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Scout Executive Salaries...

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The quotation below is taken directly from the January 29, 2009 Seattle Post-Intelligencer story "Execs' salaries amplify critics' concerns"


This story is part of a series the Seattle PI is running on Scouting called "Chain Saw Scouting":


Another thread is focusing on the logging issues reported on in the series, but me thinks it appropriate to have a separate discussion on executive pay.

Personally, I think it's disgraceful. Many of the Scout and Scouter families in our Troop are struggling with fiscal issues Roy Williams will never have to worry about, and yet they give their all to Scouting. As far as pure intrinsic value goes, I reckon they (and all the Scouting volunteers across our country) have done far more for Scouts than the highly paid executives.


"It can be worth millions to executives who stay with the Scouts long-term.


One who benefited is Roy Williams. As chief executive for seven years, his salary almost doubled, topping $580,000 in 2006, according to Scout tax forms. When he retired in September 2007 after a 35-year career, Williams received more than $1.5 million, including $912,000 from incentives for longevity of service. Of the remainder, $404,078 was his pro-rated salary, $71,452 was retirement gifts and recognitions, $11,746 was unused vacation and his first retirement payment of $131,493, according to information provided by the Scouts.


Williams is one of the executives who qualified for a "retirement restoration" plan, on top of the usual retirement plan offered employees, which for Williams was worth $2.4 million, paid out over the rest of his life."

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Here is the official response



pages 10,11,24,25,26,27 address executive salaries


By any comparison, say the smaller executive salaries of a larger youth organizations with growing membership or the President of the U.S., our National execs are overpaid.


I did not like the spinning in this response, but most of all I am skeptical of the repeated statement (4x) that the BSA is the nation's largest youth organization. I believe both the Boys & Girls Club and 4-H are larger.


A Scout is Trustworthy.





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"$71,452 was retirement gifts and recognitions"


That would pay 2 DE's for a year...or send 350 Scouts to summer camp. What's wrong with a luncheon at the Olive Garden and a certificate suitable for framing, like the rest of us get?

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Here's my take: If you do not like it, have a heart to heart talk with the President of your Council. Ask him to run it up the senior volunteer chain.


Ideally, for you to have this talk, you should be an IH/COR or independ voting member of the Council.

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National does not pay for DE's salaries, not do they run council camps.


As National tried to state a number of times, it is VOLUNTEERS on various boards, at both the National, and individual council, level, who set executive saleries.


If you think our professionals are paid to much, or are not handling their council camps properly, then get on your council's boards/committees and change it.


Pressure your COR's to do their jobs and represent their units on your council's boards/committees.

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ScoutNut & John-in-KC -


Do you seriously believe that the salaries of BSA executives would be impacted by a Scouting volunteer bringing the issue with a local council?


Based on your messages, it appears that you think the current compensation packages are appropriate. Please help me understand why this is, and what they are doing that is worth that amount of money.

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"Do you seriously believe that the salaries of BSA executives would be impacted by a Scouting volunteer bringing the issue with a local council?"



The salaries of BSA Executives are CREATED BY SCOUTING VOLUNTEERS. I would call that an impact.



I personally have no problem with what the SE in my council is being paid. She is the CEO of a small corporation, and has been for quite a long while. The corporation is fiscally sound, and hopefully will stay that way. That is a good thing. Is the council perfect? No, it has it's problems. However, few things in this life are perfect, and it's imperfections are things that I can deal with. I am also glad to hear our SE has a decent pension package. In this economy, she will need it when she decides to retire.


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The question, ScoutNut, is not whether the SE in your Council should be paid a decent wage and have enough to retire on. I'm not sure where you got the idea that was the point of this discussion. The question is, was the Chief Executive of BSA, Roy Williams, worth an annual salary of $580,000 and a payment of $1.5 million when he retired in September. If you believe this compensation was appropriate, which I gather you do, I like to know why, and what he did to deserve it.

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RememberSchiff -


Your memory is accurate.


* 4-H: 6 million youth "enrolled in our programs" in 2007 (tinyurl.com/dxgddd)


* Boys & Girls Clubs: 4.8 million "boys and girls served," no year given (www.bgca.org/whoweare/facts.asp)


* BSA: "reached more than 2.8 million youth" in 2007 (http://scouting.org/Media/AnnualReports/2007/03year.aspx); describes self as the "nations largest youth service organization."


I guess depending on how you crunch the numbers and define your terms, each could possibly be right. But that's a pretty big stretch, IMHO.

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I didn't read all of the 27 page response.


I do have to admit that I at times have a hard time asking volunteers and parents of Scouts who are maybe having hard times too donate their hard earned cash to pay the salary of someone who is earning a lot more than maybe they are?


Maybe I'm wrong?

But all this talk about attracting and retaining quality people seems a little gobbledygookish.

Being as most, if not all SE's are promoted from within the ranks of the BSA. (To date I have never heard of someone hired from outside of the pro "Circuit" being hired)

It kinda seems to me that the qualifications that these "Qualified People" need and require are set by the BSA. Who also sets the salary scales.

As for the qualifications?

To be hired as a professional all that is needed is a degree. Any four year degree will do.(In fact in the last long term strategic plan it was mentioned that this requirement can be waived.) After that it seems that no other education is needed. All that is needed is a willingness to be able to move to an area where a vacancy (promotion) is available.

Sure there are expected lengths of service required before seeking promotion. But even these seem to at times fall by the way-side.

We had a not so wonderful DE, who knew he was not so wonderful. He moved from Council, where he was a DE to another Council as a Senior DE with only two years service.

While many DE's do have some great management and people skills. They are not trained and not ready to take on the task of managing budgets that run into the millions.

We have had a couple of SE's who really have seemed out of their comfort zone dealing with people like company CEO's and people with money.

While more and more non-profit organizations seem to be hiring people skilled in grant writing and bringing in large amounts of money. We as an organization seem happy to raise money from the volunteers who for the most part are middle class family types.

I'm 101% for Scouts and Scouting being part of the local community.

I have no problem with asking and allowing local businesses to help support Scouting. But having been a local business owner, I know how hard it is to keep everyone who is asking for money happy. At times the easy way out for a local business owner is to just choose one or two organizations that are either a good fit or will somehow bring in more business.

Sadly most Councils forget about the small businesses that support them when it comes time for the Council to spend some money.

I'd really like to see SE's salary tied to the amount of money they bring in. Money from foundations and grants.

If the cash were to come from places like this. I'm all for ensuring that the SE gets top dollar.


Some years back our Council Executive Board were very unhappy with the performance of our SE. So very unhappy that they fired him. He found a job at the National Office (Collecting bad debts??) The Council was given a Provisional Charter and a list of people that were eligible for the position! So much for selection of qualified people!!

When our last SE seen the writing on the wall, he got out quick. First going to a large Metro Council as a Field Director, where he didn't do such a wonderful job. In fact in less than a year he was gone from there.

I'll bet you can guess where he got his next job??

Yes he landed in the National Office, where he now works for the LFL program, supposedly working with Homeland Security.

I'm glad that National Office has so much room for these well qualified people and manages to retain them.

I'm happy that the list of eligible applicants to replace these guys didn't have anyone who was willing to work for less than the going rate!

I'd hate to think we might get a bargain basement SE!!



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My two cents. It is common for organizations to justify salaries based on the "talent" arguement. "We have to pay these amounts to be competitive and attract and retain top talent." Wall Street comes to mind, high pay, but lots of bad decisions. Top posts in government come to mind as well. So the "talent" arguement doesn't always wash. Organizations have to stop thinking that there is no one else who can do the job as well, and for less money. Perhaps the top group at Scouts should dial back their salaries by some significant percentage and then with the help of an outside organization, set some challenging but achievable goals for Scouting that, if met, would qualify them for a bonus.

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My point is - So what?


If BSA National feels that Roy Williams is worth his salary then good for them. I have no say so in the matter, and, since I have no idea what his job performance is, I can not possibly have an opinoin on weather he is over compensated or not. Obviously BSA National does not think so, and has the money to be able to pay it.


National registration will still cost me $10 per year, weather Roy Williams has his salary doubled, or cut in half. Cutting Roy Williams salary will not help a local Scouting family "struggling with fiscal issues".


My Scouts are NOT paying Roy Williams salary. They ARE helping to pay for OUR Council's salaries, and expenses, and THAT'S something I DO care about!






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"My Scouts are NOT paying Roy Williams salary"


We all pay.



page 2,6, 26

"The national council is funded through membership fees, investments, Scouting and Boys' Life magazine, sale of uniforms and equipment, and contributions of individuals."


p5 - functions of National

- sell program supplies (handbooks, merit badge pamphlets, badges...) and training courses.

- administer high adventure areas (Philmont, Sea Base...) and national events (Jamboree)



councils "pay an annual service fee to national". (Good luck trying to find that amount in your council's annual report.)


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A good way to think about this is in terms of opportunity costs. National paid the CE millions of dollars over the years to lead our fine organization. Perhaps those funds were wisely spent and that was the best use of those monies. But, how else could those millions have been spent? What if the CE was paid 1/2 the salary and benefits Roy got? How could those funds have been spent? Could the money have been used for other things?


As we move forward, what if BSA made a decision to cut the salary of the CE? Would we get short changed in terms of leadership? Or could we get good leadership and have additional funds for other activities?



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As a federal employee, I was recently forced into a "pay for performance" system. No more automatic step increases and bonuses. If I don't meet or exceed my job objectives, I don't get a raise or bonus, not even for "cost of living". I wonder if one of Mr. Williams' objectives was to get membership to decline? Sounds kinda like Wall St to me.

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