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W. David Knox II

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Plenty of Horne: Greedy Grebe — Bradley Foundation Pays Boss Big $
Plenty of Horne

Greedy Grebe — Bradley Foundation Pays Boss Big $

An article in the Journal of Philanthropy noted that Michael W. Grebe, the former managing partner of Foley & Lardner took an unusual approach to retirement, in that he did not. Instead, the man went right to work running the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc., the Milwaukee charitable organization with 2003 assets of $579,976,984. One thing he learned over the years at Foley is how to bring in the big bucks. Retirement does not appear to have sapped his earning power very much. In 2002 Grebe received $292,246 salary from the foundation for his 40 hours of work each week in the Lion House on N. Franklin Place. He also received employee benefit plans and deferred compensation of $34,555. Not bad pay for a retired guy — albeit one who worked forty hours each week in a mansion surrounded by artwork on loan from the Milwaukee Art Museum — artwork we have written about in the past that had been contributed to the museum, we had thought, for the benefit of the public and not for the benefit of retired corporate lawyers. Grebe must be an indefatigable retired person, since his 2003 salary from the Bradley Foundation was raised to $529,333 and his benefits increased to $42,000. How to explain the $237,000 raise in just one year? Well, according to the foundation’s IRS form 990PF, President Grebe now is listed as working 50 hours a week instead of 40. (Like we say, indefatigable.) So, if you look at it this way, his raise is not that much — in 2002 he made $140.50 per hour, and in 2003 he made $203.58 per hour. Let’s hope Foley and Lardner has a retirement program for its retired partners that will help guys like Grebe stay afloat in these difficult times. SCHOOL OF EASY KNOX Chipstone Foundation a Financial Bonanza for Milwaukee Big Shot Lawyers Foley & Lardner partners don’t have to be retired to draw large outside incomes. Take the case of W. David Knox II, a descendant of the W. D. Hoard family of Fort Atkinson. (You know the people — they operate the National Dairy Shrine, an actual tourist attraction that has a nearly religious appeal for the lactose tolerant). He is listed as the President, CEO and Director of Milwaukee’s Chipstone Foundation in that organization’s IRS reports. In 2003, the foundation, dedicated to American furniture and English porcelains had assets of $55,358,295, not counting the furniture itself, which has been written off the books in accordance with usual accounting standards — although that has not stopped the foundation for selling millions of dollars of furniture whenever the trustees have a whim to do so. Knox received $3,000 for attending 10 directors and committee meetings of the foundation, which is peanuts compared to retired Foley and Lardner partner Allen M. Taylor, who received $144,000 for 35 hours a week work at the foundation in that year. Taylor also received $162,842 in contributions to employee benefit plans that year. (Back […]