25 January 2023

Mike Johnson steps in as Acting CEO at SME Gateway

| Dione David
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Headshot of SME Gateway Acting CEO Mike Johnson

SME Gateway Acting CEO Mike Johnson. Photo: SME Gateway.

SME Gateway, one of Australia’s premier member organisations representing the interests of small to medium enterprises to federal government and Defence, has appointed Mike Johnson as Acting CEO.

Mr Johnson came to SME Gateway in 2020 with extensive experience in senior positions for a range of companies in the defence industry and beyond, including his years on the board of directors at the Australian Defence Information and Electronic Systems Association (ADIESA).

His years guiding the operations of the business as COO made him the natural choice to fill the interim role following the retirement of Stuart Althaus.

Mr Johnson said, aside from the opportunity to maintain SME Gateway’s business-as-usual activities, he looked forward to “establishing new ways of engaging with our members, clients and the broader Defence industry”.

“We’ve been looking at ways our members could receive even more value from their partnership with SME Gateway,” he said.

“Throughout 2023 we’ll be introducing a new range of engagement and education activities.”

These will include informal and formal education sessions and member networking events, member forums and the introduction of an important new function in the SME Gateway Member Portal.

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Expected to roll out in June this year, the new feature will allow members to list their capabilities, products and contact details to other members on the portal, allowing them to identify opportunities where collaboration could enhance their offering.

“While the SME Gateway Member Portal has made it easier for members to provide their services to our government, defence and industry clients, members have told us there would be additional benefit in being able to identify and connect with complementary businesses,” Mr Johnson explained.

“It could be that another business has complementary capabilities or on-bench resources available to be utilised. So instead of only being able to look forward, we’ve put some work into updating the member portal to allow our members to look laterally as well, and identify those opportunities.

“Essentially they’ll be able to advertise not only to our government, defence and industry clients but offer their services sideways to other members as well.”

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Mr Johnson, whose specialisations include corporate strategy, data discovery and analysis, strategic communications and aerospace, said in the coming year SME Gateway would continue to explore exposure opportunities for members.

This will include an appearance at the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition, Avalon, next month.

“SME Gateway will participate in Avalon 2023 to raise its brand profile amongst air domain clients, ensuring our members have enhanced exposure to opportunities in this exciting and important Defence sector,” he said.

Mr Johnson said with the increasing value of home-grown ideas and domestic manufacturing, SMEs would play a critical role in the nation’s economic stability.

“I believe SMEs are a critical part of Australia’s sovereign input to capability and, as a collective, will provide material value to the federal government and the broader economy,” he said.

For more information visit SME Gateway

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