After a tornado swept through downtown Ennis, Angie Juenemann took an interest in local government. She had a vision for the impaired town and would later exude that perception as the first female mayor for the City of Ennis.
Her roots run deep in Ennis with both of her parents raised in the small town full of Czech heritage. She has even lived in her parent’s home all but eight years of her life. So when her beloved Ennis was damaged by the twister in 2013, she did everything to refurbish the area.
Her thought process was to use the travesty as an opportunity to redefine and grow, instead of letting the town dry out. The natural disaster was a turning point in her eyes.
Following her election in 2016, Juenemann thinks "attitudes have changed. So I think the impact I have made is that people are engaged. People are excited.”
“People are dreaming again. They are just lit up with the possibilities of what is going on and what the future holds.”
The path to mayorship began when she attended a session of the Ennis City Commissioner, which acts as a city council, on whether to doze the damaged office buildings or to save its existence. This discussion sparked Juenemann to attend the monthly meetings.
Even though she had served on several boards throughout the city, she had never attended a city commissioners meeting. She knew her voice had to be heard.
Before Juenemann knew it, her life was in harmony. Everything was lining up, and the former long-tenured mayor decided to not run for re-election. Serving in leadership roles was always her purgative. So running for mayor cam naturally.
Though, the thought had never crossed her mind before.
“Being mayor was never on my agenda, believe me,” she iterated.
The cards soon fell into place and Juenemann recalled she"had this voice inside" that insisted, "you must do this."
Friends and family supported her. Her husband was naturally protective. Juenemann said the two went back and forth with the idea to run for mayor. After she drove alone to Virginia Beach and visited with family, she came to the realization that it was time to throw her name into the hat.
She ran against one other opponent with several years of experience. Not only did her gender set her aside, but her fresh outlook and campaign signs did, too.
Soon, yellow, turquoise, white and orange signs dispersed around town. Her campaign slogan was “Expect More.”
When the votes were finally tallied, Juenemann recalled feeling that “tt was breaking the glass ceiling for women because it’s not about that [gender] but, it really is.”
Juenemann focuses on bringing people together and making everyone feel important because that’s her view of the Ennis community.
She elaborated on how the foundation of her leadership style is respect.
“I think it is very important to be authentic and always to be who you are. And I think if you are authentic, people are attracted to you especially if you care and if you listen,” she elaborated.
Reflecting on the first two years in office, she’s learned the importance of living in the moment instead of thinking about what’s next. Juenemann is a successful financial advisor and serves on several boards. She said that’s when the female inherited trait of multitasking is useful.
“If in a leadership position, you have to have vision and purpose,” Juenemann elaborated, “Not just for what’s happening now, but in two years, in four years and 10 years and 30 years. Because we are building for our children’s children.”
Her advice to the younger female generations is to “use the skills that you have to do the job. Some traits that people see at weaknesses are strengths. Be strong and have conviction, speak up, use your voice, but be compassionate.”
Looking back before campaigning and then optimizing the current election, she ensured the position of mayor is where she’s supposed to be.
“I never felt called to step up to the next thing as far as this, because my job in leadership was supposed to be the mayor of this town," Juenemann said. "I now know that. It is to serve the community I grew up in, that I love, and that I can feel like I can affect the most change.”
Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450