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April 17, 2020

Executive Compensation at the American Humane Association (2018)

by Anne Paddock

The American Humane Association (AHA) is a charitable non-profit 501 (c) 3 that paid nearly $600,000 in compensation to its Chief Executive Officer, Robin Ganzert AND paid for first class domestic travel for her and the board members (there are 14) in 2018-2019.

AHA is a tax-exempt organization that raised $19 million ($12 million in contributions, $4 million from certifications – movie and television sets, farms, and slaughterhouses, $2 million in royalties, and $1 million from broadcast rights and event fees) in 2018-2019 and whose net fund assets were $18 million at year-end.

In other words, AHA is a relatively small non-profit with a modest endowment,  who doesn’t appear to watch every penny to maximize donor donations.  The biggest donor through the years has been The Screen Actors Guild, the very organization who depends on and obtains certifications for animal care on sets, from the AHA (accepting donations from an organization that seeks (directly or indirectly) certification appears to be an inherent conflict of interest).

Although AHA is based in Washington, DC, the organization has an office in Palm Beach, where one of their most supportive board members (Lois Pope, whose late husband owned the National Enquirer) resides.

The AHA employed 97 staff in 2017 who were compensated $7.6 million, an average of $78,350 each. 11 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation, with the 8 most highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $596,225:  Robin Ganzert, President and CEO
  • $301,410:  John Hubbard, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer
  • $246,168:  Stephanie Carmody, General Counsel
  • $230,314:  Clifford J Rose, CFO
  • $229,310:  Shannon Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer, Humane How
  • $197,739:  Mark Stubis, Chief Communications Officer
  • $175,043:  Deena Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer
  • $159,768:  Marean Spero Steen, Managing Director

As illustrated above, 5 of the 8 most highly compensated employees are female, including the President and CEO, and 3 of the 8 are male. Collectively, the 8 employees listed above were compensated more than $2.1 million. If the total compensation were adjusted to exclude the 8 employees listed above, then 89 employees were compensated $5.5 million, which equates to an average compensation of $62,800. Clearly, the 8 employees at the top are very well compensated compared to the other 89 employees.

Note:  as a comparison, the President and CEO of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (an organization that reported total revenue of over $100 million) received nearly the same compensation as the President and CEO of AHA; the President and CEO of the ALS Association, an organization that consistently raises about $20-$25 million annually (and has $90 million in their endowment) was compensated $312,711 in 2018).

The Form 990 also reports that William Abbott, a board member of AHA is also the President and CEO of Crown Media Holdings, Inc. The company paid AHA nearly $700,000 for hero dog awards broadcast rights fee. This fee appears to correspond with nearly $700,000 in revenue classified as “broadcast rights.”

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018) for the year ending June 30, 2019, click here.

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