We’re sensing a few patterns here in polling people on their salaries: Desk jobs don’t cut it for lots of folks anymore and most people are pretty darn happy with their occupations. At least, that’s what we discovered in our latest peek into local paychecks. For some people like politicians and heads of nonprofits, what they earn is a matter of public record (and the figures we used are the most recent ones currently available, in some cases 2000 or 2001). But for the rest of the brave souls here, there was no obligation to show us paystubs or tax returns—just the fun of making you more insecure (or secure, as the case may be) about what you’re worth. Speaking of which, we’ll start with the only people who know what we earn. . . .
Granette N. Spriggs
Tax Compliance Officer
Internal Revenue Service
Granette Spriggs freely acknowledges that most people aren’t thrilled about the notion of meeting with her to verify details of their income tax forms. “But once they come in here, most everyone is pretty good about things,” says Spriggs, who audits the tax returns of individuals and small businesses. As an auditor, Spriggs and her colleagues are trained to use good judgment and to keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t look quite right.
The best part of her job? “I really like working with people who come here and you get to hear a lot of different stories,” she says.
Edward “Ned” Kelly
Mercantile Bankshares Corporation
$850,000, plus $392,300 bonus
It was by no means a straight shot into banking for Mercantile’s Ned Kelly. First there was a stint working on Capitol Hill, followed by law school. After working as a banking attorney, at the ripe old age of 42, Kelly made banking his full-time job. “I never expected to be running a bank, but I certainly wouldn’t be doing this work if I didn’t love it. Banks are the intersection of law, politics and economics,” says Kelly, who oversees an institution with assets of $10.7 billion. “Mercantile has such a strong legacy in this community and it’s my responsibility to be as good a custodian of that legacy as I possibly can.”
Sergeant First Class,
Aberdeen Proving Grounds
Director of Cultural Affairs
Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts
“As a college art major and a textile artist, I really love working with the cultural and artistic community here in Baltimore,” says Randi Vega. “This department has a variety of programs, including artists-in-residence in the public schools, the murals project, and we run School 33 and produce the Billie Holiday vocal competition. Baltimore has a vibrant arts community and it’s a wonderful experience to be able to interact with all these people.”
Maryland Institute College of Art Jewelry Center
Owner, Christine Nicole Productions, Inc.
Barnette—who has a background in art and interior design—splits time between turning modern homes into Tuscan villas with her decorative painting and, uh, less opulent jobs. To her, it’s all the same. “I’m really lucky to be able to do what I do,” she says. “It’s all about quality work and good customer service.”
A typical day might include painting murals or creating textures and faux finishes with paint and other materials. On the Tuscan villa, for instance, she says: “we also did a lot of crackle finishing, glazing, and even a water-stained wall.”
Baltimore Shakespeare Festival
Kim Schaefer, A.I.A.
TerraLogos Eco Architecture PC
Kim Schaefer loves working on difficult problems and seeing projects from start to finish. And building structures in an environmentally sensitive manner in this SUV-infested world is no doubt difficult.
“I’m really interested in community revitalization and decided I had to live in such a community to see what people are really faced with,” says Schaefer, who lives in Patterson Park. Along with Julie E. Gabrielli, A.I.A., Schaefer founded their one-and-a-half-year-old architectural firm to specialize in green building practices, which includes details like passive solar design, using low-VOC (volatile organic compound) materials and paint—good for those with allergies or asthma—and maximizing energy efficiency for any building type. “Sometimes we work on projects for adaptive reuse, which is sort of like reincarnation,” she says.
When she’s not overseeing all the bookkeeping for the Canton Safeway, coordinating all the cashiers, and troubleshooting when the computer or scanner malfunctions, Jennifer Heid is likely to be helping customers at the service counter. “There are an awful lot of interesting people who shop here,” says the eight-year Safeway veteran. “We’ll see Orioles and Ravens players, as well as the television news anchors. Not to mention that the people who live in this neighborhood are pretty unique.”
The benefits aren’t so bad either: For each employee, Safeway kicks in about $1,500 a month for health care and pension. And if Heid’s working on Sunday, the pay is time and a half.
James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant
(a 1-year-old media, graphic, and web-design communications company)
Taub expects to earn $125,000 at his new business
Carol S. Ott
C. S. Ott Design
Graceland Park/O’Donnell Heights Elementary School
Many people would find it daunting to have a classroom full of children with learning and physical disabilities, such as dyslexia or speech and language problems. Such kids don’t faze Sissy Bryant. “These children really try very hard and once they see some success, they begin to rapidly improve,” says Bryant. She also faces the challenges of children who simply will not speak. “I have two selected mutes to whom I constantly talk in the hope that they will respond,” continues Bryant. “It’s often a matter of power and control on their parts, but if you can get these children to trust you, they will begin to respond verbally.
“What I really like about this work is that I have the opportunity to fix a problem as well as to accentuate the strengths and diminish the weaknesses of these children.”
MBA Financial Services
When it comes to animals with style, cache, and pizzazz, chickens and turkeys usually don’t leap to mind first. “But they do have a lot of personality,” says Rebecca Archer. “They’re always chattering among themselves and strutting around.”
Archer, who is working toward a degree in biology at Harford Community College, spends most of her day preparing diets for her avian charges, cleaning up, and helping out other keepers. Her fine feathered friends include waterfowl, a vulture—“He just hobbles away when I come into the cage,” she says—and a barn owl that, she maintains, is all bark and no bite. “I’ve got the best job in Baltimore,” she adds. “I love the animals and being outdoors. Plus, the people here are really wonderful.” So whatever you do, don’t call her a bird brain.
Deputy Executive Director of external affairs
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Outgoing President and CEO
Greater Baltimore Alliance
Freeman A. Hrabowski III
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Majestic Air Service in Frederick
Need a Lear jet for a few days off in Palm Beach or perhaps Vail? Martin Campanella’s the guy to call. He’s been known to fly a client to some exotic spot with orders to wait around for a few days before returning home. And while he’s waiting—all expenses paid, of course—he’s liable to be playing golf or lolling on the beach. “I do spend a lot of time in Florida during the winter,” says Campanella. Sound like a dream job? Campanella adds: “For every great trip, there’s at least one to Sheboygan or some other not-very-thrilling place like that.”
President and CEO
Black & Decker
$1.27 million salary and a $2.75 million bonus
Salon 36 in Owings Mills
“I love the art of what I do,” says Lorraine Ross. “One of my true joys is sharing in my clients’ best moments and helping them celebrate their individuality. When someone looks in the mirror and smiles, appreciating their appearance, I know I’m succeeding at my job. I’m a dynamic person and I think it shows in my work.
“There isn’t anything else I’d rather be doing. The day you don’t see me standing behind you in the mirror, scissors at the ready, you’ll probably find me at an outdoor cafe in Barcelona reading a great book.”
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Earned $620,145 in 2000
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Three nights a week, Mike Keller can be found working as a disc jockey at Towson’s Recher Theatre. “I’m a huge music lover, so I’d hardly call that work,” says the 23-year-old Keller, whose own musical tastes favor the Beatles and classic rock from the 1970s. When he’s not at the theater, Keller is likely to be in charge of the music for weddings—everyone from 20 year olds to octogenarians—or corporate parties.
“Detour” Dave Sandler
Traffic reporter, WBAL and 98 Rock
Owner, Traffic Jams
Owner, Aerial photography
Combined annual salary is $100,000-150,000 before expenses
In addition to Sandler’s traffic duties, which have him at the radio station by 5 a.m., he puts in a few hours each day on his DJ business (plus another 10-20 hours on weekends), and another 13-14 hours a week on his aerial photography business. That adds up to 70-hour work weeks when things are slow.
Sandler parlayed his daily flying and radio work into two side businesses that have become pretty successful. “I became an aerial photographer during my many years of flying daily for the radio and TV traffic patrol,” Sandler says. “I was noticing the development of the metropolitan area and the many splendid views that I encountered every day.”
But to hear Sandler tell it, things are a piece of cake right now. “I would like to be much busier up in the sky shooting pictures,” he says. Wouldn’t we all?
Director of Athletics and Basketball Coach
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
When it comes to superpowers in the world of college athletics, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland doesn’t exactly leap to mind. Still, under the direction of Scot Reisinger, the NCAA Division 3 school competes with the likes of Hood, Trinity, Mary Baldwin, and Chatham in volleyball, soccer, field hockey, basketball, swimming, lacrosse, and tennis. “It’s a great job,” says Reisinger, who coaches the basketball team. “I really love working with the students and watching them develop over the four years they are here. Oh, and I really enjoy the competition of sports.”
Animal Control Officer
Baltimore County Health Department
For 25 years, Linda Flavin has worked to protect mistreated animals, find shelter for strays and cope with wildlife or domestic animals suspected of having rabies. “This department also works with the police when there is a wounded deer, for instance,” says Flavin. “We’re in court when there are cruelty-to-animal complaints and on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” But perhaps the best part of the job is Flavin’s Bob Barker routine: educational work for the public about the importance of spaying and neutering their animals.
Whether she’s working with educational institutions, the corporate world, or nonprofit organizations, Benedette Cooper’s got one goal: helping people to be the best at what they do. “I do a lot of working getting people to understand and accept different styles of behaviors and sometimes helping them to modify certain behavior,” says Cooper. “Of course, sometimes that means also getting someone to understand that he culturally may not be in the right workplace.” As a coach and strategic planner, Cooper has been known to work with everyone from the CEO to those in less exalted positions understand how the right team can truly make a difference to the entire organization.
Rosemary Frisino Toohey
After a number of years in radio (she can still be heard on WTOP), Rosemary Frisino Toohey turned her hand to theatre. “My first full-length play, Gladys in Wonderland, is a comedy about an old woman confronting death,” says Toohey, a College of Notre Dame of Maryland graduate and mother of four.
In spite of her flair for comedy, Toohey’s School Shooter, which ran this spring at the Spotlighters Theatre, tackles the aftermath of a school shooting and its effect on an entire community. Toohey’s current project? She’s writing a play about socks left behind in the dryer.
Maryland Science Center
Recording Studio Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (a regional library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped—an arm of the Library of Congress)
Books on tape aren’t just for road trips anymore: Wilhelmina Hargrave and her volunteers record the works of local authors, such as Raphael Alvarez, Laura Lippman, and former Orioles broadcaster Jon Miller for the blind and physically handicapped. “Our recordings of Maryland authors are used to supplement the national collection,” says Hargrave. “Still, most of our patrons want the same books that people who go to the local bookstore want—the New York Times bestsellers, self-help books, Oprah’s book club selections, and works by John Grisham.”
I Make Em Laf Entertainment
Certified Permanent Make-up Artist
Office of Dr. Franklin Weinstein and Anjum Day Spa
Expects to earn $100,000
After creating About Faces, Maryland’s first full-service salon, Gloria Brennan has both scaled down and branched out. These days she’s working on call for different physicians, notably Dr. Weinstein’s office in Lutherville, doing some work at Anjum Day Spa in Pikesville, and setting up a training program for traditional make-up and permanent make-up (think tattooed eyeliner or lip liner) artists.
“I teach color theory and skin care during an eight-week course,” says Brennan, who has just completed a 13-part radio show, “Your Image: Beauty, Health and Fitness,” for WCBM. If that’s not enough, Brennan is a consultant with the Mercy Medical Center’s Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.