The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce announced Keanin Loomis as its new president and CEO Thursday.
Loomis is currently the chief operating officer for the Innovation Factory, the regional innovation centre.
"I'm very honoured and humbled with the confidence that they have in me," Loomis said Thursday afternoon.
The 38-year-old served as chair of the Chamber's Innovation Technology committee, and knows the innovation community well. One of his first tasks will be to get acquainted with the rest of the Chamber's membership.
"I have a good understanding of what the issues are from the innovation community and a good part of the Chamber community, but not the full Chamber community," he said. "For the first little bit, it'll be about listening and assessing, and from there the direction the organization should go."
Prior to relocating to Hamilton, Loomis practiced law for five years in Washington D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and the William and Mary School of Law in the U.S. Loomis said his education in political science and law fit with his new responsibilities well.
"What I'm really looking forward to is policy matters," he said. "Working with councillors and other members... That's really what my background is."
Loomis already has a list of issues he plans to take on. The Chamber has already taken a leadership role with extended public transit and a local LRT, he said. Loomis will also pursue the city's Open for Business review that looks into regulatory matters to cut the red tape for starting a new business.
Another issue that is close to his heart is complete streets.
"It's an equity issue and health issue and a safety issue," Loomis said. "But it's also an economic and small business issue."
Loomis succeeds David Adames as president and CEO. Adames, who took reins of the Chamber in July 2011, resigned in February to join the Niagara Parks Commission as their senior director of business development.
Loomis' responsibilities will ramp up almost immediately, with the Hamilton Economic Summit happening next Thursday, May 9. He officially assumes his new position on June 3.