The money would be used to add sales and marketing staff, to advertise in trade publications, and to beef up the ICVA’s presence at gatherings for trade show and convention planners. It would also enhance the ICVA’s ability to fly prospective customers here for site visits. Extra funds would also be used to market the city to leisure travelers in neighboring cities, such as Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville.In the article, Don Welsh, ICVA, CEO, says that the ICVA spends 85 percent of its $10.5 million budget on sales and marketing, with the rest going toward administration, finance and information technology. Welsh is playing fast and loose with the numbers. As I have previously reported:
In its 2007 tax return, the ICVA showed revenues of $12,159,994 almost all of which came from taxpayers. For an organization allegedly starved for cash, the ICVA had $1,549,267 stashed in mutual funds and equity securities. The organization paid out salaries of $4,326,029 and provided benefits worth $692,734, for a total employee expense of $5,018,763. Thus employee expenses make up an incredible 41% of its budget. And that is not counting other overhead expenses. As with numerous non-profit organizations funded by Indianapolis taxpayers, most of the tax dollars get swallowed up in overhead.What Welsh undoubtedly is doing is moving over employee and officer salaries from "administration" to "sales and marketing." Sorry, but that is not the way it's done. Salaries and benefits are "administrative" costs. The fact than an organization is involved in "sales and marketing" does not change that fact.
As far as individual officer salaries at ICVA, former ICVA President and CEO Robert Bedell pulled in $353,777 in salary and benefits. Reportedly, the new ICVA President/CEO Don Welsh makes substantially more. It is a safe be that his combined salary and benefits total over $400,000. According to the 2007 report, Alfred Bennett, V.P. Sales made $142,579, Matthew Carter, V.P. Strategic Development made $143,343, Mary Huggard, V.P. Communications and Development pulled in $144,637, and James E. Wallis, V.P. of Administration and Technology, made $136,858. Those are just the officers. Obviously the top employees are also pulled down substantial sums of money.
The ICVA hog at the taxpayer trough is long in need of being put on a diet. Rather than ask for more money or borrow more that the taxpayers need to pay back, the ICVA might consider cutting some of the fat out of its administrative budget. A good place to start is with Welsh's lavish salary and benefits. Do we really need to pay one person nearly a half million dollars annually (Welsh's estimated salary and benefits) to run the ICVA?