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August 14, 2022

Executive Compensation at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

by Anne Paddock

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is a Washington, D.C.-based tax-exempt, non profit (501 (c) 6) national trade association formed in 1974, representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, service providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry. Hence, membership dues (from an estimated 2,400 members who pay an average of $5,000 each) are the primary source of revenue, but represent less than half of total annual revenue ($12 million out of $25 million) with the remaining revenue from conferences and meetings ($10 million) and state outreach ($2 million).

AWEA has 27 independent voting members of its governing body although 35 directors are listed on the Form 990 (2019) which appears to be due to timing differences.  28 of the 35 (80%) directors are male while 7 of the 35 (20%) are female.

The three largest expenses for AWEA were reported to be compensation ($11 million), other ($5 million) and travel and conferences ($3 million).

75 employees received $11 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $147,000.  However, only 30 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 9 most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $1,052,750:  Thomas Kiernan, CEO
  • $  475,679:  Amy Farrell, SVP of Gov’t and Public Affairs
  • $  374,298:  Jana Adams, SVP of Member Value and Experience
  • $  365,085:  Pamela Poissan, CFO and SVP of Operations
  • $  261,931:  Tom Vinson, VP, Federal Regulatory Affairs
  • $  256,888:  Bree Raum, VP, Federal Affairs
  • $  246,543:  Gene Grace, Senior Counsel
  • $  226,981:  Diane Miller, VP, Public Affairs
  • $  221,606:  Sari Fink, Sr Director, Electricity

The 9 most highly compensated employees received nearly $4 million in compensation, which means the remaining 66 employees received $7 million in compensation or an average compensation of $106,000, although it is important to note that 45 of the 66 employees received less than $100,000. So, 21 of the 75 employees received between $100,000-$221,605.

AWEA paid for health or social club dues or initiation fees. Specifically, employees choose among a cafeteria plan and can have a small portion of their benefits allocated to expenses for maintaining health and fitness.

Thomas Kiernan received $53,225 through his participation in a supplemental non-qualified retirement plan.

The most highly compensated employee was Thomas Kieran, whose compensation totaled  $4 million over the past 5 years:

  • $1,052,750:  2019
  • $  742,359:  2018
  • $  743,019:  2017
  • $  666,746:  2016
  • $  684,207:  2015

29 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five (5) most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $524,195:  Strategic Elements, LLC, of Des Moines, IA for public affairs consulting
  • $389,858:  The Monument Group, of Austin, TX for public affairs consulting
  • $342,524:  Bav Services, of Buffalo, NY for conference services
  • $296,949:  Hotel Del Coronado, of Coronado, CA for conference services
  • $286,012:  Boston 1927 Lessee, of Boston, MA for conference services

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

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