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Queensland BoysTown recruits senior business executive

BoysTown's appointment of CEO Chris Stoltz late last year to replace the last De La Salle Brother head of the charity has caused debate over the merits of hiring high-salaried professionals to head welfare organisations.

Today's Courier-Mail is critical of Stoltz's salary package, which includes a salary the paper claims is $250,000, plus an $840,000 luxury home. It says the organisation late last year closed its historic BoysTown residential home at Beaudesert, saying resources could be better targeted to reach more people.

About 20 "at risk" boys had to be rehoused and BoysTown reopened this year as a respite and rehabilitation facility.

However industry commentators have defended the package, saying people had to accept a "cultural change" as religious charities recruited professionals to handle growing business demands.

Mr Stoltz yesterday said his salary package was devised by international recruiting agency Korn/Ferry and benchmarked against earnings in equivalent organisations.

"If you want to attract senior people you have to offer a significant package," he said.

Mr Stoltz said the lay CEO position was a new role created after the De La Salle Brothers reassessed BoysTown operations last year and decided it needed a professional at the helm to expand services for underprivileged youth.

Mr Stoltz - who was mayor of Bendigo in the early 1980s and more recently headed the Sunraysia Rural Water Authority in Victoria - said BoysTown would reap rewards from appointing a professional CEO in terms of growth and "how many extra lives we have touched".

He said the house provided to him by BoysTown was "money invested not money spent" - estimating it was now worth more than $1 million.

Director of Queensland University of Technoogy's Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies Myles McGregor-Lowndes said while he could not comment on the size of the BoysTown salary, charities that did not recruit top business managers were "a recipe for disaster".



31 Jul 2002