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August 25, 2021

Executive Compensation at Boy Scouts of America

by Anne Paddock

The Boy Scouts of America (Boy Scouts) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization headquartered in Irving, Texas.  As one of the largest youth organizations in the US, the Boy Scouts has gone through some tough times the past few years with allegations of child sexual abuse by scoutmasters and other leaders that triggered a bankruptcy filing in 2020. With a recent settlement of $850 million for the thousands of sexual abuse victims, one has to wonder about the financial details of the organization.

The most recent Form 990 (2019) reports the following key financial information about the Boy Scouts:

Total revenue was $409 million in 2019 (compared to $285 million in 2018), most of which came from gains on the sales of assets, investment income, royalties, and net rent income ($172 million – $135 million of which came from the sale of a large block of securities ) and membership dues ($84 million).

Expenses totaled $421 million (not including $9 million in depreciation) with more than half ($220 million or 54% used for insurance and insurance claims).  The largest administrative expense was compensation ($79 million).

4,026 employees received $79 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of just under $20,000.  216 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 16 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $1,118,903:  Michael B Surbaugh, President
  • $  720,966:  Michael A Ashline, Treasurer
  • $  655,311:  Al Lambert, ACSE, Outdoor Adventures
  • $  640,157:  Mark Logemann, ACSE, National Dir Support
  • $  616,455:  Patrick Sterrett, ACSE, National Dir Field
  • $  566,325:  John Mosby, ACSE, Development
  • $  562,272:  Ron Oats, Regional Director
  • $  542,696:  Frederick Wallace, Regional Director
  • $  533,333:  Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer
  • $  521,049:  Steven McGowan, Secretary
  • $  510,529:  Jeffrey Hunt, Regional Director
  • $  452,274:  Lisa Young, HR Group Director
  • $  439,937:  Todd McGregor, Summit Group Director
  • $  420,625:  Vijay Challa, Group Director – CIO
  • $  362,958:  Brad Farmer, ACSE, Development
  • $  345,089:  Mark Winkelmann, Supply Group Director

The 16 most highly compensated employees received $9 million in compensation.14 of the 16 (88%) of the most highly compensated employees are male while 2 of the 16 (1%) are female.

The Boy Scouts paid for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, and health or social club dues or initiation fees. In addition, the Boy Scouts made gross up payments or tax indemnifications.  For more detail, see the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III, Supplemental Information.

Employees with compensation of more than $280,000 participated in a “retirement benefits restoration plan” – a non qualified retirement plan whose benefits would otherwise be limited:

  • $134,227:  Michael Surbaugh
  • $121,626:  Bradley Farmer (retired in 2019 and also received $18,361 for unused vacation and sick time)
  • $ 63,498:  Jeffrey Hunt
  • $ 36,889:  Michael A Ashline
  • $ 35,103:  Mark Logemann
  • $ 22,740:  Patrick Sterrett
  • $ 13,772:  Al Lambert
  • $  9,298:  Erin Eisner

71 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 5 highest reported to be:

  • $9.0 million:  Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, of LA, CA for legal work
  • $7.4 million:  Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak and Stewart, of Cola, SC for legal work
  • $7.1 million:  Alvarez Marsal Holdings, LLC, of NY, NY for consulting
  • $2.9 million:  Covington and Burlin, of Washington, DC for consulting
  • $5.9 million:  Sidley Austin LLP, of Chicago, IL for legal work

It is important to note that the Boy Scouts reported total legal fees were $1.3 million on the Form 990, Part IX, Statement of Functional Expenses 11b although the above disclosure on the Form 990l, Part VII, Section B Independent Contractors reports the legal fees were more than $22 million just to 3 independent contractors.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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