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William D. Ruckelshaus Joins Gem River Corporation Advisory Board

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Gem River Corporation (Alberta: GR.) announces that William D. Ruckelshaus, former Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and former Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has joined the company as the first member of its Advisory Board.

Mr. Ruckelshaus has joined Gem River as an integral part of the company's alliance with Seattle-based Madrona Investment Group, L.L.C., of which he is a principal. Ruckelshaus and the principals of Madrona Investment Group will provide advice and assistance to Gem River Corporation with respect to the formation, role and functions of the company's Advisory Board, refinement of Gem River's business plans and strategies, further development of the company's management structure, and the evaluation and structuring of strategic alliances.

"We're very pleased and gratified to have the benefit of Bill Ruckelshaus' experience, together with that of his Madrona Group associates, as we position Gem River for significant growth and development," said Tom L. Lee, Gem River Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer. "Bill Ruckelshaus' unique fund of knowledge and experience in the environmental area will be of particular benefit as we strive to maintain and even improve our excellent track record as an environmentally sensitive and responsible natural resource company," added Lee.

Option rights in the company's securities have been provided to Madrona Investment Group as consideration for the services of Ruckelshaus and other Madrona principals.

William Ruckelshaus has enjoyed a unique and distinguished career in public service and international commerce. He served as the First and Fifth Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and as Deputy Attorney General of the United States. In addition, Ruckelshaus has served as Senior Vice President of the Weyerhauser Company and as Chief Executive Officer of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc. Ruckelshaus is currently Chairman of Browning-Ferris Industries, and serves as a director of Cummins Engine Company, Monsanto Company, Nordstrom Inc., Gargoyles, Inc. and the Weyerhauser Company. Ruckelshaus is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Other Principals of Madrona Investment Group include:

* Tom A. Alberg, formerly President of Lin Broadcasting Corporation and

Executive Vice President of McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc.;

* Paul B. Goodrich, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Citadel

Architectural Products, and Chief Financial Advisor and co-founder of

Savoy Discount Brokerage;

* Gerald Grinstein, former Chairman of Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Corporation and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western

Airlines, Inc. Grinstein is currently a director of Browning-Ferris

Industries, Inc., Delta Airlines, Inc., and a director of other banking

and industrial concerns.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with and advise Gem River Corporation. I am particularly excited with Gem River's developing opportunities to assume a leadership role in the global gemstone industry," says Ruckelshaus.

Gem River Corporation, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a fully-integrated producer, cutter, polisher and marketer of colored gemstones, with sapphire mining operations in Montana. In addition to further expanding its sapphire mining operations, the company is engaged in mineral exploration activities and is aggressively pursuing growth opportunities in gemstone resources.

The company completed its first full season of sapphire mining in early December, 1996. "While we haven't completed sapphire sorting from the 1996 mining season yet, we are extremely pleased with production results. We expect to report that the company exceeded its production target of 1,000,000 carats in its first year of mining production," said Lee.

The company is in the process of completing final details of sales and marketing arrangements with several well-recognized companies in the jewelry industry. Details will be announced soon.

The company has been actively engaged in developing markets for its product with a limited number of large retail and jewelry manufacturing groups, rather than targeting numerous independent jewelers. "While it takes time to formulate sales and marketing programs with large, international organizations," Lee added, "we believe the long-term value to shareholders will be greater as a result of the company's unique marketing strategy, based on the brand equity inherent in precious gems which are mined in America(TM)."

Gem River Corporation is listed on the Alberta Stock Exchange (Trading Symbol: GR) and is traded in the United Kingdom under Rule 2.1 of the London Stock Exchange.

SOURCE Gem River Corporation
 -0- 01/22/97

/EDITORS' ADVISORY: Alberta Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this release./

/CONTACT: Tom L. Lee, President & C.E.O. of Gem River Corporation, 5075 Cascade Road, S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546, phone, 616-285-0310, or fax, 616-285-0696/ (GR.)

CO: Gem River Corporation ST: Michigan IN: MNG SU: PER

SC -- DEW003 -- 0496 01/22/97 09:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 22, 1997
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