AKC SALARIES EXAMINED
not-for-profit American Kennel Club Board deserve
outrageously high salaries, perks and benefits? View IRS
tax returns and Executive salaries from 2005 to current.
Update June 2015 | TheDogPress
Barbara J. Andrews,
In our little world, the American Kennel Club's
crown has slipped.
It is still the hallmark of purebred dogs
but as huge
companies collapse due to internal corruption and profit
taking, it is time to look at AKC salaries (see below).
It would be naive
to think that some non-profit entities serve anything
other than themselves, providing exorbitant salaries and
benefits for directors. IRS requires certain
standards but one has only to look at other
non-profits such as HSUS and PETA
for perks and salaries that the average
person can’t even comprehend.
The American Kennel
Club is a Not-For-Profit
but salaries and positions should be examined when “profits” plummet. Tax
breaks notwithstanding, customers
must demand reasonable executive salary scales and
non-wasteful spending. AKC tax returns from
2005 to current reveal what most would consider
exorbitant salaries, perks, current and retirement
The American Kennel Club has been exceptionally supportive
of its non-profit entities, some might say
"overly generous." The more skeptical among us would
mention money laundering in the sense of shifting
executive salaries from one corporation to another. The AKC
Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and Companion Animal
come easily to mind because they are a great benefit to dogs.
Exorbitant AKC Executive Salaries
The 2006 IRS form 990 reveals then-President and CEO,
Dennis Sprung, earned
$491,907 in salary plus
$54,710 in direct benefits, not including paid
travel and other perks. You can adjust salaries
for the rate of inflation but the
President of the United States,
earned only $400,000 along with a
$50,000 expense account. While that is sinking in, let’s
look at the salaries of other top AKC Executives.
John Lyons, Executive VP and Chief Operations
Officer made a $286,000 salary. Noreen Baxter, VP
Public Education and Legislation, earned just under
$188,000 and in my opinion, AKC’s unforgivable
Legislative ineffectiveness demands she return every
penny back to James Stevens, VP and Chief Financial
Officer, who budgeted himself a whopping $375,517.
The two most underpaid AKC officers may well
be Michael Swick, VP and General Counsel, and James
Crowley, Executive Secretary, who earned
approximately $276,000 and $230,000 respectively.
Mr. Swick is a highly competent attorney who could
earn much more in the private sector and it appears
he has decided to do just that. He resigned this year. Mr. Crowley is
the steadying hand at AKC, having been there
“forever”. His representation of AKC as
a speaker-instructor at the
ACEF Judges Institute earned the respect of
Board Chairman Ron Menaker took no salary. He puts in
about a third of the time as the above officers, but
then he judges frequently and serves on the Board
of Directors of other companies such as that of the
show dog fancier and
supporter. Mr. Menaker came under criticism for
awarding Best In Show to one of Mr. Rechler’s dogs
but that was probably unfair as many other
judges did likewise.
In these pressing economic times, only golden
parachutes can prevent some CEOs from plummeting groundwards.
In the real world, some top
executives have agreed to stay on their Board of
more than a
few have announced they are willing to forego
a salary until the economy gets better.
We have heard nothing of the sort from AKC. Unlike
America’s for-profit auto companies, the
American Kennel Club is entitled to special tax breaks although it
takes in over $60 million per year! Sure, AKC
is taking a hit on an estimated 50 million dollar
investment portfolio but that is no reason we, the AKC
constituents, should be hit with higher fees,
including increased event fees hidden in show entry fees.
trust AKC will rethink the
$25 per year per dog
“Exhibition Tax” after TheDogPress broke
that story in January. We successfully nixed the
700% increase on the
Event Recording Fee in 2008.
As show entries continue to fall and clubs suffer,
especially those having committed to facilities and
obligations they are currently struggling to fulfill, this AKC Board of
Directors will have to make salary adjustments. We trust the Delegates will vote wisely
and the Board will take a cut in what any customer would
consider exorbitant salaries.
published March 20, 2009
Also see related information for a complete financial picture
AKC Salaries 2005 thru 2010
AKC Salaries 2011 thru 2013
ii AKC 2013 revenue, pension, and retirement summary
2014 Salaries and Other Compensations
2015 Salaries and Tax Filings not yet available
AKC's 990 Tax Returns 2005 to Current
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Weigh your fees against the not-for-profit AKC Board & staff salaries.
Favored handler-breeder, AKC inspected puppy mill shut down.
Two non-profits, how does their income & strategy compare?