The Committee for Ballarat has selected Damian Ross as its new chair.
According to a media release, Mr Ross is a former executive at Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Ballarat, who is now working as leadership and governance consultant.
He has had a long involvement with the Committee as a member of the Connectivity Project Team, and formerly as a board member - he has been public in his advocacy for improved rail connections between Ballarat and Melbourne.
The position has been vacant for some months since former chair David Deutscher stepped down - Mr Ross will begin in the role on February 1, serving with current chief executive Michael Poulton.
Mr Ross said in a statement the appointment is a "privilege".
"(The) Committee has an important role to play in guiding and progressing key projects that are of social and economic benefit to our region," he said.
"This is especially important in the post COVID-19 recovery period and given the population growth forecasts.
"While supporting growth and development, we need to ensure that we retain our enviable lifestyle."
Interim chair Rodney Walton said Mr Ross is "passionate about our region".
"(He) will bring to the board table considerable commercial experience, an inclusive and collaborative leadership style, and a strong belief and understanding of the critical role that (the) Committee plays in the region," he said in a statement.
The search for a new chair began in November - Mr Walton said at the time he hoped the successful candidate would continue to build on the Committee's advocacy for the city.
"We go beyond the council elections, the state elections, the federal elections," he said.
"They could make a generational impact."
"The city is poised at the moment, ready to take that next big step," she said.
"It was such a privilege to sit at the boardroom table with all the top CEOs in the city, giving their time, coming together as a collective - education, health, the water authority, big business, council - all sitting around the table planning for the future, and that's why the Committee is there.
"The city is at the crossroads, so we need the right person in place."
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