Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.
Ruth Ross will succeed Richard Sheehan when he retires from the role at the end of March after nearly 16 years with the organisation.
Ruth, who joined the Chamber in 2015, was appointed deputy chief executive earlier this year, having previously fulfilled a variety of roles including membership recruitment, skills and compliance, and director of business.
She said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been given the opportunity to lead this fantastic team.
“This is a challenging climate for our business community, but it is at times of economic struggle that the support and backing of a member organisation like Shropshire Chamber really comes into its own.
“Collectively we can fight the county’s corner and lobby our decision-makers – and we will continue to listen to our members and partners to shape our services in a way which best meets their needs.
“I am passionate about everything that Shropshire Chamber of Commerce stands for, and am dedicated to supporting the local business community.”
Piran Littleton, Shropshire Chamber’s president, said: “The board of directors unanimously agreed to appoint Ruth as Richard’s successor.
“She has been taking increasing day-to-day operational responsibility for Chamber activities over recent months, and has flourished in her latest role.
“Ruth’s appointment will deliver important continuity, and will ensure that it is very much business-as-usual for our members, patrons and partners.”
Mr Sheehan will be taking a step back from his day-to-day role at the Chamber for the final months of his term to focus on leading the development and delivery of a Local Skills Improvement Plan for the Marches area.
The plan, funded by the Department for Education and being led by Shropshire Chamber, aims to put the voice of employers at the heart of the learning and skills system to build stronger partnership with further education providers.
Mr Sheehan said: “Much has changed in our economy, and indeed our county, since my arrival at Shropshire Chamber, but one thing has remained constant – our determination to connect, support and inform businesses to help them navigate the best path forward.
“I had absolutely no hesitation in endorsing Ruth as my successor. She has worked incredibly hard during her seven years with us, and I know that the Chamber will be in safe hands under her stewardship.”