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August 26, 2020

Executive Compensation at Specialty Food Association, Inc.

by Anne Paddock

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (6) – a trade association – that represents about 3,500 specialty food companies. The organization owns and produces the Fancy Food Shows – a winter (California) and summer (New York) specialty food convention that showcases new and established products and services in the food industry.

The SFA generally raises about $30 million annually, most of which comes from trade shows (Fancy Food Shows). Expenses (primarily compensation and convention fees) have historically been a few million dollars less than revenue which has allowed the SFA to accumulate $55 million by year-end 2017 (according to the Form 990 submitted to the IRS).

65 employees received $8.8 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $135,300.  However, only 20 employees received more than $100,000 with the 11 most highly compensated employees reported to be:

  • $514,798:  Phillip M Kafarakis, President
  • $436,280:  Ronald Tanner, VP, Philanthropy, Gov’t, Industry
  • $425,977:  Chris Crocker, SVP, Content and Media
  • $412,554:  Chris Nemchek, SVP, Sales and Business Development
  • $384,058:  Michael Tuccillo, VP, Finance and Admin (thru 10/17)
  • $256,331:  Lisa Stefanoff, Chief, Membership Officer
  • $251,777:  William Lynch, Chief, Tradeshow Officer
  • $244,690:  Laura Santella-Saccone, VP, Chief Marketing Officer (thru 6/17)
  • $228,330:  Enrique Camacho, Chief, Tech and Digital Officer
  • $184,166:  Denise Purcell, Head of Content
  • $176,688:  Camille Gargiso, Chief, HR (thru 2/17)

The 11 most highly compensated employees received $3.5 million.  In other words, the 11 most highly compensated employees received 40% of the total compensation to employees.  7 of the 11 (64%) most highly compensated employees are male while 4 (36%) are female. The 5 most highly compensated employees are male.

SFA paid for companion travel, provided a housing allowance or a residence for personal use, and provided discretionary spending accounts. Specifically, certain officers and executives (not specified) receive an annual travel allowance which is reported as other compensation. The directors are permitted to have a guest accompany them to one board meeting each year, the cost of which is reimbursed to the directors. The president of the organization,Phillip M Kafarakis received a housing allowance of $51,340.

Camille Gargiso and Laura Santella-Saccone received severance packages of $136,673 and $85,152, respectively.

25 independent contractors received more than $100,000 with the five most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $2,709,279:  Freeman of Dallas, TX for exhibit contractor
  • $  641,473:  Fixation of Bethesda, MD for marketing consulting
  • $  479,181:  Choice Temps Inc of Chicago, IL for staffing (temp agency)
  • $  450,331:  Caktus Consulting Group of Durham, NC for web development
  • $  391,231:  SMG of Conshohocken, PA for brand and venue management

To read the IRS Form 990 (2017) for SFA, click here.

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