Warren chamber director banking on communication for growth

Feb. 04, 2013 @ 06:57 PM

Tim Ennis brings a lifetime of business experience to his job as executive director of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

Ennis moved to Warren County two years ago at the urging of his sister, Nancy Schuerch, who operates Tranquil Palms Bodywork Therapy in Warrenton. He brought his Internet business with him.

When Jana Miller announced her retirement as executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, he decided to apply.

Since assuming the position on Jan. 2, he has added four memberships.

“I’m working on three or four more,” he added.

He has spent a good deal of his time visiting businesses in Warren County.

“I like to learn people,” he said.

As he gets to know them, he feels he is in a better position to help them promote their business.

“I’m willing to work with every business,” he said. “I just want Warren County’s businesses to grow.”

He also wants to work with the towns in the county. He is offering support to Norlina as it prepares for its centennial festival in February, for example.

Ennis sees the quiet atmosphere of Warren County as an asset to build on. The business community can benefit by offering good products and services delivered in a congenial setting.

“People come into a business for a purpose,” he said. “They can always go somewhere else. Service and communication are the key.”

Ennis said he literally grew up in business. It began in the restaurant run by his parents. He learned a lot about business from his mother and father, he said.

“By age 9, I was learning to cook,” Ennis said.

Ennis was born in Philadelphia but grew up in Harnett County, where his parents moved when he was 7 years old.

His father had a heart attack when Ennis was 12.

“We all had to grow up then,” he said.

After graduating from high school, Ennis started his business career. His experience includes selling electronics for Sears and working as a manager in a pizza chain and in a restaurant chain.

While he was with Sears, he became the top salesman in the 11 stores in the district. Part of his success, he said, was because he wouldn’t direct a customer to an inferior product.

“If they came in asking for it, I would sell it to them,” Ennis said. “But I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t believe in.”

Integrity in business was the first lesson his parents taught him.

“My father told me, ‘Your name will take you places, good or bad,’” Ennis said.

Using his varied experience, he went into business for himself and became active in the Angier business community, including a term as president of the local Chamber of Commerce.

“For 14 years, I ran a tanning salon and a video store,” Ennis said.

After selling the businesses, he cured his boredom by setting up a business buying and selling on the Internet. Some of the transactions are his own, but he also sells for other people.

“With the volume I do, I can get special rates,” he said.

At present, the chamber office is open three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. He can be reached on those days at (252) 257-2657.

Ennis is looking forward to the time when the office will be open five days a week. It depends on growth, both of business and the chamber.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.