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Archive for Sunday, March 6, 2011

A breakdown of Kansas Bioscience Authority employee compensation

March 6, 2011

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Susan Wagle, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, has called the amount of money spent by the Kansas Bioscience Authority “lavish” and “flagrant.”Of particular concern are the salaries and bonuses paid to the agency’s top employees.

Here’s a list of the KBA staff’s annualized salaries and benefits as well as the bonuses they received in 2010.

Tom Thornton

President and CEO

$266,000 base salary

$43,660 insurance and retirement benefits

$100,000 bonus

Janice Katterhenry

KBA CFO and COO

$175,000 base salary

$27,627 insurance and retirement benefits

$24,000 bonus

David Vranicar

KBA president of Heartland BioVentures

$175,000 base salary

$28,422 insurance and retirement benefits

$24,750 bonus

Thomas Krol

KBA director of commercialization for Heartland BioVentures

$157,500 base salary

$25,180 insurance and retirement benefits

$13,500 bonus

Tony Simpson

Bioenergy director for Heartland BioVentures

$157,500 base salary

$11,655 insurance and retirement benefits

$9,000 bonus

Terry Osborn

Director of commercialization for Heartland BioVentures

$150,000 base salary

$24,226 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Brad Kemp

Project director for Cancer Fighting Cures

$126,000 base salary

$15,855 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Keith Harrington

Director of commercialization for Heartland BioVentures

$134,000 base salary

$16,164 insurance and retirement benefits

$11,520 bonus

Gary Micheel

Facilities project manager

$113,500 base salary

$23,433 insurance and retirement benefits

$6,000 bonus

Tariq Abdullah

General counsel

$110,000 base salary

$9,514 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Lindsay Thornton

Director of special projects

$107,500 base salary

$9,180 insurance and retirement benefits

$5,000 bonus

Ruth Saale

Director of accounting and financial reporting

$100,000 base salary

$15,102 insurance and retirement benefits

$5,000 bonus

Nancy Ruff

Contract administrator

$77,000 base salary

$18,013 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Arika Nester

Accountant

$75,000 base salary

$10,358 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Marsh LoScalzo

Executive assistant

$66,150 base salary

$13,665 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Christine Murray

Marketing communications specialist

$65,000 base salary

$5,847 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

Ryan White

Outcomes and database analyst

$61,800 base salary

$13,607 insurance and retirement benefits

$3,000 bonus

Mary Cummings

Marketing communications specialist

$60,180 base salary

$5,794 insurance and retirement benefits

$750 bonus

Donald Colbert*

Federal research funding specialist

$52,500 base salary

$6,249 insurance and retirement benefits

No bonus

*Colbert works for both the KBA and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp.

Katie Montes

Executive assistant

$43,000 base salary

$9,834 insurance and retirement benefits

$2,000 bonus

Lisa Kay

Executive assistant

$42,800 base salary

$3,957 insurance and retirement benefits

$2,000 bonus

Comments

Joe Blackford II 3 years, 9 months ago

Tom Thornton, holds only a bachelors from the University of Wisconsin at Madison . . . . . and "leads the effort to stimulate growth in bioscience research and business in Kansas through the investment of approximately $580 million generated by the Kansas Economic Growth Act."

http://www.kansasbioauthority.org/about_the_kba/TThornton.aspx

So, in other words, this cheeswhiz skimmed $366K in cream off the top of an amount Greater Than the Kansas Budget Deficit? What would he be worth IF he had a Ph.D. from Kansas State University; or if Jon Wefald had appointed him Athletic Director?

Has the Journal checked into what tickets he scalped?

He's certainly scalped all of us Kansans, bringing us the Anthrax Mailer's enablers' Pig in a Poke, N B A F, when one of them (Col David Franz) sits on the D H S committee which picked Manhattan, his alma mater.

Do the cooked books show how much Thornton spent on travel for KBA board member Franz to fly into Manhattan International & tell us how safe the N B A F would be, while neglecting to mention the FBI had pinned the only successful bioterrorism act on U. S. soil on his own employee, Dr. Bruce Ivins?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/aug/31/animal-lab-forum-has-elements-biosci-fi/#c1349240

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Incredibly OBSCENE amounts of money to hand picked political hacks, even down to the "Executive assistant" level.

This is Kansas. It's a world class nowhere state. It's not New York City; It's not Chicago; It's not Los Angeles.

There are PLENTY of people in this state who can and will do these very same jobs for a LOT less money.

What a dog and pony show. Incredible.

Randall Uhrich 3 years, 9 months ago

With these salaries publicized, Susan Wagle doesn't look like such a wacko after all. Good for her.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

Were they REALLY that instrumental in the NBAF locating in Kansas, or are they like most Chambers of Commerce and take the credit where credit is NOT due? (one of the reasons I don't like our local Chamber of Commerce - phonies and fakes)

grimpeur 3 years, 9 months ago

This. Particularly frustrating is the CoC's unending "business-unfriendly" claptrap. What BS. There are few places in the country more friendly to business than Lawrence. Same for the state of Kansas. Too bad that, instead of encouraging development and investment in our state, these amateurs are instead continuing to peddle their misinformation.

Too bad, too, that instead of encouraging new business in the state, the governor, with the assistance of meddlers like O'Neal and Kinzer, are working hard to ensure that no other enterprises will be interested in coming to KS to open shop.

BigPrune 3 years, 9 months ago

I do NOT agree with you about Lawrence being business friendly. They are anything but friendly and one of the most unfriendliest in the entire country. It's the restrictions imposed by the City of Lawrence. One of the most restrictive in the entire nation. I know from personal experience.

Our local Chamber reminds me of a boss I used to have years ago. I'd do all of the work and he'd take all of the credit though he wasn't involved at all until the very end. If there was a screw up he was quick to pass the buck. I really shouldn't stereotype but there are a lot of members just like the boss.

bill_priff 3 years, 9 months ago

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

For effective administrators, these salaries are not out of line. One could make a good argument that these people are not effective administrators.

Also, the idea of bonuses being given when other state employees are facing salary reductions is somewhat offensive. I guess that this is bringing the corporate model to government: executives get big bonuses despite their job performance.

That the KBA was conceived as a chiefly a business organization with very little input from researchers and scientists doomed its future as an effective organization.

These guys want to put the cart before the horse. They want drugs and medicines and cures immediately, and do not realize the years of basic research that go into the development of new drugs and medicines.

Until this fact is realized, we will continue to see millions of KBA dollars pumped down rabbit holes of cronies and friends and shady faux-biotech companies, absent the economic growth promised.

Chris Ogle 3 years, 9 months ago

Wonder if they need an associate director of canned beverages.... I could work on Fridays

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 9 months ago

Ah, yes. Nepotism. The second way to bring corporate culture to government.

Ways to bring corporate culture to government: 1) Executives get big bonuses despite their performance or the financial shape of the institution. 2) Nepotism. 3)...

Tony Kisner 3 years, 9 months ago

Lindsey should have kept her maiden name.

They should both go. The KBA looks like a special purpose entity with the wrong purpose.

Anything Carlin touches is old school patronage.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, KRichards for identifying that the "Thornton Family" is in the moolah. I was so disgusted reading the numbers, the proverbial "light bulb" did not shine brightly enough to help me understand that's a husband/wife team. INCREDIBLE amounts of money being spent for pigs in pokes. INCREDIBLE.

Now, simply posting on this silly message board won't change a thing. Sending fax and email to the funding sources is what is going to change this....not to mention the "Board", despite the fact a Carlin occupies a seat. My fax and emails have already started....

nuby 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm sorry but since when did state employees start getting those kind of bonuses, or bonuses at all. This is disgusting to all of the rest of us state employees that work for peanuts and haven't seen a raise in a couple years.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

State employees shall ALWAYS get the shaft until you have a REAL union....just like the teachers across the state kinda sorta have.

Oh...and that Union is NOT KOSE. KOSE is a joke.

kansasredlegs 3 years, 9 months ago

What does our local Democratic Minority Leader Paul Davis have to say about this? Usually, he's the first to get his face in front of a camera to tell us what's the right way to do things. Amazingly quite on this one Paul. What sayeth you?

yankeevet 3 years, 9 months ago

Jeeeeeeeeezw how much do the janitors make when cleaning that building????

arationalman 3 years, 9 months ago

Classy move, Metz and co. Is this really news, and is it journalism?

Let's remember who is behind all of this: Susan Wagle, whose only other claim to fame is her unsuccessful bid to oust Dennis Dailey from KU and cut off funding for the University's School of Social Welfare. Does anyone remember that? She so feared human sexuality, and the widespread understanding of it, that she lynched Prof. Dailey from her bully pulpit and made a spectacle not just of herself, but of Kansas.

This is silly politics at its core: Wichita feels it's not getting its fair share of money. The merit of their claim is dubious, but the substance is this: we (a company in Wichita) didn't get $20 million, and the KBA promised us we would. The contracts have been reviewed and discussed ad nauseam in other reports, and of course the record shows that these Wichita luminaries were in the wrong. If a contract doesn't provide for $20 million of funding, then such funding was never promised. If their claims had merit, this would be a court battle, not a battle being led by half-wit legislators and propagated by local media.

Now, let's all take a deep breath and think rationally about this. The KBA is creating jobs - real jobs that pay a lot of money. These are not fast food jobs. These are lab jobs, executive jobs, scientific jobs, and others that pay serious money. The KBA is attracting venture capital to a state that simply did not garner any serious attention from investors on the coasts (which is where the money is). The KBA was instrumental in landing the NBAF, and Thornton was the driving force. The KBA is helping bioscience companies in Kansas get their products to market. The KBA is helping KU attract cancer researchers and obtain NCI designation. And for its efforts the KBA is the proud recipient of a rectal exam administered by Wagle because her constituents are squeaky wheels. This is just silly.

We could continue to give Wagle our attention and allow her to scare away bioscience companies, investors, and federal money, but is that smart? No, it's not. So stop. We're smarter than this, aren't we? Or are the fancy people in such cosmopolitan places as NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit right about Kansas? They think we're backwoods hicks who contribute nothing other than agriculture. I don't think that's right, but if Wagle, et al, have their way, they might just be proven right. If we keep giving her our attention, the investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers who are benefiting from KBA money will leave. That's not a positive outcome.

Rock chalk.

bill_priff 3 years, 9 months ago

So your argument is that Wagle is a nut, so how dare anyone criticize how much these state employees are making?

I will not argue with you about the first point. I agree wholeheartedly.

What I have a problem with is the amount of money that these guys are making. I know a lot of state employees that work their butts off in important professional positions and get paid peanuts. They haven't had a raise in forever and have never had a bonus.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Jobs? Creating jobs? Really? For Kansans or people brought in from out of state?

EarlFGlynn 3 years, 9 months ago

"BiosciencePowerhouse" signs welcome visitors at KCI paid for by the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

But where does one go to find a job created by the Kansas Bioscience Authority? The Authority provides highly paid jobs for those promising future jobs, but what about those looking for jobs? There are few jobs produced by the Authority. Why are tax dollars being spent for this kind of crony capitalism?

As best as I can tell, if you're looking for scientific or technical work in Kansas, your best option is to move to the East or West Coast. If Kansas were not my home, I'd be living on the East or West Coast for a scientific/technical job that does not exist here.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 9 months ago

Interesting post(s), given all available evidence online indicates the KBA has produced thousands of jobs, even more than the original legislation envisioned.

The owner of this very newspaper claimed "3,000 to 4,000" jobs in yesterday's edition.

The running down of Kansas and defeatist attitude among self-proclaimed "conservatives" is remarkable.

Joe Blackford II 3 years, 9 months ago

As Hugh Brannum would point out, Tom Thornton can shovel a lot of B S the media's way.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Oh my word. Here is Lawrence in a nutshell:

"...this no-place, this bleak town on the prairie's edge, which now seems hardly more than an overnight encampment of ill-satisfied, overproud people so ignorant, that had they been examined closely along with their town--in truth, if they had stopped a moment and examined themselves, they would have found themselves to be a sad joke without substance..."

and here is Kansas described with no blinders on:

"...They spend the first sixty years of their lives in a place which had been stuck in the eternal mud and dust and wrapped all around so tightly with the earth of a continent that it takes several decades for a new idea to filter through to the people and several more decades for them to decide whether or not the new idea (which is old then) is sinful or not. They spend their lives working for a living and living that living in the future--..."

EarlFGlynn 3 years, 9 months ago

"BiosciencePowerhouse" signs welcome visitors at KCI paid for by the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

But where does one go to find a job created by the Kansas Bioscience Authority? The Authority provides highly paid jobs for those promising future jobs, but what about those looking for jobs? There are few jobs produced by the Authority. Why are tax dollars being spent for this kind of crony capitalism?

As best as I can tell, if you're looking for scientific or technical work in Kansas, your best option is to move to the East or West Coast. If Kansas were not my home, I'd be living on the East or West Coast for a scientific/technical job that does not exist here.

susieparker 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

nanimwe 3 years, 9 months ago

How does someone with only a BS degree in political science (Lindsay Thornton) qualify for a $107,000 salary? These must be REALLY SPECIAL projects she's doing...

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