Swimming in Copley cash

Slurped up by managers of his foundation

The cash pool left behind by David Copley grew by $20 million a few years ago.
  • The cash pool left behind by David Copley grew by $20 million a few years ago.

The salary of Dean Dwyer, chief executive of the David C. Copley Foundation, has been holding steady, from $228,960, plus benefits of $29,629 in 2014, to $230,000 in pay and $29,677 in benefits as of the end of 2015, per the fund’s 2015 federal disclosure. Meanwhile, the hoard of cash left to the foundation by ex–Union-Tribune publisher Copley burgeoned from $71,170,129 in 2014 to $91,461, 944 by the end of 2015, according to the charity’s most recent return. Dwyer was formerly chief financial officer of the now defunct Copley Press.

Other well-paid foundation employees listed in the report are chief operating officer Kimberly Koch with a salary of $86,220 and benefits of $18,264. She was once executive secretary to Copley Press executive Howard W. Fuson Jr. Copley foundation board chairman Chuck Patrick, another former Copley Press executive, collected $50,000 a year, as did boardmembers Robert Crouch (onetime Copley Press senior vice president) and former Luce, Forward lawyer Eric Freeberg.

Of the $2,793,183 in contributions doled out by the foundation, the largest listed was $558,333 in building construction funds for the Copley Family YMCA on Landis Street. Five hundred thousand went to the zoo’s “Africa Rocks” exhibit, and $150,000 was spent on a neonatal intensive care renovation at Tri City Hospital in Oceanside. Hundred-thousand-dollar bequests included cash to launch the La Jolla Playhouse’s Military Outreach project. “We invite service members and veterans to the theatre to see our shows and attend events like Military Date Nights and Military Family Days at no cost to them,” says the theatre’s Facebook page.

Seattle’s Salaam Cultural Museum, which says it provides “humanitarian aid to people affected by conflict and natural disaster within the [Middle East and North Africa] region,” got $9950 for an “after school tutoring program.” And the foundation provided $4000 to Freedom Ranch, an alcoholic treatment program in Campo.

During his life, David Copley was haunted by multiple drunk-driving bouts. The La Jolla resident died at age 60 in the November 12 crash of his Aston Martin following a heart attack.

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Mike Murphy, Looking at the net worth of $91 Million, with a gain of $20 Million in two years along with disbursements of $2.5 Million annually, $315,000 plus benefits for salaries seems reasonable to me. The few charities receiving are also diverse enough that I doubt there is much "inside" donations. I do however struggle with Board Members receiving compensation from a Philanthropic Foundation, but this one, all in all, looks reasonable. BBQ

Yes, there's NO justification for board members getting $50K per year. Also instead of paying the CEO $230K plus, couldn't they find a highly qualified individual for say, $150-165K? And why would experience at Copley Press apply to running a charitable foundation? That makes NO sense at all (just like real estate hustler Trump trying to run the country).

I'll bet it takes them a long time to give that money away. They should take the list of Copley's favorite charities and disperse all the funds.

At their current rate of disbursing funds, they will never exhaust the trust. And with the gains of the past few years, the day the trust goes out of existence gets even farther remote. The only way that stash is ever exhausted is if return on investments goes to zero. That is most unlikely.

Joan Kroc did not want to have an ongoing foundation, with staff, expenses, etc. So all of her funds (I believe it was over $1 billion) were disbursed. Done! The end.

I think it was a bit more than $1 billion. As I recall, she left over $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army alone and another $250 million to NPR. I seem to remember reading somewhere that in the end, her gifts total a little over $2 billion, once the final value of her investments was determined.

Not known by many is that Joan Kroc was executive producer of a pretty good movie, "Mass Appeal" (1984), starring Jack Lemmon. [The erudite Scott Marks probably knows that fact.] Zeljko Ivanek (currently on the "Madame Secretary" TV series), was co-star. And yours truly worked as an extra for a week, dressed as a priest!

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