Mark Odegard still remembers his first time in Ennis – as a child in 1945, driving through on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. Later, his family would come out for a week every summer to fish and stay in the Riverside Cabins. After school and a career that took him all over the world, he made a more permanent move to Ennis in 2005.
His days volunteering go all the way back to high school where he was in the DeMolay and Key Club. Throughout his career and career moves he’s managed to find outlets to give to, primarily through politics and political conventions. “I am a Chevalier of the DeMolay,” he said. “We took an oath to help younger people. For example, I mentored a smart, young black woman at the Democratic Senatorial Convention.” Politics has always been of interest to Odegard and part of his life since high school, he said.
Odegard also reviews papers for many scientific journals and has worked on several scientific committees. He’s served on several planning commissions and advisory commissions, most recently stepping up to serve on the Ennis Zoning Commission.
“Obviously I think volunteering is important,” he said. “It’s a way of giving back to the community, state, nation and world. All need help.”
Having recently attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation, Odegard is taking what he learned and applying that to his new role on the zoning commission. “One thing that was mentioned (at the conference) was the effects on tourism and recreation of global warming,” he said. “I’m putting reports together on that and another potential problem area for Ennis.”
Odegard said simply paying taxes is not a way to give to your community. “Everyone should give back unless they physically or mentally can’t,” he said. “Just paying taxes does not make us and the world better.”