Silvio Di Gregorio is one of of the Thunder Bay's biggest promoters.
As one of the founders and directors of Ambassadors Northwestern, he believes giving a financial leg up or offering some encouragement or mentorship to young people is one of the best contributions one can make to the community.
"We all recognize we're getting older and we need to empower our youth."
Di Gregorio is secretary-treasurer of Bruno's Contracting, a company he started with his brother Bruno in 1972 as a way to earn some money during the summer.
They went door to door doing whatever odd job was available, be it painting houses or shingling roofs.
Silvio was attending the University of Western Ontario, combining a business and law degree.
It was a no-brainer to make Thunder Bay his professional home.
"I'm a Northerner."
The business evolved through the 1970s into paving parking lots and driveways, and eventually into municipal roads, before branching out into land acquisition and subdivision construction in the mid-'80s.
Today, the award-winning 300-employee firm is one of the largest road and bridge builders in Northern Ontario. It's also Thunder Bay's largest homebuilder with subdivisions either underway or on the books for the flow of new doctors and researchers arriving in the city.
His business interests include the Mink Mountain Resort on Lake Superior and the upscale Whitewater Golf Club, a Tom McBroom-designed 18-holer, being built out into a larger 27-hole golf complex and housing development of estate homes, townhouses and condos. It's being marketed as King George's Park.
"We've done well here. We've made money and it was our way to say thank you to the community."