Duneland Chamber exec will head Northwest Indiana Forum

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Beginning in early April, Heather Ennis will take over as the new president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Indiana Forum, a regional economic development organization. | Supplied Photo

The board of the Northwest Indiana Forum recently announced that Heather Ennis will be the new president and chief executive officer of the regional economic development organization.

Ennis, the first woman to lead the group, will take the helm in early April.

“Heather brings an excellent set of skills to the position,” Jill E. Ritchie, chair of the forum’s board, said in a news release. “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 environment.”

The board approved a search committee’s recommendation to hire Ennis at its Feb. 28 meeting. The committee noted that Ennis’ experience with organizational operations, capital investments, community partnerships, and business attraction and retention will add to the depth of expertise currently on staff.

“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 in the news release. “This is an amazing opportunity to build upon the many accomplishments of the Forum.”

Ennis was executive director of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, and president of the Duneland Economic Development Corporation. Her focus was improving the quality of life and breadth of economic opportunity in the five lakefront municipalities of Beverly Shores; Burns Harbor; Chesterton; Dune Acres; and Porter.

Additionally, she was a member of the Northwest Indiana Forum Economic Development Committee; the Porter County Economic Development Alliance; and the Porter County Jobs Cabinet.

Ennis replaces the Forum’s previous president and CEO, Mark Maassel, who left in the fall to become vice president of the Indiana Energy Association, a trade group.