Blood-center CEO's pay jumped 22% in one year

The top executive at Metro Orlando's blood bank saw her compensation jump by $109,000 — the equivalent of a 22 percent raise — in 2007, recently released documents indicate.

Total pay for Anne Chinoda, chief executive officer of Florida's Blood Centers, went from $486,547 in 2006 to $595,675 in 2007, according to IRS forms.

Leighton Yates, FBC's board chairman, said Chinoda's base pay is $310,000, with bonuses making up most of the rest of her compensation.

Her benefits package adds $25,000 to $28,000 annually, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

As a nonprofit company, Florida's Blood Centers discloses its compensation structure only in IRS reports known as 990s.

They typically are at least a year old when they become public.

Chinoda's compensation became a hot topic on talk radio and lit up the message boards at after her pay was disclosed in a story the Sentinel ran last month about FBC finances.

Her 2006 pay was in line with other blood banks of similar size.

Yates, an Orlando attorney, justified Chinoda's pay increase by saying 2007 "was the best financial year in FBC's history."

He would not disclose FBC's gross income in 2007, though he had estimated it at $100million in a previous interview.

In an e-mail, Yates wrote that Chinoda also got a bonus in 2008, but her total compensation decreased about $80,000 because the center had a less-successful year.

He would not offer specifics.

Chinoda's compensation was criticized by nonprofit expert Alan Weiss, a consultant from Rhode Island who has served on charitable boards.

He says nonprofit CEOs often are overpaid.

"Do you really think that it would be impossible to get a person to do an equal or better job for $150,000?" Weiss said.

In another development at Florida's Blood Centers, a member of its public-relations staff, Larry Ganns, has resigned after sending a dismissive e-mail to a blood donor who complained about Chinoda's salary.

"Hardly anyone will pick up this story and run with it because the Sentinel is largely irrelevant," Ganns wrote. "It's not like Anne took stimulus money and purchased a G5 [corporate jet]. Wake me up when you have news."

Ganns' resignation, which took effect Feb.16, was voluntary, Yates said.

The chairman also said FBC's 40-member board of directors will review its conflict-of-interest policy at a meeting April15.

Board members have been doing business with the agency for decades.

Collectively, the deals have been worth more than $2million annually in recent years.

Yates' employer, Holland & Knight, handles much of FBC's legal work.

Such arrangements are common among blood banks, though the practice draws criticism from some nonprofit specialists because of the potential for conflicts of interest.

Yates said the pending board evaluation is routine and not prompted by the Sentinel's story.

"This is nothing new, since the board has reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and statement at every annual board meeting for many years," he said.

FBC is the fourth-largest independent blood bank in the country, serving hospitals and medical facilities in 21 counties in Central and South Florida.

Board-meeting minutes obtained by the Sentinel indicate FBC collected nearly 360,000 units of blood last year, selling each pint for an average of $310.