Mayor, Township of O’Connor
Ron Nelson was born and raised in Thunder Bay (Fort William). His grandparents came from Italy and England with hopes and dreams of a prosperous future for their families. Ron’s dad Ernie started his career at Great Lakes Paper in 1952 and spent the next 38 years as a paper maker before his retirement.
Upon graduation from high school, Ron got a job at Great Lakes Paper in the woodlands division as a mechanic. Within a few years he transferred to the paper machine, following in the footsteps of his Dad. In the mid-80s, Ron left the mill, but not the industry, taking a job as a salesman of paper mill equipment and supplies. In 2011, Ron started his own forest industry sales and service business where he continues to service clients across North America as a partner with Tecumseth. Ron’s travels take him to Pulp and Paper mills in Northern Ontario, Quebec, and the United States.
In addition to his day job, Ron is Mayor of the Township of O’Connor, a small community on the western outskirts of Thunder Bay. Many of O’Connor’s residents are employed either directly or indirectly by the forest industry, including the community’s two businesses: Firesteel Contracting and Solid Wood Research.
Ron has seen firsthand how the downturn of the economy and the industry has shuttered mills and decimated the towns that depended on them for so many years. Brighter days are ahead as the forest industry rebounds. Ron is excited about the future of the forestry industry and looks forward to continuing working in the Pulp and Paper industry.