Avista officers making more - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Avista officers making more

SEC filing details greater compensation, stock awards received

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Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 12:00 am

Total compensation rose for Avista Corp.'s top executive officers in 2010 compared with the year earlier, according to the company's annual proxy statement filed on Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Scott Morris, Avista's chairman, president and chief executive officer, earned $3.24 million last year. That was a jump of more than $217,000 compared with 2009.

He made $2.68 million in 2008.

His salary held steady at $630,001, while his stock awards slipped slightly to $1 million from $1.3 million in 2009.

The SEC requires the company to report performance-based stock awards, but it wasn't take-home pay for the executives.

Total compensation includes the stock awards.

Avista reported that his salary was in line with market data. The company's board places salaries at the mid-point of the market, which is primarily made up of similar utilities in the region.

Jessie Wuerst, a spokeswoman for the investor-owned utility, said, "None of the incentives received by officers are included in the rates customers pay."

She said officers are paid from shareholder dollars.

"Less than one-half cent of each dollar customers pay in rates goes to the salaries of all the 13 officers of the company," Wuerst said. "What really drives rates is the direct cost of energy, (and) generating and purchasing sufficient energy to meet customers' needs."

Dennis Vermillion made nearly a million in total compensation, taking in $996,337. That was up from $733,929 in 2009.

Vermillion's salary was $298,078, up from $289,230 from the year earlier.

Mark Thies, senior vice president and chief financial officer, had total compensation of nearly $855,000 in 2010, compared with $831,000 in the year earlier.

Karen Feltes, senior vice president and corporate secretary, had total compensation of just more than $864,000. In 2009, it was $759,000.

Marian Durkin, the company's general counsel and chief compliance officer, had total compensation of more than $830,000, up from $791,000 in 2009.

Avista is a $2.7 billion company with 1,500 employees in the region, Wuerst said.

She said, "While the level of executive compensation is controversial and not all will agree on what is right to pay, one thing is certain - we need to have qualified, ethical and dedicated people running the company that provides energy 24/7 for our lives."

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9 comments:

  • Randy Myers posted at 8:04 pm on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    First the editorial praising the top dog at Avista....The following headline then about his enormous pay. Hmm hmmm hmmm. Young people were told to look at Avista and energy companies as possible careers because of the hundreds of jobs here in the region relating to the same.

    Where , where, where ? This is another example of a corporation raping the small people. At his base salary of 600k he's making 300 dollars per hour or so.

     
  • chouli posted at 3:53 pm on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    what a surprise. wonder how many IPUC members have AVISTA stock???

     
  • greyhound2 posted at 1:19 pm on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    greyhound2 Posts: 896

    Hard to understand how an executive at a utility monopoly with a blank check from ratepayers could get top dollar when it is impossible to fail no matter how hard you try. Similiar to the CEO of Countrywide who walked out the door with a $32 million dollar golden parachute for running the company into the ground and into bankruptcy. Only in America. What is missing is how much the rubber stamp commissioners are getting paid to approve the mess (kickbacks and all).

     
  • will-- posted at 9:45 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    will-- Posts: 1091

    " that it now takes in excess of a million dollars a year to get "ethical and dedicated" people certainly is."

    At least they can get them, in Washington, D.C. it's an impossibility at any price.

     
  • mister d posted at 9:03 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Looking forward to seeing how Danatavista will spin this one. None of it comes from ratepayers, only from the shareholders. Where do they get their share payments?

     
  • RadRevD posted at 8:50 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    Logical consequence following rate increases.

     
  • MicaBay posted at 7:48 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    MicaBay Posts: 33

    Duh, Winning!

     
  • The Truth posted at 7:18 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    The Truth Posts: 2193

    Cool! Gotta love the capitalism system!

     
  • Nutter Watch posted at 6:35 am on Fri, Apr 1, 2011.

    Nutter Watch Posts: 476

    "While the level of executive compensation is controversial and not all will agree on what is right to pay, one thing is certain - we need to have qualified, ethical and dedicated people running the company.".............

    While the compensation level isn't outrageous, that it now takes in excess of a million dollars a year to get "ethical and dedicated" people certainly is.

     
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