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‘Roast a la Mize’

Local community leader to get her ‘just desserts’
“Me, Jane.”
So bragged Tarzan’s mate. But the confidence applies to a more civilized Jane –– Ennis’ own Jane Mize.
Marketing director for Ennis Regional Medical Center, president of the Ennis Rotary Club and the vision and might behind a stable of charitable agencies, Alabama-bred Mize is one of the Bluebonnet City’s most diligent community leaders.
Partly due to her regular contributions as a columnist for the Ennis Daily News, she’s also become one of the most recognizable local public figures.
The fact is being embraced by organizers of the Greater Ennis United Way’s upcoming fundraiser –– an event that will lovingly target Mize, a board member for six years, with a “Media Madness”-themed roast.
“I’m not too worried about that,” Mize said. “I’m a big girl. I am sure that fun will be made of me for having my picture in the paper so much, and for being involved in a lot of things. I hope I can take it!”
As the Feb. 21 event goes into preparation, Mize said she considers it will end up a bittersweet occasion.
The roast will be fun, she explained, but it also marks her retirement (at least temporarily) from the Greater Ennis United Way board, something she doesn’t look forward to.
Recently Mize spoke with the Ennis Daily News about her life, work and the love she has for the city that’s become her home.

• • •

Ennis Daily News: You are originally from Alabama, right?
Jane Mize: Yes, but we’ve lived in Texas much longer than we ever did in Alabama, so we claim Texas as home.
EDN: I heard you were a great-grandmother.
Mize: Yes, I have two sons, Craig and Mike, four grandchildren, Rachel, Ryan, Lori and Adam, and I have two great-grandchildren, Hailey and Logan.
EDN: Tell about your upbringing.
Mize: My father was a policeman and my mother was a schoolteacher and principal. I started going with Mom to school when I was 2; never missed a day. And I started school myself when I was 4. I used to cry at Christmas vacation and really had a “hissy-fit” when we let out for summer. I loved school. My parents taught me tenacity –– that if you want to do something badly enough you can do it.
EDN: Did they support your interest in having a professional career?
Mize: Very much so. I got my associates degree before I finished high school!
EDN: As a marketing director, have you always worked in healthcare?
Mize: During the years my husband Marlin was in the Air Force I was a legal assistant. Then, quite by accident, I got into hospital marketing. The administrator at the hospital where I was a buyer called me into his office, and asked if I would take over the PR department. That was in 1980. I said “yes” without hesitation, and I’ve been in it ever since.
EDN: What do you feel about women achieving in the business world? Have you faced prejudices in the past?
Mize: I believe people, male or female, can accomplish whatever they’re willing to work for in the business world. I have never had to deal with gender prejudice. My mother, holding a principal’s position at a time when almost all principals were men, was my example that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I was willing to work hard for it. That’s just as true today as it was then and will be tomorrow.
EDN: What’s your advice to young women pursuing a business career today?
Mize: The biggest recipe for success is hard work and loyalty to your employer.
EDN: Talk about your interest in journalism.
Mize: I started writing for the local newspaper when I was in high school. I was also on the school paper and annual staff and –– now, don’t laugh –– I used to write extensive essays on a variety of topics, whatever caught my fancy! Sound familiar? My associates degree is in journalism and it was my minor for BS, MS, and PhD. I really appreciate EDN for letting me write for your wonderful newspaper. My husband keeps telling me I should write a book, but that wouldn’t be as much fun to me as writing for the paper.
EDN: How important is community involvement?
Mize: I have always been a huge proponent of giving back to my community, but that feeling increased when we came to Ennis in 2002. I never feel like I do enough to pay the community back for giving us the privilege of living here, but I’ll keep trying.
EDN: What has the Greater Ennis United Way meant to you?
Mize: There are so many fine organizations with which I have been affiliated over the years, but none has touched my heart as strongly as the Greater Ennis United Way. I know it’s going to be very emotional for me in May when I have to rotate off. Yes, I’ll cry, because I’m leaving an organization that’s very dear to me, but also because I’ll miss the wonderful people who make up this board.

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Posted by on Jan 28 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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