Grills will join the landscape industry organisation from sector skills council Lantra, where he is currently managing director of Lantra Awards.
Before his five-year tenure at the skills council, Grills held positions as chief executive and managing director at two other qualifications-awarding bodies.
BALI chairman Paul Cowell said Grills would be a hands-on manager based at Landscape House, the organisation's head office in Stoneleigh, with responsibility for the overall running of the association, delivering the strategic plan and ensuring that the BALI team were focused and supported.
Cowell added: "Grills was selected following a very thorough and open recruitment process. He has an excellent understanding of the landscaping industry and skills training and has demonstrated astute commercial and people management capability."