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Does the not-for-profit American Kennel Club Board deserve Presidential salaries, perks and benefits? View IRS tax returns and Executive salaries from 2005 to current.


March 2009, Update June 2015 | TheDogPress

Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief


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 corporation ...

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 benefits.

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 Recovery (CAR) 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, Barack Obama 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 everyone.

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 legendary
Roger Rechler, 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 Directors and 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.


We 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.


See instant information for complete financial picture ii compiled AKC revenue, pension, and retirement information

Copyright TheDogPress.com March 20, 2009 1210168r1805 http://www.thedogpress.com/AKC-Salarihes-Examined-093.asp


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