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December 31, 2019

Executive Compensation at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)

by Anne Paddock

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is a a trade organization representing more than 200 of the leading food companies that manufacture and market branded and private label food and consumer packaged goods through retail, wholesale and foodservice channels of distribution. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the GMA is a non-profit 501 (c) (6) – a business association – and thus, tax-exempt. In addition, GMA has a Foundation (GMA Science and Education Foundation) and a PAC (GMA Political Action Committee) operating out of the same office location.

GMA has been undergoing changes in recent years with a decline in revenue (from $36 million in 2016 to $19 million in 2018) which appears to have led to the departure of the President and CEO and many other employees in 2018.. The organization had nearly $20 million in their general fund (which some people refer to as the endowment) by the end of 2018 (down from $30 million the prior year).

In 2018, GMA reported having 72 employees who were compensated $14.3 million, which equates to an average compensation of $198,600. However, only 30 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 17 most highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $5,225,004:  Pamela Bailey, President and CEO (Jan-July)
  • $  981,320:  Geoff Freeman President and CEO (beginning August)
  • $  721,265:  James Flannery, SVP Operations (Jan-Oct)
  • $  652,345:  Leon Bruner, Chief Science Officer (Jan-Oct)
  • $  525,782:  Steve McCroddan, SVP and CFO (Jan-Oct)
  • $  465,962:  Roger Lowe, EVP Strategic Communications (Jan-Oct)
  • $  388,141:  Carla Mitchell, SVP HR (Jan-Sept)
  • $  349,615:  Brian Folkerts, EVP Gov’t Affairs (Jan-Oct)
  • $  344,320:  Karin Moore, General Counsel
  • $  342,714:  Michael Gruber, VP Gov’t Affairs
  • $  271,257:  Shannon Cooksey, VP Science Policy and Program Management
  • $  245,133:  Mary Sophos, EVP Policy and Strategic Planning (Jan)
  • $  243,101:  Bill Pappas, VP and Corporate Controller
  • $  215,252:  John Hewitt, Sr. Director, State Affairs
  • $  210,812:  Basu Manojit, VP Regulatory Affairs
  • $  206,688:  Greg Costa, Sr. Director, State Affairs
  • $  194,761:  Denzel McGuire, EVP Gov’t Affairs (Jan)

The 17 employees listed above received $11.6 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of nearly $700,000.  It is important to point out that one of the reasons the compensation is so high is because of the departure of the President, the addition of a new President, and the subsequent departure of many employees. However, in 2017, the 14 most highly compensated employees received nearly $8 million, which equates to an average compensation of nearly $600,000.  In other words, even though the compensation of the departing employees was high (due to severance and payouts) in 2018, the compensation was still high in 2017, just not as high.

5 of the 17 employees, or 29% of the most highly compensated employees are female (including the most highly compensated) while 12 of the 17 most highly compensated employees or 71% are male.

If total employees and total compensation were adjusted to exclude the 17 most highly compensated employees, then 55 employees were compensated $2.7 million, which equates to an average compensation of just under $50,000.

The GMA paid for first class travel for the President and CEO.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018), click here.

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