Christine Gaskell, member of the board of Bentley Motors in Crewe, has been named the chairman of the local enterprise partnership for Cheshire & Warrington.
Gaskell was elected at a meeting of the board that includes senior figures recruited from both the private and public sectors.
As one of the private sector board members, she is responsible for some 3,500 employees worldwide at Bentley Motors and been on its board since 1996.
Gaskell is also chairman of the trustees of the £550m Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors Pension Fund, and is actively involved in the company's community-based programmes.
She is an ambassador for the apprenticeship network and also on the board of Business Link North West.
Speaking after her appointment at the first LEP meeting, held at The Cottons Hotel in Knutsford over the weekend, she said: "Like all my fellow board members, I have been heavily involved in the Cheshire and Warrington region for many years and know well the talent, enthusiasm and aspirations of those who live and work here.
"We have a very clear mission; create jobs. Every member of the board will do their utmost to ensure every opportunity is taken to boost the local economy, creating high value employment which will improve the prosperity of the region."
The board members were announced in January. They include:
- Howard Hopwood, chairman of Harman Technology, who was elected vice-chairman.
- Robert Davis, chief executive of EA Technology
- Graham Ramsbottom, managing director of Grosvenor Estates
- Wesley Fitzgerald, leader of Cheshire East Council
- Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council
- Ian Marks, leader of Warrington Council
- Nigel Schofield, managing director of Northenden Travel Group
- Martin Ashcroft, managing director of Brunner Mond
- Pete Waterman, of Pete Waterman Entertainments
- Louise Morrissey, director of Peel Holdings
- Alison Roylance, chief executive of Cheshire Community Action
- Timothy Wheeler, vice chancellor of Chester University
- Sara Mogel, principal of West Cheshire College
Local enterprise partnerships are set to replace regional development agencies which are in the process of being wound down and will close in March next year.