Interim president of IDC selected
Head-hunters will likely select new president and CEO

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 12/97) - The Inuvialuit Development Corporation has chosen a temporary replacement for its outgoing president

IDC vice-president of finance David Bethune will replace president and CEO David Connelly when his contract expires May 31.

Bethune will assume the acting duties of the president. Current chairman of the IDC, Dennie Lennie, will assume the CEO duties. He's been chairman for three years.

Lennie says a head-hunting organization will likely be consulted to find a new president of the IDC and it could take a couple of months to find someone permanent.

A decision on the interim president and CEO was made at IDC's recent annual general meeting in Inuvik in late April.

Connelly's five-year contract expires May 31.

Connelly has been at the helm for five years. In that time IDC has almost doubled its revenues. In addition, it has reduced its debt load from $30 million to $6 million.

"It was a very leaky ship. The reason I was hired was to repair the ship," Connelly said during a recent visit to Yellowknife.

Connelly will continue managing his own company -- Ile Royale Enterprises Ltd. (His family has been farming on Cape Breton, formerly known as Ile Royale since the 1740s.

Connelly plans to stay in Inuvik. His own company will provide start-up, acquisition, merger, joint-venture and other executive-level services.

Lennie says Connelly has done an excellent job of completing the mission the board hired him for. He credits Connelly for turning IDC around and putting the company on a growth curve.

During Connelly's tenure, Inuvialuit employment has tripled to more than 200 beneficiaries. While many of those positions are seasonal, there are many head office staff who are permanent. And the skill pool has broadened. "We now have Inuvialuit engineers, pilots and computer technicians," says Connelly.

The aim of IDC is to turn a profit and at the same time, provide employment opportunities for Inuvialuit.

"Most of our business ventures are joint ventures. We struck out in '92 to be a partner by choice, employers by preference and we team up with expertise. There's not a lot of large businesses in the North with sustainable strategies, so we picked partners who were experts in core businesses we were pursuing."

IDC has won three contracts in the health and social services area as well.

In Inuvik, 30 people are employed to provide nutritional, housekeeping and other services, Connelly says.

IDC has about 30 business enterprises, half of them in the North.

Connelly also serves as the NWT Chamber of Commerce's new president.

In that role, he will be reaching out for a broader membership. He plans to promote trading on a global scale, provide business sector input to government policies, and push for development of infrastructure to make the North a place to invest