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New boss for Yellowknife firm

Danielle Sachs
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 22, 2012

Brian Semkowski has been named interim president and chief executive officer at Yellowknife-based Discovery Air Inc.

David Jennings stepped down as president on Wednesday. He will join the board of directors and act as a strategic adviser to the company.

Semkowski resigned from his post on the board and will act as president until a permanent replacement is hired. He has been a member on the board of directors since 2008.

The company, saddled with $33 million in debt in 2009, faced major job cuts in the wake of the 2008 global recession.

The GNWT stepped in and agreed to a $34 million bailout through the Northwest Territories Opportunities Fund, on the condition that Discovery Air move its headquarters to Yellowknife from London, Ont.

The loan was repaid in full 10 months before the originally scheduled due date of Feb. 1, 2013. The company now boasts 850 jobs across Canada, up from fewer than 400 in 2009 when it was facing layoffs.

Revenues are also up, climbing to $191.7 million for the fiscal year of 2012, up from $152.4 million for 2011.

Jennings served as president and CEO at Discovery Air since Sept. 12, 2008.

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