After not quite six
years as executive director of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce--during
which time she spearheaded a renaissance in the Chamber, oversaw a boom in
membership, and introduced numerous initiatives--Heather Ennis is moving to
Today the Northwest
Indiana Forum announced that its board has named Ennis the organization’s
new president and CEO.
Ennis will be the
first woman to helm the Northwest Indiana Forum, the region’s economic
development arm. She will assume her responsibilities early in April.
“Heather brings an
excellent set of skills to the position,” Forum Board Chair Jill Ritchie
said in a statement released this morning. “We look forward to her
leadership in carrying out the Forum’s mission to foster a positive business
climate and attract investment and quality jobs in harmony with the
Managing Board of Directors approved Ennis’ hire on Friday, after the Search
Committee noted that her “experience with organizational operations, capital
investments, community partnerships, and business attraction/retention will
add to the depth of expertise currently on staff,” the statement said.
“I am honored to be
selected for this position and look forward to working with the Board,
members, and staff in moving the organization and Northwest Indiana
forward,” Ennis said. “This is an amazing opportunity to build upon the many
accomplishments of the Forum.”
Two past presidents
of the Chamber told the Chesterton Tribune that Ennis was
instrumental in the Chamber’s recent growth and new prominence.
“While we don’t
want to see her go, after five and a half years Heather Ennis is leaving the
Duneland Chamber in the best financial position in its history,” said Jim
Anton of Anton Insurance Agency. “I’m very proud to have been a member of
the team that selected her and to have served as president during her time
as executive director.”
“Heather Ennis is
an asset and that Chamber has some big shoes to fill,” Anton added. “She’ll
be missed at the community level but Duneland businesses just gained a
champion on the regional level.”
“I wish Heather
great success in her new employment,” said Chuck Parkinson of Harris Welsh &
Lukmann. “She brought the Chamber to new levels of service to its members.
While she will be missed, I am hopeful that the Chamber can continue to
experience growth based upon the programs she implemented.”
previously served as a member of the Northwest Indiana Forum Economic
Development Committee, the Porter County Economic Development Alliance, and
the Porter County Jobs Cabinet.
“Her passion for
community building and economic development stems from her husband and young
son and a commitment to raise her family in Northwest Indiana to strengthen
the region for the next generation,” the statement said.