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August 29, 2019

Executive Compensation at the National Milk Producers Federation

by Anne Paddock

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is a farm commodity policy organization representing most (but not all) dairy marketing cooperatives in the United States. A 501 (c) (6), – that also has a political action committee or PAC to host and participate in fundraising activities for political candidates – NMPF’s membership dues are tax deductible because they qualify as ordinary and necessary trade or business expenses. Their non-profit status simply means their earnings are exempt from federal income tax (with the exception of any funds used for lobbying or political activities, which is why they have a PAC) because they do not benefit any private shareholder or individual.

NMPF has three types of membership:  cooperative, associate, and affiliate. Only cooperative members have voting rights.

NMPF members market the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the principal voice on national issues for these cooperatives and their dairy farmer members. To do this, NMPF is based in Arlington, Virginia staffed with 29 employees who were compensated $6.3 million in 2016 (according to the IRS Form 990), which equates to an average compensation of $217,200. However, only 14 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation.  The 10 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $884,785:  Jim Mulhern, President and CEO
  • $501,356:  Thomas Balmer, EVP
  • $395,574:  Jaime Castaneda, SVP
  • $303,253:  Christopher Galen, SVP
  • $301,641:  Clay Detlefsen, SVP
  • $235,460:  Peter Vitaliano, VP
  • $220,787:  Jaime Jonker, VP
  • $215,416:  Shawna Morris, VP
  • $200,004:  Jerome Kozak, Former President and CEO
  • $167,051:  John Hollay, VP

9 of the 10 (90%) most highly compensated employees are male, while 1 is a female.

For a 29 person organization, there are a lot of VP’s and SVP’s.  That the President and CEO were compensated nearly $1 million appears very high.

The Form 990 also reports that two individual participated in a supplemental non-qualified retirement program. These benefits were $50,000 to James Mulhern and $53,891 to Thomas Balmer.

In addition, the NMPF paid for tax indemnification for the CEO, per his contract.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2016), click here.

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