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COMO Business Times - The 20 Under 40 Issue - May 2024
Monday, April 15, 2024
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Enola-Riann White

Senior Associate, New Chapter Coaching and Executive Director, Columbia Entertainment Company

Enola’s heart beats nonprofits, and the love of arts and theater runs through her veins. 

“I am most proud of our commitment at Columbia Entertainment Company to produce or workshop all of August Wilson’s 10 plays in The American Century Cycle. His plays document the African American-Black experience through the 20th century. Since I joined the CEC play selection committee, I’ve worked hard to make sure the shows we do represent everyone in the community we serve,” Enola says. 

Besides her love for theater, and being passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion, Enola has set some professional goals for herself as well.

“I want to build my professional network and increase my emotional intelligence. I love learning new things so I’m looking forward to finding professional development opportunities that will help me understand people better so I can be a more effective communicator,” she says. “By doing that, I’ll be able to create and sustain more substantial relationships with those in my professional network.” 

Enola calls herself a military kid and credits her parents for much of where she is today.

“I got to interact with different types of people from various backgrounds and cultures. My parents specifically raised me with the mindset that learning with and from others is the best way to go through life,” she explains. “I firmly believe this is why I chose to work in the fields of nonprofit and diversity, equity, and inclusion. My parents taught me that I am stronger because of the people around me. We all become our best selves when we realize the various strengths we bring to the table and find ways to work together to achieve a common goal.” 

There are many people who sing Enola’s praises.

“Enola is a rare balance of compassion and justice. She cares for her friends, employees, and coworkers, often anonymously – without seeking praise,” says Matt Fetterly. “She spent over a decade recruiting students and performing diversity equity and inclusion work for the University of Missouri before taking up a similar role at Columbia Independent School. As of 2022, she works with nonprofits in Columbia and around the country to strengthen and balance communities.”

Enola says that her life mission is to treat others with respect and to make a meaningful impact by making someone happy, adding, “I believe that our actions speak volumes about our character.”

Age: 37

Pet peeve: It’s something I see everywhere, but most commonly in an audition: over apologizing. Being nervous for an audition is natural, we’re human. Don’t apologize for it.

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