Home is where her heart is…

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Featured

Published on February 14, 2012 with No Comments

They say home is where the heart is and, for some, this is a lesson best learned while traveling.

Heather Ennis, executive director of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, has developed a reputation of enthusiasm and leadership, attributes which clearly stand out through her work in the community.

Through her efforts, she has made strides in bringing the towns and communities within her reach closer together, encouraging economic growth and camaraderie.

The youngest of five children, Ennis grew up in the Duneland area and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. After graduating, Ennis moved away for 10 years, spending most of her time working in the manufacturing industry as a sales person. Ennis traveled all over the country.  Although it was exciting and a unique opportunity to visit new places, it wasn’t until she met her husband that she decided to stop traveling as much and to stay local.

 “Having the opportunity to live and work in the area I grew up in makes a big difference to me. My son goes to the same elementary school as I did and that’s a special thing to appreciate,” said Ennis.

After making her move back to the Duneland area, Ennis began working at her current position. It was a perfect fit. It allows her to positively influence the area she grew up in, lives in and shares with her family. As she says, “it gives her a stronger vested interest” in the duties of her job.

“My goal, and the goal of our board, was to have a more cohesive Duneland community where the towns are working together. All the municipalities, Dune Acres, Beverly Shores, Chesterton, Burns Harbor, have the opportunity to do so much more together,” said Ennis.

Constantly on the move in one capacity or another, Ennis is a woman who wears many hats, treads many paths and is always moving forward.

She was formerly part of Rebuilding Together Duneland and is currently a member of the Porter County Economic Development Alliance. She also works with the Porter County Coalition for Affordable Housing, the Duneland Economic Development Company, she’s part of the grant committee for the Porter County Community Foundation, the brand leadership team for Chesterton, Porter and Burns Harbor. Ennis also works with the Regional Development Company and the Dunes-Kankakee Trail Committee.

Through all of her positions, Ennis works to make the area a better place to live.

“It’s great people getting together to do great things and none of us could do them alone,” said Ennis. “It’s nice to see that everyone is realizing that we can do more together. It’s an understanding that we’re greater than the sum of our parts.”

Recently, Ennis was named to the Porter County Job Creation Panel. The panel’s focus is on promotion of “shovel ready” development sites. It’s their job to help make the area more lucrative to potential developers. Ennis works to promote the area’s available properties. She meets with small business owners to discuss their needs and how to achieve them.

 “I’m excited to be asked to serve. I think we have such a great area in Porter County and having a strong cohesive plan will allow us to utilize our strengths more effectively,” said Ennis. “We have a lot of land, and people are looking for pre-developed properties. We’re excited for the next couple years and as development happens we expect growth in this area.”

Ennis hopes to foster a communal environment that’s both vibrant and supportive. It’s her goal, and that of the various organizations she works with, to create an economic culture that is more diverse.

 If the progress that has already been made is any indication, the future is bright for the Duneland communities.

For more information, call 219-926-5513 or visit www.dunelandchamber.com.

Share This Article

About Nicholas Serrano

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Home is where her heart is…. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.