As a result of recent conversations surrounding Wheatsville Food Co-op’s Staff Wage & Compensation issue, there has been a lot of speculation and interest regarding the compensation that the Board of Directors authorizes for their Chief Executive Grocer (CEG), Dan Gillotte. The Board has decided to release details on Dan’s compensation for FYE 2014 and will provide details about the process in setting the CEG’s compensation each year.
Salary and Benefits
In FYE 2014, Dan Gillotte earned $128,131 in salary and benefits.
The CEG is the sole employee of the Wheatsville Food Co-op Board of Directors. Each year, the Board conducts a CEG evaluation in collaboration with the CEG to set the CEG compensation for the upcoming year. The Board takes many factors into consideration including CEG performance, financial position of the cooperative, inflation, cost of living, alignment with Wheatsville’s policies, and replacement cost.
In the course of expanding from a single store to multi-store operation, Dan’s responsibilities have grown exponentially over the past 2 years, but his salary increases have been modest. This is largely due to Dan’s reluctance to allow his salary to be an excessive drain on the organization. In addition, Dan chooses to participate in the same bonus pool offered to all Wheatsville employees; thus Dan only receives a bonus during quarters where bonus is paid out to all employees.
Although it is difficult to make an equal comparison of Wheatsville’s CEG salary to like businesses in the Austin area market, there is some data to put the current CEG salary level in context. One way to do this is to compare the ratio of lowest paid employee to highest paid employee. This ratio for Wheatsville is currently around 1:6. In comparison, Whole Foods Market has a ratio of 1:19 and many other businesses have ratios much higher than this (see this Huffington post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/walter-robb-salary_n_3459029.html). Available data suggests that Wheatsville’s CEG compensation is just at or below the national median for cooperatives with sales over $16 million.
In Dan Gillotte’s tenure, Wheatsville has become a nationally recognized top tier retail grocery co-op and has taken a leadership role in the development and growth of other co-ops. If the Board were to be in the position of having to replace Dan, the compensation requirements for a candidate qualified to effectively run an organization the size of Wheatsville would likely be much higher than Dan’s current compensation package.
The Board is committed to our cooperative values that include honesty and openness and takes the responsibility to the cooperative very seriously. The Board will continue to exercise due diligence in the decision making on behalf of Wheatsville’s owners, staff and customers. They vow to keep Wheatsville’s best interest in mind; part of that procedure will include development of a clear process that owners, staff and customers can follow for future requests for financial information, including CEG compensation.
Wheatsville Food Co-op’s Board of Directors would like to thank all of the owners, staff members and customers who have engaged with them on this issue.
Wheatsville Food Co-op Board of Directors