danielle smith

Chief Executive Officer

Danielle Smith is the inaugural CEO of Sunshine Coast Lightning, appointed in September 2016.  Danielle was also a board director of Lightning’s owner, NRL club, Melbourne Storm from 2014 to April 2022. 

Her career spans more than 20 years working across a broad range of industries including sport, major events, management consulting, consumer products and chartered accounting.  After commencing her career with big four advisory firm KPMG, Danielle’s career has included senior roles with Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Geelong Football Club and global whitegoods giant, Whirlpool. 

Danielle joined the Melbourne Storm Group in 2011, commencing as Chief Financial Officer with her role then expanding to Chief Operating Officer, before relocating to Queensland to take on the role of CEO of Sunshine Coast Lightning. 

During her time as CEO, Lightning has become the most successful professional sporting start-up in Australian history, competing in three successive grand finals, winning back-to-back premierships in 2017 and 2018, and the minor premiership in 2019. 

Danielle is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors program (GAICD), a chartered accountant (CA) with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Monash University.