CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney earned $1.34 million in 2012, according to the organization’s 990 tax forms released Aug. 15. His $732,021 base salary and $183,005 in incentive pay represent a 2.2% pay increase compared to 2011. Cheney also received $169,640 in retirement and other deferred compensation and $234,857 in other reportable compensation, typically company retirement contributions. He also received $18,117 in nontaxable benefits.
Chief Legal Counsel Eric Richard was the second largest earner in 2012 with $495,369. John Franklin, executive vice president and chief operating officer who retired March 29 of this year, received 450,595. Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill received $432,014 and Executive Vice President of System Relations Susan Newton, CUNA’s highest earning woman, earned $425,780.
Dan Mica, who retired as CUNA CEO in 2010, was paid $180,000 in consulting fees in 2012. The ongoing deal is structured as a $15,000 per month retainer, said CUNA Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications and Engagement Paul Gentile.
“As a former member of Congress, Dan has a great calling card, and can provide the kind of access that only he can have,” Gentile said.
Mica was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1979 and remained in office representing Florida’s 11th District until 1989.
Gentile said former members of Congress often earn up to $50,000 per month on retainer for lobbying, and said, “We’re getting Dan for a pretty darn good price.”
Many trade associations hire outside lobbyists in addition to their internal staffers, Gentile said. CUNA spent nearly $800,000 on external lobbying services in 2012, he said. In comparison, bank trade associations pay millions for outside lobbyists each year.
“The bankers’ external lobby costs dwarf ours,” he said.
Outside lobbyists often have existing relationships with key committee members that can be helpful, Gentile said. Others have backgrounds that relate to specific issues.
“You really want to be covered across the board, and maybe you can get somebody who is more specialized,” he said.
CUNA also spent $946,992 for services from the Arlington, Va.-based consulting firm Greener and Hook. The firm, which specializes in political communications and strategy, also works a number of prominent trade associations, private companies and Republican politicians.
According to the tax forms, membership dues were CUNA’s largest source of income in 2012, accounting for $24.4 million in revenue. CUNA's largest expense was $28.4 million in compensation. Administrative expenses reported for CUNA’s federal PAC were $738,582.
CUNA reported a $2.06 million profit in 2012, up from a $1.9 million profit in 2011.