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December 19, 2022

Executive Compensation at the American Diabetes Association (2021)

by Anne Paddock

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) based in Arlington, Virginia.  Over the past several years, the ADA experienced a drop in revenues and a decline in the organization’s endowment. In 2018, with the replacement of the Executive Director and key staff, revenue increased slightly -by $14 million to $158 million – but declined by $11 million  to $147 million in 2019 and then by $30 million to $117 million in 2020. But, in 2021, revenue increased to $138 million in 2021.

By cutting staff (from 1,500 in 2013 to 333 in 2021) and other expenses, ADA seems to be back on track financially but a smaller version of themselves. However, it remains to be seen if the organization will accomplish their key goals in the years ahead:  to prevent and cure diabetes because they have to start doing things differently and specifically to educate and convince the public to make dietary changes.

The ADA has been around for 80 years and during that time, diabetes (specifically, Type 2) has exploded in this country. Accurate records were not maintained in 1940 but estimates are that about 1 million Americans had diabetes back then. Today, that number is 35 million with an additional estimated 100 million Americans being pre-diabetic which often becomes Type 2 diabetes within 5 years.  But, the growth in diabetes is not due to population growth.

In 1940, the population of the US was about 132 million. In 2020, the population had grown to 330 million – an increase of about 250%. The growth in diabetes (from 1 million to 30 million, without even considering the pre-diabetics) was 2,900%. In other words, the disease has grown faster than the population which means something has changed and that something appears to be diet and weight. Unless the ADA is able to convince people to make serious lifestyle changes, Type 2 diabetes rates will not decrease.

In 2021, the ADA raised $138 million and spent $82 million (including $3 million in depreciation) with the unspent revenue ($56 million) allocated to the general fund (which had $157 million at year-end).  The single largest expense for ADA is compensation. 333 employees were compensated $30 million, which equates to an average compensation of $90,000.  74 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 11 most highly compensated employees listed below:

  • $1,186,496:  Tracey D Brown, CEO (through 10/15/21)
  • $  499,601:  Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer
  • $  353,552:  Charlotte M Carter, CFO
  • $  316,544:  Jacqueline Sebany, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer
  • $  310,647:  Charles Henderson, Chief Development Officer
  • $  257,189:  Sean McDonough, VP and General Counsel
  • $  255,653:  Kathy Nesbitt, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer (3/22/21-10/30/21)
  • $  203,078:  Kelly Mueller, VP, Program Management
  • $  188,821:  Christa Wilson, VP Technology (through July 15, 2021)
  • $  188,373:  Alana Seger, VP, Central Territory
  • $  184,877:  Lisa Murdock, SVP, Advocacy

The 11 most highly compensated employees received $4 million in compensation.  3 of the 11 most highly compensated employees are male while 8 are female (note:  The Form 990 does not report gender; determinations were made based on name and google searches).

See the Form 990, Schedule J, Part III Supplemental Information for details on gross up payments, severance payments and retirement contributions.

Stephanie Silverman is a director of the ADA and the CEO of Venn Strategies – an organization that received  $1,045,139 for government relations consulting.

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

  • $1,863,076:  Spectrum Science Communications, of Washington, DC for health communications
  • $1,277,929:  Blackbaud, Inc, of Austin, TX for constituent records applications
  • $1,045,139  :  Venn Strategies, of Washington, DC for government affairs
  • $  862,801:  Prosono, of Denver, CO for project management service
  • $  634,500  :  Contravent LLC, of St Lake City, UT for digital marketing

To read the IRS Form 990 (2021), click here.

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