Longtime Boise business leader takes the helm of the Idaho Aquarium

csewell@idahostatesman.comOctober 18, 2013 

Nancy Vannorsdel

Here's a name familiar to many: Nancy Vannorsdel.

The former president and CEO of Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce has agreed to serve as interim director of the Idaho Aquarium.

"We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. We are going to do things the right way," she said. "I want to help them bring back this wonderful product and get it in shape to be one of the jewels of the Treasure Valley," she said.

On the job less than a week, Vannorsdel has been meeting one-on-one with staff members and calling on her friends and colleagues in the community to offer their expertise. She expects to announce three new board members soon.

One of her first steps is assuring the public that former Idaho Aquarium co-directors Ammon Covino and Chris Conk are no longer associated with the facility.

"They are gone. They are gone by law and by the will of the board," she said.

The aquarium has received negative press recently including a federal Florida jury's indictment of Covino and Conk for illegally transporting Florida marine life to Idaho. The duo pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in December. Soon after the indictments, allegations surfaced of mismanagement and poor animal care.

Vannorsdel replaces Amanda Davidson, who has resigned as interim director. Davidson also resigned from the board and is now an office administrator.

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