“My years of studying business at Lakehead University prepared me well for
the teamwork and partnership that are involved in intensive, broad-based
projects such as this.”
I LOVE Thunder Bay.
Over the years, I have had the option of relocating for work, and so have had
to consider whether or not I really wanted to leave Thunder Bay. Why have I made
a conscious decision to stay? Because I revel in the fact that I can spend hot
summer days at my cottage (or, as we say, camp), be part of the excitement of
the Blues Festival and Dragonboat Races, and attend professional performances at
Magnus Theatre or concerts at the Auditorium. My boys can receive the highest
standard of education from JK to post-graduate degrees, and yet go skiing at
Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy, within minutes from our home.
There are no limitations to living the life you want in Thunder Bay.
As Thunder Bay’s Fast Forward Coordinator, I am helping to ensure this
message is heard and that our community fulfills its potential. Fast Forward is
a community development plan created through an extensive consultation process.
Our long-term vision is being implemented by over 70 community partners, of
which Lakehead University is one.
THE VISION STATES:
On the extraordinary shores of Lake Superior, Thunder
Bay, rich in people and resources, connects to the region of Northwestern
Ontario and to the world. Affordable and accessible quality of life, respect for
diversity, safe neighbourhoods, and economic opportunities make Thunder Bay a
healthy community in which to live, work, and play together. Fast Forward
strategically focuses on three directions: Quality of Life, Diversified Economy,
and Regional Networks.
Last year, over 20 Fast Forward partners invested in the development of a
multimedia promotional tool to showcase Thunder Bay’s attributes. It was time to
reinvest in our community, and to promote ourselves more aggressively to new
The multimedia package includes a 14-minute video, CD-ROM, and Ambassador's
package designed to showcase the real opportunities we have to offer newcomers.
As one colleague remarked after watching the video, "I'm from Thunder Bay and I
want to move here!" The purpose of this marketing program is to encourage
businesses to invest here, tourists to visit, students to come and study, and
people to locate here.
My years of studying business at Lakehead University prepared me well for the
teamwork and partnership that are involved in intensive, broad-based projects
such as this.
The multimedia project required an intense degree of
a wide spectrum of expertise and interests, particularly
as we were trying to represent the community equitably. Diplomacy, tact, and the
ability to accept the greater good for all are key in a community development
initiative. These types of undertakings involve a lengthy consultative process
and are generally visionary, long-term, and process-oriented. But, by garnering
broader support and endorsement, as in this case, the end result is a far
Where do we go from here?
I have a passion for our community and believe in all of its possibilities.
I want to ensure that my children have options. I want them to have
opportunity to not only receive their post-secondary education in our community,
but to secure jobs in their field of expertise upon graduation. I want them to
be able to be minutes from their cottage and to raise their families. I want to
see our education/biotech cluster grow, our environment protected, and our
health care system be internationally renowned. I want to see new businesses
flourish and jobs created. I want Thunder Bay to be as vibrant and successful as
I know it can be.
It is a superior place to live, to work, and to play.
Lisa Beckwick (BAdmin'83) was nominated for the Northern Ontario’s
Influential Women Award for 2002, and received the 2003 President’s Award for
the Thunder Bay Business Women’s Network. For more information on the multimedia
promotional tool, call the City’s Tourism and Economic Development Division at