Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission names new CEO: Environmental engineer Eric Zakrewski succeeds Doug Murray as head of city's economic development commission.

AuthorRoss, Ian

The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) has once again turned to the private sector ranks for someone to lead the department.

Well-known local professional engineer Eric Zakrewski was selected by the commission's board of directors to succeed Doug Murray, a former forest industry executive, who is retiring.

The announcement was made at a Nov. 7 press conference at the CEDC's offices.

Zakrewski officially started Nov. 18. Murray will remain aboard for a month to assist him through the transition period.

Zakrewski founded True Grit Consulting, later True Grit Engineering, in 2006.

The Thunder Bay-based environmental engineering firm grew to more than 50 employees handling mainly environmental assessment and permitting work for mining, government, institutional, and Indigenous community clients. True Grit was acquired by Stantec last year.

After 26 years in the consulting and engineering field, Zakrewski, 47, said he was ready for a career change.

This position, he said, allows him to put many of his learning experiences and skill set to good use.

"It's a new challenge for me. I've always had an economic development perspective on my career, being in the private sector in professional engineering and consulting.

"In that industry, you're always looking at where opportunities are developing around infrastructure, major resource development projects, and manufacturing. We were essentially all working for the same sectors that the CEDC is supporting to try to help grow under its mandate and mission. So there's a really good alignment there."

Zakrewski also serves as vice-chair of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre's fundraising campaign to bring better cardiovascular surgical services to the city.

In his remarks, board chair Craig Urquhart said a "significant number" of applicants came forward. Ten candidates made the shortlist; seven were interviewed and graded on a scoring system.

Zakrewski's enthusiasm and management skills won him the job, Urquhart said.

"Mr. Zakrewski is very well qualified and has an extensive commerce and engineering background as well as his ongoing knowledge of the city and region."

His strong presence in the community, understanding of key sectors of the local economy, and the business partnerships his company formed checked off many boxes for the search committee.

Urquhart thanked Murray for his accomplishments over his six-year tenure as CEO and the great community acceptance he...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT