of cloud solutions for the financial sector and achieved a significant increase in market penetration. As Google Workspace Executive for Australia and New Zealand, she drove product and sales initiatives across the region and led significant revenue growth.

Nyssa is known for her innovative and engaged approach which is deeply rooted in understanding client needs, developing comprehensive business solutions, and ensuring impactful, client-centric outcomes across a number of technology solutions, with a deep understanding of various technologies such as AI/ML, Cloud, SaaS, and Infrastructure. Her leadership style is characterised by authenticity, emphasising mentorship, team development, and a truly customer centric focus.

Her educational foundation includes studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Waikato University and a Business Management Certificate from Waikato Institute of Technology, alongside certifications in technology leadership and sales methodology from Google, Telstra, and Spark NZ.

Nyssa takes pride in her personal life, particularly in her role as a mother and animal rescue volunteer, which has taught her invaluable lessons in leadership and compassion. Her approach to both her professional and personal life reflects her commitment to excellence, innovation, and meaningful relationships.

Dr. Nicolas Fourrier

Chief Technology Officer
Being AI Group

Dr. Nicolas Fourrier holds the role of Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Being AI, and is responsible for developing and implementing a technology vision and strategy that aligns with the overall business goals of the company.

He is a distinguished technology leader, with extensive expertise in AI, machine learning, and data science. Dr. Fourrier's career is marked by a series of high-impact roles, including his tenure as Head of Research at Futureverse. He has also held a number of executive roles with the technology divisions of CCG, Gameloft, Timbre, Bodog, Soul Machines, Insite AI, Consult Recruitment and Rush Digital.Dr.

Fourrier holds a Master of Applied Mathematics from École Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Léonard de Vinci, a Master of Science in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia. Dr. Fourrier has authored over 15 publications in the fields of AI and mathematics as well as over 10 patents and patents pending in AI. This blend of theoretical insight and practical application in building AI, ML, and data-driven solutions from scratch sets him apart as a rare talent in the industry.

Dr. Fourrier is a devoted father of two and maintains a keen interest in Judo and athletics in general, reflecting commitment to a balanced lifestyle.

Erin Zink

Chief Operating Officer
Being AI Group

Erin holds the role of Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Being AI and is responsible for executing and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives. By collaborating with other executive team members, Erin prioritises and delivers quantifiable plans.

Prior to Being AI, Erin has held roles as Head of Innovation Operations at Futureverse, and Head of Strategy as Altered State Machine, both of which are Web3, AI, and deep technology companies. Furthermore, Erin was CEO and founder of Epic Instruction, a USA domiciled cloud-based VR, gamification and e-learning creation company which provides Web3 AI learning solutions for businesses.

Erin holds a Master of Education Technology (M.Ed) from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Arizona.

Erin is a resident of the United States of America in the State of Arizona, and has three children, a rescue cat (named Elvis) and a rescue Great Dane. Erin participates in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and volunteers as a registered nurse in the State of Arizona.

Paul Shale

Chief Marketing Officer
Being AI Group

Paul holds the role of Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Being AI, and is responsible for the Group’s marketing, revenue generation and equity value.

Paul holds a BCom/LLB (Hons) from Auckland University, tutored in Contract Law, and was President of the Law Students Society. Paul worked as a commercial lawyer for Russell McVeagh, won the Deloitte Scholarship at Auckland University and worked for Deloitte in tax and corporate valuation. He then joined the Executive Team at Auckland Airport as Market Development Manager before progressing to a career in growth marketing.

Paul was Chief Executive Officer at FCB NZ, Joint Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, CEO of Roadtrippers Australasia (now Roadpass), CCO of Nextspace. Paul has founded and exited several of his own companies—including Consortium NZ (earning the AUT Decade Award), Consortium USA (now Red Antler), and most recently, Happy Cow Milk Co.

Paul holds dual citizenships, New Zealand and Ireland. He is married with a daughter, two rescue dogs, three horses, and enjoys travel, skiing, and cooking with a variety of his homegrown chillis.

Mike Dunshea

Chief Financial Officer
Being AI Group

Mike is Chief Financial Officer of Being AI, and is responsible for leading the development of Being AI Group’s financial and investment strategies, managing investor relations, ensuring compliance with financial regulations and standards, preparing budgets and forecasts, and identifying and mitigatingfinancial risks.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato. Mike is a Chartered Accountant who qualified with KPMG in Auckland. He has 22 years' experience in operations management and finance, which has included working at Chase Manhattan Bank (Luxembourg), New Zealand Guardian Trust and New Zealand Post.

His three primary roles over the last 13 years have been as Chief Financial Officer at Grant Thornton, New Zealand Home Loans and Send Global (since 2020).

Paul Forno

Chief Executive Officer
Send Global

Paul is Chief Executive Officer of Send Global and is an experienced executive, having held senior executive positions in various other large New Zealand companies over the past 25 years.

Paul has worked in the government, not for profit, media and education sectors. More recently, Paul has worked in the services sector, running his own consultancy business. In addition to his senior executive positions, he has also held a number of directorships in companies across New Zealand.

Paul has been responsible for driving several significant change management programmes and is known for his down to earth approach, and as a leader that gets the best out of his team members. Outside of his professional career, Paul enjoys spending his time with his wider family, the outdoors, renovating properties and contributing to various not for profit organisations.

Karen van Gemerden

General Manager, Education
Being AI Group

With over 30 years management and governance experience in the education sector, Karen implements strategy, provides development and compliance, and has worked within a number of education establishments around New Zealand.

She co-founded the Villa Education Trust which established Mt Hobson Academy and then went on to starting South Auckland Middle School and Middle School West Auckland as the first charter schools in New Zealand.

Karen has a Bachelor of Business Studies with a major in marketing and will complete her Master of Educational Management in 2024.

Karen is dedicated to providing opportunities for all children through innovation in the education sector.

Adam Ross-Murphy

Head of Customer Solutions
Being Consultants

With over 25 years of experience in New Zealand's dynamic tech scene, Adam is a customer-focused leader with a proven track record of success. He brings a wealth of expertise from senior sales, sales management, and executive positions, fostering strong client relationships that drive mutually beneficial outcomes.

Adam's passion lies in strategic planning, problem-solving, and building high-performing teams. His background includes leading and coaching teams, coupled with a deep understanding of business principles, project management, and communication.

Prior to joining Being Consultants, Adam played a pivotal role as Chief Customer Officer for a Golf Technology startup, spearheading the development of sales, customer support, and client acquisition strategies. His previous experience also encompasses a successful tenure at Spark New Zealand, where he led a team of sales and consulting professionals as Northern Regional Sales Manager for CCL, helping businesses leverage the power of Cloud Services.

Equipped with a strong technical foundation, Adam possesses a deep understanding of technologies including AI/ML, Cloud, SaaS, PaaS, and Infrastructure. He is also a Spark-certified Agile Coach, bringing valuable insights to navigate today's fast-paced business environment.

Adam fosters a positive and results-oriented team culture, recognized for his approachable style and unwavering commitment to customer centricity.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family, exploring the open road on his motorcycle, staying active with weight training, and tackling DIY projects.