Colette Garnsey has become the first female to chair the Australian Wool Innovation after Wal Merriman stepped down from the not-for-profit company on November 9.
Mr Merriman joined the AWI board in 2004 and has been chairman since 2008.
He will remain a director of AWI, with his role as director to be determined by AWI shareholders when he retires by rotation at the annual general meeting late next year.
Ms Garnsey, whose early childhood was spent on sheep properties in western NSW and who has 39 years of experience in the retail, wholesale, distribution and marketing sectors, has been on the board since 2010 and has been deputy chair since last year.
Ms Garnsey, who will take on the role immediately, said as the new chair she was committed to listening to woolgrowers and AWI shareholders, ensuring their views were heard at board level.
She said one of the company’s highest priorities was responding to, and actioning, the 82 recommendations of the Review of Performance commissioned by the Federal Government.
AWI shareholders will have an opportunity to hear from the new chair and fellow directors at the annual general meeting in Sydney on November 23.
Ms Garnsey said the company would soon announce the results of the WoolPoll vote of levy-payers.
She said 13506 levy payers had voted by the close of voting.