Experienced. Curious. Informed.

Plants

experienced. curious. informed.

cultivators.

our people

GARY GRAY

Managing Director

Since founding SMC, Gary’s creative and strategic insight has continued to energise all that the company undertakes. He has now led SMC’s projects in Australia, Asia and other parts of the world for over two decades. 
Gary works closely with executive teams of many major Australian sporting organisations and their corporate partners, including Tennis Australia, Cricket Victoria, Netball Victoria, Australian Grand Prix Corporation and West Coast Eagles. He has also successfully driven international projects with clients including New Zealand TAB, Singapore Pools and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Gary was instrumental in establishing Melbourne’s first professional Super Rugby team, Melbourne Rebels, and is a founding Board member. He has also served as Chairman of the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) and is a life member of the Thoroughbred Trainers and Owners Association (TROA).
Gary’s sought after business acumen, leadership and creative skills shape a diverse range of SMC activity, including strategic project development.

Prior to establishing SMC, Gary enjoyed a successful acting career that commenced at childhood and saw him appear in leading roles in classic Australian television series including Bellbird, Skippy, Homicide, Division 4 and Prisoner. At age 22, Gary also co-produced the Bellbird feature film, Country Town.

BEN TATTERSON

Director

Ben’s outstanding capacities, comprehensive knowledge of the sports business landscape, government engagement and strategic communication skills are invaluable to SMC clients.

Ben has led SMC’s work over the past eight years in the sports infrastructure sphere, including State Netball & Hockey Centre, Simonds Stadium Stage 4, the Victorian Cricket & Community Centre and Tennis Australia’s National Infrastructure Plan. Ben became a Director at SMC in 2011, after spending a number of years in government advisor roles in both Australia and the United Kingdom. 

As an honours graduate in both Business Management and Arts, Ben commenced his career in the U.K. where he was engaged as a Policy Advisor in the House of Lords, working on major public inquiries, such as Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Hutton Inquiry and other related commissions. Ben also helped to establish the UK Post-Graduate Medical Educational Training Board and after returning to Australia, was appointed to the role of Policy Adviser in the Victorian Government in the areas of wagering policy, veterans’ affairs and not-for profits.
Ben has been a Board Member of the Jigsaw Foundation and the Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation since 2012.

ANGELA STAROPOLI

Business Manager

Angela has been an integral member of the SMC team for over 20 years.  Her expert financial skills, services and advice have led the company through various stages of growth and diversification. 

Angela plays a vital role in relationship management for SMC and its clients. She is fundamental to driving the business and is also a key contributor to project planning and management.

Angela has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and, together with her partner Joe, has also established and operated leading restaurants in Melbourne, including the renowned Cafe Terroni in Yarraville.

ROD HOWARD

Creative Director

Rod leads SMC Strategies' creative  communications arm.  His storytelling  expertise and intuitive approach provides SMC’s clients with unique capacity to connect with target audiences.

This includes creative strategy and direction, brand and identity development, government, corporate and stakeholder relations and the delivery of key communications across all channels. Rod has also been responsible for developing the company's signature Cultivate methodology.

Rod studied arts and law at the University of Melbourne and his previous roles have included journalist, author, CEO of a peak NSW regional arts council and head communications positions for Australian publishing companies. 

Rod has written for Australia's leading print and online media and is the award-winning author of numerous books including The Fabulist (Random House), A Forger’s Tale (Arcade Books) and The Man Who Invented Vegemite (Allen & Unwin). He is a peer of the Australia Council for the Arts and is represented by literary agents Curtis Brown Australia.

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