Back to May 2010 home page

Eastern

Industry hunter’s pay goes up in down year 

A 58% increase in pay for a chief executive can raise a few eyebrows, even in a good year. In a bad one, it’s bound to raise questions — especially when peers at larger organizations earn less. But Wilmington Industrial Development Inc. is providing few answers about why Scott Satterfield got such a huge pay increase in fiscal 2007-08, a year the nonprofit ran a $43,325 deficit.

Company filings with the Internal Revenue Service show Satterfield’s pay jumped from $191,708 in 2006-07 to $303,669 the following fiscal year. His counterpart at the Charleston Regional Development Alliance in North Charleston, S.C., made $186,000 in fiscal 2007-08 — though the Charleston group has nearly twice the budget and ended the year in the black.

Wilmington Industrial Development Chairman William King says retention incentives negotiated in 2001 boosted Satterfield’s pay for 2007-08. His compensation dropped the following year, King says, but he would not give details. He also wouldn’t confirm reports that Satterfield’s annual salary is now about $205,000. “That’s something that’s confidential,” says King, who runs the Wilmington operation of Invista S.a.r.l LLC, a Wichita, Kan.-based maker of synthetic fiber. Satterfield, who joined the nonprofit in 1993 and became CEO in 1995, did not respond to a telephone message requesting comment.

The four-person staff handles industry recruiting for New Hanover and Pender counties, Wilmington and Wallace, according to its Web site. It receives funding from the counties, Wilmington and the nonprofit Wallace 100 Committee Inc., as well as from member companies. Among the successes it claims is the expansion, announced in 2008, of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC headquarters near Wilmington — a $700 million project expected to produce 900 jobs by 2013. Those jobs were expected to pay an average of $85,000 a year, more than twice the New Hanover County average.

Big jumps in compensation are unusual for nonprofit executives, says Hank Federal, a Charlotte-based human-resources consultant with Toledo, Ohio-based Findley Davies Inc. Nonprofits usually try to provide steady bumps instead of big one-year increases that create concern. Bonuses or incentives are more common in for-profit companies.

King says WID paid a consultant he would not name for a market survey of other organizations to help determine Satterfield’s compensation. He would not explain what prompted the payments to kick in for that year. “I do feel the compensation Scott receives is representative of the market and of his performance.”

JACKSONVILLE — Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based PRCplans to add 300 jobs at its call center here by the end of the year, which will increase its local workforce to about 700. It provides customer service for financial-services and telecommunications companies.

ROCKY MOUNTWest, an Omaha, Neb.-based customer-service contractor, added 175 jobs at its call center, bringing employment here to nearly 1,000. Growth was prompted by increased demand from a cable-television company.

WILMINGTON — Sales of existing homes reached 278 in February — a 10% increase from a year earlier and the sixth straight month of year-over-year increases, according to the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors. The local market covers New Hanover and Pender counties and northern Brunswick County.

ROCKY POINT — New York-based Coty will close its warehouse in November, putting 99 out of work. The maker of beauty aids broke off talks to sell its factory here, which employs more than 350, to Dayton, N.J.-based Medicia Holdings.

WILSONSmurfit-Stone Container planned to close its plant at the end of April, idling 97. The Chicago-based maker of boxes, packages and store displays has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since December.

MOYOCKXe Services, the private security company formerly known as Blackwater USA, agreed to sell two units that operate as Aviation Worldwide Services to Wood Dale, Ill.-based AAR for $200 million. AWS has 17 airplanes and 41 helicopters.

GREENVILLEEast Carolina University received $30.5 million for research in the first half of the fiscal year, which began in July. That’s about 77% more than in the same period the previous year. School officials credit ECU’s growing reputation for research.

FAYETTEVILLE — Asheboro-based Technimark planned to close its plastic-molding factory here by the end of April, letting go about 55. It employs about 500 in its hometown.