BGCA Chief Shaken by Challenges to Her Compensation

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Roxanne Spillett, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), is so upset about questions regarding her approximately $1 million in annual compensation that she halted payments to a special retirement fund and was brought to tears when a reporter asked about her pay. 

Several members of the Senate Finance Committee began pressing the BGCA this spring about how its spends its money at a time when the organization was asking for $465 million in federal funding. Among other things, they honed in on Spillett’s $536,800 salary plus hundreds of thousands of dollars in other compensation.

Asked about when the senators’ quizzed her about her pay, Spillett responded this way, according to a
The New York Times report today: “ ‘I can’t talk about it,’ she whispered, tears in her eyes. She said the day had been the worst she could remember.”

The Times quotes BGCA board member Rick Goings defending Spillett’s compensation and saying that after the congressional inquiry, she demanded that the nonprofit’s board of directors stop funding her supplemental retirement plan.

The BGCA has declined to answer many questions regarding the congressional inquiry, including which clubs opened and closed, and details about Spillett’s salary.  For  several months the BGCA also has declined to answer a list of questions from Youth Today about how it spends its money, including how it arrived at the salaries of two other top officials. Last week, the senators who have criticized the BGCA released the information they have sought from the organization, and the BGCA website posted its answers, although those answers did not include the addenda that contain the details of such issues as how Spillett’s salary was determined.

The Times story looks at how state and federal officials are increasingly scrutinizing the spending of some nonprofits on executive salaries during the recession.