LONDON, ONT -- The London Downtown Business Association along with MainStreet London, which together are known as Downtown London, has announced their new executive director.

Barbara Maly has been named as the executive director after an extensive hiring process.

Previously Maly working for 14 years in municipal and economic development at the City of Guelph.

Maly grew up in Chatham-Kent before heading to Guelph for school, she also has a graduate certificate in leadership from Western University.

Her hiring comes following a year of turmoil at the organization that saw CEO and general manager Janette MacDonald leave.

MacDonald was the face of the organization for 17 years, overseeing a number of revitalization initiatives for the Business Improvement Area, but growing unrest among merchants and property owners came to a head in 2019.