What about the Aspen Institute? | AspenTimes.com

What about the Aspen Institute?

Mark Fox/Aspen TImes Weekly file

Even though it has a campus in Aspen and the town is part of its name, the Aspen Institute is based in Queenstown, Md.

But given its presence here, from its speaker and lecture series to its Great Ideas seminars, the Institute resembles a second-home owner who actually lives here six months a year.

And like some second-home owners, the Aspen Institute has one of the biggest bank accounts in the area, as evidenced by the $68.6 million it reported in revenue for the 2005 tax year, according to IRS documents.

Documents show that Walter Isaacson, the renowned author, journalist and current CEO and president of the Institute, earned $450,003 that year. That would put him at the top of our list for local nonprofit salaries, but the out-of-state address on his organization’s Form 990 makes him ineligible for such a distinction.

The Institute also reported a payroll of nearly $10 million for the 2005 tax year, including nearly $1.5 million earmarked for officers and directors.

Of the Institute’s $68.6 million in revenue, total expenses were $54.9 million. Isaacson’s salary accounted for less than 1 percent of those expenses, putting his compensation well below the 3.37 percent national average found in a survey released in October by Charity Navigator, a New Jersey-based nonprofit watchdog.

Among the top earners on the Institute payroll was former Aspen City Manager Amy Margerum, who saw a paycheck of $210,821 for her work as CFO and corporate treasurer. Other salaries were as follows:

– Richard Clark, director ” $297,000

– Mary Robinson, director ” $270,000

– Peter A. Reiling, executive vice president ” $230,712

– Elliot Gerson, executive vice president ” $226,364

– Charles Firestone, executive director ” $216,000

– Marvin Edwards, director ” $200,000

– Susan Sherwin, executive vice president ” $185,000

– Judy Samuelson, director ” $143,061

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