|November 12, 2009|
|PRSA's 990 (at last!) Gives Much New Info|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|PR Society COO Bill Murray enjoyed a $50,064 pay hike (19%) to $312,779 in 2008 from $262,515 in 2007 and also received $30,500 in retirement pay.|
Non-taxable expense benefits were $16,587 for total payments of $359,866 vs. 2007's total of $313,353.
IRS Form 990, received by us on Nov. 6 (too late for reporting to the Assembly, which was Nov. 7), has large amounts of information not in previous filings, including the salaries of five other PRS executives besides the COO, a list of 34 stock trades in 2008, and a list of suppliers receiving more than $100K.
Murray was given a new two-year contract starting in January 2010. Neither he nor the board will reveal details of it. Both also refuse to reveal details of his 2009 compensation.
The announcement of the two-year contract noted that financial terms of the contract were not disclosed and that they would be reported in IRS Form 990.
Translation: if you want to find out what Murray is making in 2010, you’ll have to wait until October 2011 (assuming PRS again delays this report for nearly as long as is possible).
Federal law requires that if a request for the 990 is made in person, it will "generally be provided on the day of the request."
Requests in writing (which we did last May) are to be filled within 30 days. The mailing to us that we received Nov. 6 was dated Oct. 29. First Class mail took a week to get to us. The Form is dated Sept. 15 so it wasn't even mailed to us until 44 days later. The Form is not on the Foundation Center’s free 990 Finder website although the 2007 PRS 990 is there.
Cherenson Does the "Near Impossible"
Society chair Mike Cherenson, in announcing Murray's new contract Aug. 18, said, "The board could not be more pleased with the business savvy, financial control and association management expertise that Bill has brought to the Society."
Cherenson, who told a PRS bylaws teleconference Oct. 22 that audiocasting the Assembly Nov. 7 would be "near impossible, technologically challenging," (link, sub req'd) himself took part in a live audio stream Nov. 10 at the conference in San Diego. He and PR leaders discussed "The Business Case for PR." The streaming was provided by dna13.
Extensive hotel equipment for handling the public address system and recording the Assembly was handled by four technicians.
Six Marriott hotel technicians were on hand Nov. 7 throughout the Assembly to manage the public address system and record the entire proceedings.
The Society for many years has made a transcript of the Assembly but stopped releasing it to members or the press with the 2005 Assembly. Audiotapes of the Assembly at one time had been provided to reporters and others.
Salaries of Five Execs Revealed
Although past 990s of PRS have only revealed the COO’s salary, the 2008 filing has the compensation of CFO Phil Bonaventura ($178,030 plus $30,300 retirement); VP Karla Voth, $135,065 salary; VP Jennifer Ian, $133,676; VP Barbara McDonald, $127,023, and director Judith Voss, $115,803.
Legal expenses were $110,452 at Venable, 660-lawyer Washington, D.C., firm.
This is a record legal bill for PRS whose previous bills have been well under $100K.
Previous legal totals were $65,325 in 2007; $66,761 in 2006; $42,571 in 2005; $20,498 in 2003; $51,011 in 2002; $34,628 in 1998, and $55,461 in 1995.
Considerable legal bills have been run up for 2009 because of the extensive work needed for the re-write of the entire bylaws (although almost all the major changes proposed were rejected by the Assembly Nov. 7).
Besides Venable, PRS has been paying legal expenses for the services of Ann Thomas of the New York law firm of Sifkon & Seleni. She was previously with Venable and served as parliamentarian last year.
Thomas has been on several of the bylaws teleconferences as has parliamentarian Colette Trohan.
The latter has worked closely with the bylaws re-write committee and the board for several months in providing parliamentary advice as well as coordinating the numerous amendments to the bylaws submitted by members. She was on the dais at the Assembly in San Diego.
We would estimate her costs to be in the tens of thousands.
Suppliers Over $100K Listed
Form 990 also lists four other suppliers that received more than $100K from PRS in 2008: Denbo Multimedia, Brooklyn, N.Y., $353,522; Fidelity Printing, St. Petersburg, Fla., $139,353; Genesys Conferencing, Denver, $115,395, and Direct Response Marketing, Clearwater, Fla., $100,002.
Consulting fees totaled $254,689 and speakers’ fees, $231,502.
Sales of 34 common stocks in 2008 are listed, another first for the PRSA 990. The Society held $905,040 in common stocks as of Dec. 31, 2008 and $591,155 in corporate bonds and preferred stocks.
The value of its investments fell $396,057 in 2008, from $1,892,252 at the beginning of the year to $1,496,195.
Biggest common stock holdings included Home Depot, sold $16,290 on 7/18/08 for a loss of $8,734; builder D.R. Horton, sold $11,812 on 10/9/08 for loss of $16,383; Moody’s Corp., sold $10,208 on 10/29/08 for loss of $12,010, and Allegheny Technologies, sold $10,681 on 7/18/08 for loss of $10,848.
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