- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Top executives at Goodwill Omaha receive higher salaries than peers at area nonprofits and at other Goodwills nationwide.

Goodwill Omaha CEO Frank McGree received total compensation of $933,444 in 2014, more than half of which was a $519,000 one-time retention bonus, the Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/2eHgWXF ). But even without the bonus, McGree’s pay was higher than many nonprofit executives.

Thirteen of the nonprofit’s executives were paid more than $100,000 salaries in 2014, so a significant portion of the $4 million generated from Goodwill’s stores in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa went to administrative costs instead of job-training programs.

Most of the cost of Goodwill Omaha’s training programs is paid by government grants and contracts; about $557,000 of its $4 million in retail sales goes to its jobs programs.

McGree’s compensation sits in the top tier of 150 independent Goodwill affiliates nationwide. Only two dozen Goodwill leaders make over $400,000 a year and two receive pay over $1 million.

Compared to the nation’s 78 biggest Goodwill affiliates, Omaha had more executives earning more than $100,000.

The executives’ salaries outpace most big local charities, too: The local chapters of United Way, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities and Lutheran Family Services put together employ a total of 13 executives earning more than $100,000.

Goodwill officials defended their compensation practices. The local organization has nearly 600 employees.

“We are competing in the marketplace for top-notch executive talent who can effectively manage a multimillion-dollar operation,” said Joe Lempka, chairman of Goodwill’s board. “Frank has not only grown the agency significantly since his start nearly 30 years ago, he has helped Goodwill serve tens of thousands of people, and helped countless others find jobs, often during very difficult economic times.”

Goodwill Omaha officials said the $519,000 payment McGree received in 2014 was part of a 20-year-old retention agreement that helped keep him here for three decades.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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