Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thunder Bay Tourism Community Mourns the Passing of Hospitality Champion Tom Simpson.

The Thunder Bay tourism community is mourning the loss of Tom Simpson, former General Manager of the Travelodge Airlane and Executive Chef at both the Valhalla and Victoria (Formerly Red Oak) Inns. Tom passed away Saturday April 3rd after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.

Tom had been a integral part of Thunder Bay's hospitality and culinary community since immigrating here from Scotland in the early 1990s. He was passionate and fiery and was was one of those people that helped raise our collective community's game as a culinary destination. His passion for cooking and entertaining friends and family was legendary in the culinary community.

I had the privilege of knowing Tom from my days at Fort William Historical Park and always appreciated his honesty, sincerity and great Scottish sense of humour. Tom, no doubt, left a great impression on everybody he met and even my wife, who only met him once briefly at a party 9 years back remembered him fondly for his sense of humour when she learned of his passing.

Tom is survived by his wife Anita, children Stephen and Laura and Stepchildren Daniel and Jenise.

A memorial service celebrating Tom's life will be held at Grace Church, 289 North Court Street, at 10:30 AM, Wednesday April 7th.

Here's raising a "wee dram" in your honour, Tom, from those of us at Tourism Thunder Bay.

Condolences can be made online at www.sargentandson.com

Tourism Thunder Bay Welcomes John Cameron to our Tourism Team

Our team at Tourism Thunder Bay is pleased to welcome a new addition that completes our staffing compliment.

John Cameron assumes the duties of Tourism Development Officer effective today, April 6th and will be overseeing product development, capacity building and sport tourism files. John brings an immense amount of experience with him to the role and has held positions within the Ministry of Tourism (Fort William Historical Park and the Resource Based Tourism Unit), Ministry of Culture and Recreation, City of Thunder Bay Recreation Division and most recently, the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority. John is well known in the local sports community and is an occasional contributor to the sports section of the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal.

Tourism Thunder Bay is fortunate to have a dedicated product development position and it reinforced the importance of tourism in the community as an economic driver. John will be working on touring development projects, Rails to Trails project, sport tourism bid development, Premier Ranked Destination Framework implementation plans, community tourism capacity building exercises and other initiatives that increase the opportunities for new visitor experiences to enter the marketplace locally.

John can be reached at 625-3231 or jcameron@thunderbay.ca

Join us in welcoming John to the tourism Thunder Bay team.