Leadership Ennis attendees had busy agendas during December and January, with additional activities planned between now and their May graduation.

“These leadership sessions, are most beneficial to our Leadership Ennis members, who gain key internal concepts and valuable wisdom in experiencing each aspect of this program,” said Jeannette Patak, president of the Ennis Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the program.

Members in this session of Leadership Ennis include Cody Herndon, Matt Keever, Sam Ventura, Joann Ventura, Laurie Mah, Jess Haupt, Julie Pierce, Cathy Nick and Amy Womack.

December’s agenda included “Tourism and Hospitality Day,” sponsored by Arden Insurance Agency. After a breakfast and a tour of Quality Inn, hosted by general manager Bryan Ozymy, leadership members heard from speaker Julian Grant, assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, who discussed the hotel/motel tax. Later in the morning, the group toured the Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum and the Ennis Public Library. They were informed of various highlights of the library, where they also watched a slide presentation on tourism by Gina Rokas, CVB director.

A Christmas party luncheon was held at the Wildflower Café, followed by a tour of the home of James and Patricia Youngblood.  

At the chamber office in the afternoon, the group participated in a panel discussion on tourism in Ennis. Panelists discussed the history of popular Ennis attractions and how they affect the local economy. The panelists included Sandy Anderson, representing the Ennis Garden Club and its annual Bluebonnet Trails and Festival; Betty Glaspy, director of the Ennis Tourism Commission; Greg Griffin of the Texas Motorplex; Larry Laznovsky, representing the National Polka Festival Committee; and Dorie Murphy, park ranger at Lake Bardwell for the Corps of Engineers.

January’s agenda highlighted “Nonprofits, Quality of Life and Community History,” with the schedule of events sponsored by Allen Samuels Autoplex. The group toured several of the community’s nonprofits, including Helping Hands of Ennis and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ennis, as well as taking part in an extended tour of St. John Catholic Church and School facilities. After lunching at the Wildflower Café, the Leadership Ennis class attended an art exhibition at La Galleria in Ennis. Their final destination was a tour of the new Gingerbread House children’s advocacy center in Waxahachie.  

“Touring the nonprofit agencies gave the Leadership Ennis group an opportunity to be educated about their services and to learn the impact of nonprofits agencies on the populations they serve,” Patak said.