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Statement from Doug Sprenkle, Treasurer of AAMFT

As Treasurer of AAMFT, I feel a responsibility to set the record straight with regard to the compensation and salary review policy and process for our Association.  I would like to state unequivocally that I believe the compensation processes and levels, specifically for our Executive Director, are appropriate for the responsibilities, tenure, and geographical setting of our staff and our Association.  In addition, our external auditors regularly review our compensation practices and levels, and confirm that they are usual and customary for organizations like ours.
The policies that guide the compensation/contract committee for AAMFT in determining the salary and benefits of the Executive Director are as follows: 
In doing its work, the Committee shall review relevant data that shows compensation trends and profiles for Executive Directors in the Washington DC, area, for associations similar to the profile of AAMFT.  The Committee shall consider the evaluation process and conclusions of the AAMFT Board regarding Executive Director/organizational performance, Executive Director tenure, and other relevant matters in making adjustments to the Executive Director’s compensation.  The Committee may not deviate materially from the geographic or professional market for the skills employed, without instruction from the Board.

The Committee follows these processes in a number of ways.  First, we rely on the counsel of one of the best independent analysis firms for Executive Compensation in the country:  The American Research Company (  AAMFT participates in surveys and receives reports from this firm on a routine basis.  Second, every few years the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) publishes reports on compensation, not only for chief executives, but for various levels of association staff, that are referenced when current and available.  Third, as noted above, external auditors review AAMFT finances annually.  This audit includes a review of contracts.
There is no question that compensation levels for executives of national associations in the Washington, DC area are different than that of family therapists.  At the same time, we must remember that the Executive Director of AAMFT is responsible for a multi-million dollar budget with broad ranging programming, managing a staff structure and benefits, advocacy initiatives, and all laws, regulations, filings and pertaining to these activities.  In addition, he is responsible for the oversight and management of a multi-million dollar headquarters building, housing not only our Association staff, but also additional tenants.   Further, as our Board has reviewed the compensation levels for organizations directly similar to ours, with whom our members would most likely be familiar, we find that our Executive staff is in the lower to middle ranges of compensation for comparable positions in comparable organizations.
I trust that this information will provide members with confidence in our Board and Contract Committee’s thoughtfulness and diligence concerning these matters.
Douglas Sprenkle, Ph.D.
AAMFT Treasurer, 2008-2010


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