The Emerging Thunder Bay Region – Why are they Coming Back?

Winterfest Skating at Marina Park
A pair of skaters enjoying the ice to themselves at Prince Arthur's Landing - photo by Lynda Henshell

Thunder Bay OntarioTHUNDER BAY – Over the holiday season, many people come back to the Thunder Bay region to visit with family and friends. However, over the past several years, a growing number of professionals are also returning to our city to make their homes here.

You may be one of those Thunder Bay region residents who have left, and are now home for the holidays with your family.

The Emerging Thunder Bay Region (ETBR) invite you, this year, to take a closer look at Thunder Bay, and consider coming back home to help lead our community to a dynamic and exciting future. This organization is made up of people like you who have returned to our city and region, and other professionals who have moved here from elsewhere in the world (and there are many). We share a common vision; can clearly see some of the amazing opportunities emerging in Northwestern Ontario, and have also the desire and expertise to move diligently towards this future and help shape it.

Those who have grown up here, and then return make our region a better place. The time invested outside of the region has brought them new perspectives on the world, and on Thunder Bay. Returning to the region, those new ideas, perspectives and experiences help them make their lives and careers more enjoyable.

Your reasons to return can vary. They can be to have a great place to raise a family, opening a new business in our city, or to have your children have a better relationship with their grandparents and family.

It might be that the lifestyle you can have here in our region is better than you could have almost anywhere else in Canada, or around the world for that matter.

For many people who have left Thunder Bay, and ended up in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver or Ottawa, or anywhere else in the world, they start finding that the community they thought, as teenagers was “boring,” is actually an amazing place with lots of things to do.

Coming back to the region, often allow these professionals to seize opportunities that otherwise would never happen especially in some of the larger markets where many of the people who have returned to Thunder Bay once lived.

In recent years, Thunder Bay has emerged as a major player in many fields such as bio-medicine, technology, green energies, tourism, education, mining, engineering, the arts (particularly film), and Aboriginal relations. Thunder Bay and region has always enjoyed a rich and diverse cultural scene and the Internet allows us to do business with anyone, anywhere in the world. It’s an exciting time of change for this area. Why not be a part of it?

If you are a returning professional, someone who just moved to Thunder Bay region, or would like to know more, you are invited to share some time watching the videos with Kathryn, Sarah, and Frank, who will share their own experiences.

All the best for a very Merry Christmas, and a successful and Emerging Thunder Bay Region New Year.

Frank Pullia is a former City of Thunder Bay Councillor and Principal of Pullia Management Consulting. For more information on the Emerging Thunder Bay Region initiative, he can be reached at 767-6579 or via e-mail at 

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Frank Pullia has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Lakehead University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Consulting CMA with over 26 years experience in business, marketing, management, labour, and politics. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in the public (Ontario Hydro), private sector international company (Kimberly Clark), Canada-USA organizations (Northwest-Midwest Alliance) and has been the Principal of Pullia Accounting & Consulting since 1995. He is an experienced and innovative business professional helping companies, municipalities, Aboriginal communities and not-for-profit organizations in Northwestern Ontario, Canada and internationally meet their strategic, financial, management and economic development objectives by providing leading-age business consulting services. Frank has an excellent background in public/private sector partnerships and forging alliances with various levels of government, having been a Councilor for the City of Thunder Bay for seven years. This experience and the many leadership roles taken through his involvement in numerous volunteer Boards and organizations, also allow him to provide a high-level of expertise on governance and management. Throughout his career he has focused on effective risk and change management and ensuring that organizations were and continue to be well positioned to deal with both internal and external challenges. Frank writes extensively covering trends and issues of social, economic, financial and political nature with a global perspective but of particular interest for the city and region. He is currently writing a book on the traditional Japanese martial arts and modern management techniques. He holds a 1st degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and has used the holistic approach of body-mind-spirit as a way of life to accomplish outstanding results in his personal and professional career.