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Thunder Bay economic development on the hunt for a new leader

Eric Zakrewski to leave Community Economic Development Commission this summer
Eric Zakrewski T-Bay CEDC
Outgoing Thunder Bay CEDC boss Eric Zakrewski at his opening media conference in November 2019 (File photo)

Eric Zakrewski will be leaving the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) this summer.

The commission announced March 28 that Zakrewski will be "retiring" at the end of August after spending close to three years leading the city's economic development organization.

Zakrewski, an environmental assessment practitioner, was hired by the commission from the private sector in November 2019, replacing Doug Murray.

In a news release, board chair Peter Marchl expressed pride in Zakrewski's achievements and leadership and wished him well.

"Eric has deftly managed the CEDC through the pandemic and, at the same time, has been able to grow the profile and outreach of the organization, provide critical business support and service delivery,” he said.

Marchl said the advance gives the board "ample time" to find a successor to ensure a "seamless transition."

"Change is a constant, especially in business, but Eric will leave the CEDC on strong footing and with a solid team. We have never been more excited to see what the future has in store for the CEDC.”

In a statement, Zakrewski thanked the board of directors, his staff and community stakeholders of their support of his vision to create a "collaborative and results-driven organization."

"During this time, the organization has helped create more new business opportunities, provided unprecedented investment and support to the tourism sector, captured more government funding to improve local infrastructure and achieved best in-class immigration and workforce development results."

In the waning months, Zakrewski said he intends to complete a strategic planning process for CEDC to implement from 2023 to 2025.

Zakrewski's upcoming exit is the second departure at the commission this year. This spring,  John Mason, the CEDC's mining projects lead, left Thunder Bay for retirement in central Ontario.