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Former Pride exec. director given 6% retroactive raise

Dwayne Crenshaw

San Diego LGBT Weekly has learned that Dwayne Crenshaw, former Pride executive director and current City Council candidate for District 4, was awarded a retroactive raise to his hire date by the Pride board of directors in October of 2012.

LGBT Weekly reached out to the current leadership of Pride to better understand why this decision was made. We asked whether the raise was performance based and why was it retroactive to Crenshaw’s original hire date? LGBT Weekly also asked why the raise was 6 percent, when the average raise in the U.S. last year was 2.7 percent, according to leading human resource consulting firms.

“The board made the salary increase retroactive to the annual anniversary of the hire date – not back to the original hire date. It is not uncommon for raises to be made retroactive to an employment anniversary date when an annual review is conducted subsequent to that date,” responded Pride Co-Chair Jennifer Sieber in an email to our publisher.

While the board minutes recorded that the raise was retroactive to Crenshaw’s hire date, Sieber seems to be making a correction in her email. Why was an annual review for Crenshaw not done in a timely manner and why would the board vote to make it retroactive to his hire date? Once LGBT Weekly inquired, the minutes were amended to say anniversary date instead of hire date.

The motion to make the pay increase was made in a meeting open to the public so we asked how each of the members of the board voted. The motion carried with four members voting yes, two members voting against and one member abstaining.

“While our board minutes typically identify who makes a motion along with the result of the vote, our minutes do not necessarily identify who seconds a motion nor record how individual board members vote on it. Such information is not required for our minutes, not (sic) was it recorded in this case,” continued Sieber.

It would seem reasonable that the Pride board could simply ask the members present how they voted and share that with the community. In fact, Sieber says “Our board is committed to governing Pride transparently and for the benefit of our community, as anyone can see for themselves by reviewing the extensive collection of meeting minutes on the San Diego Pride Web site.”

What we do know is the motion was put forth by Director Dion Brown, but all other information about the vote is unavailable.

Sieber also wrote, “The compensation of the executive director is decided by the board of directors in a confidential executive session, which is typical of boards when discussing personnel matters. Executive session is where factors contributing to compensation adjustments are discussed, and these discussions remain confidential.” This indicates that transparency does not extend to the compensation of the Pride executive director.

LGBT Weekly also asked whether the Community Advisory Board was consulted about the increased compensation for Crenshaw. Sieber wrote, “Executive session discussions are generally open only to board members so advisory bodies do not participate in personnel matters. This is typical of most boards. One of the primary responsibilities of a board is to set the compensation of the executive director.”

Several other questions posed by LGBT Weekly were not addressed by Ms. Sieber and the board:

• How is this different than giving Crenshaw a bonus?

• Does Crenshaw have an employment contract?

• Please provide the donations by year that Pride has given to community organizations for the last 7-years.

Pride did say that they gave away $85,000 to community organizations last year. They directed LGBT Weekly to their Web site for additional information concerning their community giving but there is no significant financial information on the Pride Web site.

There have been concerns about the level of contributions to community organizations after Pride’s controversial purchase of a $1 million building that is now worth less than 75 percent of the purchase price. The building, as well as increased staffing, has significantly increased Pride’s monthly costs thereby decreasing the amount distributed to community organizations.

LGBT Weekly will continue to follow this story until complete answers are provided by the Pride board of directors.



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Posted by on Feb 28, 2013. Filed under Around the City, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Comments for “Former Pride exec. director given 6% retroactive raise”

  1. Lazy reporting, any idiot can look up non-profit financials by going to guidestar. It seems like someone from LGBT Weekly wanted the Board Leaders of Pride to do their journalistic work for them. Pathetic.

    What is with all the editorializing btw, is this news or commentary.

    I wonder if the publisher of this paper, who happens to be the President of the Greater San Diego Business Association Charitable Foundation publishes his online minutes and financials for his non-profit? Especially after the debacle that was Hillcrest Mardi Gras 2013. The irony is astonishing.

  2. Giving a “retroactive” raise to a departing employee seems a waste of limited charitable funds, and an abuse of discretion by the PRIDE Board.

    What value did PRIDE or its many volunteer supporters and donors receive from this gift to Mr. Crenshaw? What better, or more valuable service could PRIDE receive from a DEPARTING employee ?

    Crenshaw should return the funds promply, and the PRIDE Board should admit it erred.

    One would have hoped PRIDE would have learned from the “Bonuses” given only 2 years ago, that gifts are wholly inappropriate.

    • I just looked at the minutes that Pride have on their website and this happened back in October before their executive director left to run for office. The notification that Tony Young was leaving the city council didn’t happen until November and the special election was slated until January.

      So you are asking the board to be able to see the future. It also calls into question the timing of this. A month out of an election and this story comes out. I’d bet this is political in nature, an “October” surprise so-to-speak. Which is journalistically unethical!

  3. I just found this article! Quite disturbing. Who’s heard of giving someone a retroactive raise in this economy?? And a 6% one at that! And what did he do that we so spectacular? There needs to be better oversight on Pride’s financials. This seems like a repeat of Pride’s last scandal with giving a board member a bonus payment.

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