Ennis, dean of students at Bevill State Community College, has been associated with the chamber for many years and said she is honored to serve as the group’s chair.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity, and I’m excited about the future of our Chamber,” Ennis said.
The chamber is in the final stages of Focus Walker County, a five-year strategic plan, which has attempted to boost the local economy through workforce development, legislative advocacy, tourism and retail business growth. Ennis served as the leader of the workforce development/education initiative.
“I think Focus Walker County has been a big success,” she said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, and I believe we’ve laid the groundwork for future growth in our area.”
Ennis said her involvement with the initiative has hammered home certain needs in the community.
“Working in education, I’ve seen these needs for a while, but working with Focus Walker County has made those needs even more clear to me,” she said. “We need a trained workforce. If we don’t have that, we aren’t going to see the growth we are hoping for. I believe we are definitely moving in the right direction in that area, but it still needs to be emphasized.”
As a part of the Focus campaign, Ennis was instrumental in designing a calendar that highlighted careers in Walker County as well as urged children to read. Ennis has also been active in the Chamber’s Leadership Walker County, Youth Leadership Walker County, Groundhog Job Shadow Day and Leader in Me programs.
Linda Lewis, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, said Ennis has already proven that she is a leader in the community and within the chamber.
“I have worked with Kim Ennis for over 15 years on various programs, boards and events. She has proven leadership skills to take this chamber forward,” Lewis said. “It will be a pleasure working with her to develop future programs and maintain the quality of life for all Walker County.”