20 Questions PPAC Refuses to Answer
Monday, March 31, 2014
Below is the full list of the questions GoLocalProv submitted to PPAC that went unanswered by their spokesperson. The questions have been edited for readability, with background or redundant information removed.
Questions PPAC won’t answer
Question 1: The total compensation of James Singleton was nearly $800,000 in 2011. What is your response to people who consider this salary excessive?
Question 2: Form 990 states that James Singleton worked 60 hours. According to a tax attorney who once ran the tax-exempt division for the IRS, those hours can only correspond to work for PPAC, not the related businesses. That raises the question of how James Singleton can work 60 hours for PPAC earning approximately $200,000 and still have time to work for the other businesses earning $500,000. If that extra payment is just a bonus, that underscores the first question.
Question 3: We have requested a copy of the contract(s) between PPAC and the other three businesses. If this cannot be provided we'd like to know why PPAC is not being transparent about this matter.
Question 4: One attorney, Colby Cameron, is listed as the registered agent for the three businesses and PPAC. Is this a conflict of interest?
Question 5: Was a salary comparison done in setting James Singleton's salary?
Question 6: If so, could we receive a copy of that report?
Question 7: Who sets James Singleton’s salary?
Question 8: James Singleton and Finance Director Norbert Mongeon are listed as managers and officers for at least two of the other businesses. Is this a conflict of interest?
Question 9: Did James Singleton and Norbert Mongeon have to fill out conflict of interest forms for the IRS? If so, could we please have a copy of those?
Question 10: Does PPAC have a policy on conflicts of interest or a code of ethics? If so, could we please see a copy?
Question 11: I understand that an accounting firm has advised the board of directors that there was no conflict of interest. Please provide a document—such as a memo, report, or meeting minutes, etc.—that substantiates this.
Question 12: Do Singleton and Mongeon have an ownership stake in any of the other three businesses? If so, which ones?
Question 13: Do any of the PPAC board members have an ownership stake in the three related businesses?
Question 14: If they do, please explain why you do not consider this a conflict of interest.
Question 15: Who are the other owners (if any) of the three businesses?
Question 16: How is risk shared among PPAC and the three businesses? (I.e., if a show at PPAC tanks, whose balance sheets does the loss show up on, PPAC’s or one of the other three businesses?)
Question 17: We’d like to know if PPAC receives any public funds—city, state, federal, etc.—in its current fiscal year or last calendar year (whichever is available), and how much that was?
Question 18: If possible, we'd like any information on any major government grants received in previous years.
Question 19: Does PPAC currently employ a state or federal lobbyist? If so, who is that?
Question 20: Please provide the meeting minutes for all board meetings for the past three years (specifically, for the full board meetings). Please include all committee meeting notices.
Questions PPAC did answer
Out of 25 questions, PPAC answered just the following five:
1. Form 990 does not specify which of the other three businesses is paying James Singleton’s salary. Could you please specify which of the three other businesses are paying the rest of his salary?
2. Please confirm that Professional Facilities Management, Inc., PFM, LLC, and Professional Facilities Operations, LLC are all for-profit.
3. Why has PPAC engaged this relationship with three other businesses? How does PPAC benefit from this?
4. It’s unclear from the state filings with the Secretary of State whether James Singleton or Norbert Mongeon have a role in the third business, Professional Facilities Management, Inc. Do they and, if so, what is it? (GLP note: answer incomplete.)
5. Form 990 states that PPAC is a “controlling entity” of Professional Facilities Management, Inc., which in turn is identified as an owner of PFM, LLC and Professional Facilities Operations, LLC. Does PPAC, in fact, own Professional Facilities Management?
Below is the full text of the response PPAC’s spokesperson sent to GoLocalProv:
“The relationship between the not-for-profit Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary Professional Facilities Management (PFM), showcases the benefit of a board thinking in an entrepreneurial and innovative way to catapult the reputation of a local theater into one that is respected on a national stage,” said Arianne Corrente Lynch, spokesperson for PPAC/PFM. “Mr. Singleton serves as President to both PPAC and PFM. In 2012 he earned a salary of $207,000 from the not-for-profit PPAC as president. The remainder of his compensation is derived from the for-profit corporation PFM. PFM manages, programs, consults, and acts as owner-representatives for nine performing arts facilities across eight states. Mr. Singleton’s overall compensation has been determined by Abruzzo Associates, a firm that conducts compensation studies for arts organizations throughout the country, to be ‘fair and reasonable’ and commensurate with industry standards.”
Related Slideshow: PPAC Staff Salaries
Top executives at the Providence Performing Arts Center are compensated in the high six figures, with some earning more than half of their salaries from related businesses, even as PPAC officials claim to work 60 hours a week exclusively for PPAC. Below is listed the highest paid executives, their positions, compensation, and reported hours, based upon a review of the nonprofits IRS 990 Forms over a three-year period, from 2010 to 2012, the latest available year.
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