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Wilmington Industrial Development CEO making $300k+; Got increase last year


by Brian Freskos
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Four months after Wilmington Industrial Development (WID) drew some brief spotlight amid revelations that its chief executive officer received $303,669 in pay over fiscal year 2008, recently obtained tax records show that compensation in 2009 edged even higher - reports the Lumina News.

CEO Scott Satterfield took home $305,208 in base, bonus and incentive compensation in WID’s fiscal year 2009, according to the organization’s 990 tax forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Additional benefits carry the total compensation to $342,705.

The fiscal year 2009 ran from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

But Bill King, who chairs the WID board of directors and the executive committee that determines salaries, said that figure is skewed.

In 2008, he said, Satterfield’s pay included a more than $100,000 contractually obligated retention bonus, and that some of that bonus was double reported in the 2008 and 2009 tax forms.

Satterfield’s actual bonus in 2009 was $40,000, King said. Because his base salary was $210,000, his total take-home pay that year was around $250,000.

Additionally, tax forms show that Satterfield received $23,100 in deferred compensation (or what is otherwise 401k contributions) and $14,397 in nontaxable benefits, putting his total 2009 compensation at $287,497, according to the figures provided by King.

Satterfield, a 17-year employee of WID, directed all questions concerning his compensation to King.

New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington contract with WID for economic development and job creation services.

In 2009, the pair of government entities contributed a combined $214,656 through contractual agreements. They did the same in 2010, and are required to contribute that exact amount again in 2011, according to figures from each entity.

Those contracts are up for renewal following the 2011 fiscal year, documents show.

Cam Griffin, the budget director for New Hanover County, said the board of commissioners will discuss whether to extend that contract at its meeting on June 21.

New Hanover County and Wilmington entered into five-year contracts with WID beginning in fiscal year 2002 and both of them extended those agreements for a second five-year term. Their contributions have been adjusted upwards in accordance with the consumer price index, documents show.

As for oversight, New Hanover County and Wilmington require WID to provide financial audits each year, and the organization has abided by that obligation, government officials said.

WID hires an independent third-party—Lanier, Whaley, Craft & Co.—to complete those audits, King said.

Also, Mayor Bill Saffo of Wilmington and Commissioner Bobby Greer of New Hanover County serve as ex officio members on the WID board of directors.

Rick Biberstein, the secretary-treasurer of the three-member WID executive committee, estimated in an interview last February that government contracts account for roughly a quarter of WID’s overall funding. Most of the rest comes in the form of membership dues.


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Members of Wilmington Industrial Development include many local companies and businesses. How much each member contributes annually seems to vary depending on the membership agreement.

WID's job is to recruit and retain industry in the Greater Wilmington community. The organization is said to have been influential in attracting companies like GE Hitachi, Verizon Wireless, and Titan America, for example, by informing them of available incentives, possible site locations, etc.

Info can be found at

JohnE, your comments are

JohnE, your comments are appreciated. Perhaps WID would be wise to adopt your commentary as a mission statement. It is more complete and compelling than the single sentence in the form 990 which says "To attract industry to the area"...

WID's website is so thin that it would be more accurately described as anorexic. It has a pretty face but not much in the way of content.

In either event the readily available resources really don't compel me to believe that a $340,000 compensation package to its CEO partly funded by taxpayer dollars in these times is warranted.

If WID members think that this gentleman is good, then they should take out their own checkbooks.


And every other schmuck in town in making somewhere around 35K or less and working our A**'s off every day, barely getting any vacation time and trying to stretch a buck, praying we can keep our jobs and maintain our mortgages. This is so F'd up!

The first question I wish to

The first question I wish to pose is why aren't the audited financial statements linked on the Wilmington Industrial Development, Inc. website? (They are available to Guidestar paid subscribers which I'm not. I have to pinch my pennies to pay higher taxes and fees to live in Wilmington.)

Second, I would be hard pressed to believe that an accounting firm with the distinguished reputation of Lanier, Whaley would have missed such an anomaly in the conduct of its audit on the financial statements of WID. I suggest that an inquiry of the audit firm would be entirely in order to verify the representations of Mr. King as cited in the article.

I would be most interested in reading the management discussion and analysis and the accounting policies contained in the audited statements. These documents would go a long way in answering the question of whether or not taxpayer investment in this entity is worth it.

In closing, I am baffled as to why the WID CEO, Mr. Satterfield is not directly and personally answering questions regarding his compensation package.

Why Satterfield is Not Answering Questions

First off, Scott is mostly good at playing golf with other jolly southern gents, or lining up at the county fair food line for pork BBQ. He is not articulate, and he is a puppet. The scariest part about WID is the way they operate just like a southern version of the Mafia. They have a corrupt and self-serving relationship with multiple incompetent elected officials and lifetime public servants. Also, the dues-paying "private sector" members include other government subsidized cartels (like the Hospital---please note that the head honcho at the Med Ctr, Jack Barto, is Vice Chairman of WID)! And in 6 months becomes head of the Chamber of Commerce AND Cape Fear Future. He is a bureaucrat for goodness sakes, so what qualifies him for strategic economic development stewardship?! While true that he swells area employment rolls at the Med Center, it is not through innovation or creativity, but rather due in large part to NC's horrendous public health record (obesity, smoking, alcohol, and so forth), and he is only hiring workers provided they get paid via the Federally Managed Health Care Cartel. I hope the private membership of WID de-commits their monies until that organization makes public their (first ever?) strategic plan; launch a modern web site to replace the lousy site in place for way too long, and produce legitimate and transparent RESULTS in net new jobs, a pipeline of possible business transfers, etc! Losing Time Warner's Call Center (today's news, with 120 decent jobs leaving Wilmington)---Shame on WID!! They are truly terrible and a DRAG on the economic prospects for this Region.

A House of Cards

I hope that it is all starting to topple - we have been, both the city and the county, pouring money into this so called "economic development" agency for years. You and I - taxpayers. Meanwhile, what do we get for it? Nothing. 10% unemployment. WID is nothing more than a political lobby who takes our tax dollars, and in turn fights for politicians like Saffo to get re-elected forever. With only about 15% voter turnout in local elections, that's not hard to do.

Take a look at all of the so-called public boards. They are stocked with members of WID, WDI, Cape Fear Future, and all of the other shadow government agencies where so much of our tax money is funneled through for political friends and allies to keep the same corrupted swindlers in office.

Wake up Wilmington and NHC! Your sitting out of local elections is costing you - and all of us. Let's take back our town! Start with Brian Berger - let's put a real outsider in office.

Intelligent Questions

Since member dues account for approximately 75% of the entity's revenue, who are the members?

What is the rate of return on investment? How much industry, how many new jobs have come in as a direct result of this entity's activity?

The same questions were asked of the Movie Commission and its Director. No answers yet.

Remember ABC

It is funny the County Commissomers thought the local head of ABC amde too much money..

If the City and County only pays them $214,656
where do they get the rest of the money from. Also, why do we pay them anything?

Right Again...Who is Brian Berger!

Let's see, Brian Berger has been at the forefront calling for reforming the ABC Board before the scandal broke, he's been leading the effort to reform economic development here, even discussing "The Committee of 100" or WID head making more than $300,000 (more than the Vice President of the United States, and Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State, Berger told one interviewer), and he raised warnings about the CFPUA, which is in the news again thanks to several recent spills adding more pollution to the local waters.

If Berger is anything, he's the courageous, well-informed leader this community needs to stop this insanity in from our local elected officials. Way to go, Brian! A true leader with the courage to fight for what's right and tough as nails to take the abuse he must be getting from the good old boys.

Poor return on investment

Given what I have witnessed concerning economic development and job creation , we are getting a poor return on our investment. Cutout our 25 percent contribution. The inner circle of power brokers in this community have been raping the taxpayer for quite sometime. People's lack of tolerance for bad government is growing by the day. This community is not receptive to bringing a diverse work force into the area . It is a retail / service hub that does not welcome industrial type operations due to all the tree huggers and retirees in our community.There is very little opportunity for young people regardless of their educational level in the Wilmington area. With the significant economic downturn in our area , the coffers have dried up due to consumer restraint. The International Port and Titan would be a boost to the area. As an employee of the largest Class I railroad on the East Coast , we are chomping at the bit for these industries to come to the Cape Fear region. The port and cement operation will not be the only companies expanding the their payrolls. The community has Class I railroad service in this area. The railroad did not completely abandon the Cape Fear region with the loss of the ACL in the 1960's. We still provide service in the area but the industries we serve have dwindled over the years. The port is our gateway to the world of trade. Intermodal traffic is the primary mode of international commerce. If these industries come, the railroad will invest as well.

Sounds like the film commission

The head of the wilmington film commission makes over 100k per year, and what sort of return on investment have we had?

Oh thats right, he has been busy lobbying for incentives so the union will be happy.

Here we go again....

Not suprising at all!!! Seems overpaid to me with either set of numbers. Anyone know where I might be able to get a job with this kind of salary and benefits? :)


Plain sad ! - CC