Jim French grew up in Illinois and lived in the Western U.S. for 20 years. Today, he calls Michigan’s Upper Peninsula home. As the Vice President of Health, Safety & Risk for Toronto based Lundin Mining Corporation, Jim oversees the company’s global process for injury and illness prevention, safety improvement, crisis management, and emergency response.

Jim’s career first brought him to the U.P. in 2012 as part of Rio Tinto’s Eagle Mine Project team in Marquette. After the startup of Eagle Mine in 2014, he moved to Lundin Mining’s technical office in the UK. In 2017, Jim relocated to Lundin’s global headquarters in downtown Toronto, where he remained until earlier this year. His move back to the U.P. allows him to work remotely, with periodic travel to the headquarters in Toronto, as well as Lundin operations in the US, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, and Sweden.

Jim’s first visit to the U.P. actually came years ago—not for work but for pleasure. In the early 80s, he came to the area to camp, hike, and canoe. He remembers being surprised by the expanse and overall beauty. Like most people, Jim quickly learned after moving here that the quality and pace of life are hard to beat. “Big cities like Toronto offer a lot,” he said. “But Marquette offers a different quality of life. It may be a bit remote at times, but that’s also a plus. And who can argue about living next to Lake Superior?”

While the future for the Upper Peninsula is bright, Jim notes there is still work to be done.  The key? Attracting the kinds of businesses that will transform the region into more than just a destination for recreation and tourism. “Even though the U.P. is remote, you can pretty much find whatever you are looking for,” he notes. “You just have to look a little bit harder.”