Who Makes What


Published:

LIKE IT OR NOT, the digits that follow the dollar signs on our payroll checks help define who we are. The highest numbers can reflect status, a stamp of approval or a reward for years of service. But for many San Diegans, their salary represents a sacrifice——a monthly reminder of what it costs to live in sun-soaked San Diego.

Today’s job market is a rocky road. What follows is a list of the travelers —— and the pay they earn along the route. A few who participated in this survey shared a window into their world but refused to reveal an annual salary. KGTV newscaster Bill Griffith, for example, says he makes more than a Superior Court judge ($100,000+) and less than President Bush ($400,000, not including perks).

Many of the salaries listed here are taken from the most recent public records. With others, we coaxed and cajoled their bottom lines out of them. We list these not merely to afflict the comforted, or comfort the afflicted. We encourage you to compare, to benchmark and to be entertained. And remember: Take-home pay still can’t buy you love.

Arts
Stephanie Casenza
San Diego Performing Arts League executive director
$72,000

Jahja Ling
San Diego Symphony conductor
$250,000+

Eve Selis
singer/songwriter, $25,000-$35,000
Most recent album: Nothing but the Truth
Best: “You work for yourself at a job you love to do.”
Worst: “You work for yourself, and income is dependent on how much you work.”

Nathan Sawaya
Lego master model builder, $31,000+
He won the Legoland Master Builder search last year and left a six-figure income in the legal field to accept the Nathan model maker$31,000-per-year job at Legoland Carlsbad. After nine months, he returned to New York to work as an independent mosaic artist.
Best: “It’s not about the money. I had millions of bricks. It was a dream come true to have unlimited access to my favorite medium.”
Worst: “We didn’t get to decide what we wanted to build. Now I enjoy building whatever I want.”

Warren Gref
symphony musician (French horn), $44,000
Best: “The camaraderie and getting to play some of the greatest music ever written. And every week is a different program.”
Worst: “Concerts nearly every Friday and Saturday evening, with many Sunday-afternoon performances (and some Thursday evenings), is difficult for family life. Also having to practice on days off to always be at peak performance level.”

 

David Holmes Bob Baker Lexus car salesman $116,000
Best: “Having a customer for life.”
Worst: “Losing a customer to the competition.

Lynn Richardson, M.S., D.V.M.
veterinarian and exotic-animal consultant $100,000
Best: “Being able to heal a patient and have them be able to return to their intended use or life with a happy owner.” Lynn Vet
Worst: “Recognizing there sometimes isn’t anything that I can do to facilitate a successful outcome.”

Kristen Good
part-time rape crisis counselor, $10.50 an hour/$10,000 a year
Best: “Being there for someone and talking them through the process; having someone thank you for helping them take steps toward positive change.”
Worst: “The feeling of helplessness and not knowing what will be in someone’s future.”

George Thomas
Elvis and John Travolta tribute performer $55,000

Sean Michaels
American Tattoo part-time artist $24,000
Best: “Expressing myself through art and making bodies better.”
Worst: “People who want to quit after they get the first line done.”

Bill Lansdowne
police chief
$162,000 bill police
Best: “The ability to change law enforcement across the country. Crime is down, complaints are down, and lethal force is down. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Worst: “Officers getting injured, and the domestic violence scenes where kids are involved.”

Elected and Appointed Officials

State and National Politicians

Dianne Feinstein
U.S. senator
$158,100

Alan Bersin
California education secretary
$123,255

 

CEOs

George W. Haligowski
ITLA Capital chairman, president and CEO $5,598,340

John B. Carrington
Websense chairman and CEO $11,953,641

Stephen L. Baum
Sempra Energy chairman and CEO $13,512,403

Peter V. Leparulo
Novatel Wireless CEO $9,528,105

Bernard Zeichner
Charlotte Russe chairman $7,581,505

Stephen Doyle
Brookfield Homes San Diego/ Riverside division president $5,572,200

Wayne R. Inouye
Gateway president and CEO $8,409,144

Bill Lockyer
California attorney general
$148,750

 

San Diego City Officials

Jeff Bowman
fire chief
$172,785

Michael Aguirre
city attorney
$173,705

Scott Peters
city councilman
$71,522

Dick Murphy
mayor of San Diego
$100,464 (resigning July 15)

P. Lamont Ewell
city manager
$223,527

Chuck Abdelnour
city clerk
$134,534 (retired June 30)

San Diego County Officials

Bill Kolender
sheriff
$160,000

Glenn Wagner
medical examiner
$185,140

Greg Smith
assessor, recorder and county clerk
$167,000

Dan McAllister
treasurer and tax collector
$119,000

Richard Thome
San Diego County Office of Education assistant superintendent of human resources and technology
$142,000

Bob Glass
captain, Rescue 4, San Diego City Fire Department
$81,764
Best: “Getting immediate feedback, the benefit of knowing I made a difference in someone’s life.”
Worst: “The tragedies we see and knowing a family will never be the same afterward.”

Miscellaneous

Kathy Nelson kathy coach
life/career/business coach
$118,000

Jamie Lippitt
speech and language teacher
$42,000

Alice Dean
first-year kindergarten teacher at Ocean Knoll Elementary
$32,000

Shu Chien
chair, department of bioengineering, UCSD
$193,484

Claudette Garcia
Myron L Company customer service representative
$29,960

Heather Middleton
wedding photographer
$35,000

Dr. Dennis Fetko, Ph.D.
“Dr. Dog” radio personality
$60,000

Anthony Acosta
Rotor Rooter plumber
$69,000

Dr. Keith Jeffers
chiropractic sports practitioner and exercise physiologist
$202,000

Tamilee Webb
fitness celebrity, star of the Buns of Steel video series
$35,000 (investment income from $100,000 video earnings)

Karen Grissom
KC the Clown
$16,800

Michael Moore michael shoe farrier
horseshoer, Ramona Valley Forge & Farrier
$60,000
Best: “Being self-employed and interacting with wonderful creatures.”
Worst: “Getting kicked by a 1,500- pound animal.”

 

steve butcherSteve Reid
Tip Top Meats butcher
$100,000

 

 

 

 

Sports

Tony Hawk 

skateboarding icon,
$9,000,000+
Best: “Getting to do what I have loved doing since I was a kid . . . for a living!”
Worst: “Being expected to perform at a top level no matter how I feel or what terrain is available to ride. Fans want to see a ‘900’ [spin] and don’t care if the ramp sucks. You can’t afford to have a bad day in front of 10,000 people who may never see you skate live again.”

Drew Brees
Chargers quarterback
$8,000,000

 

Donnie Edwards
Chargers linebacker
$3,553,300

Antonio Gates
Chargers tight end
$309,400

Philip Rivers
Chargers backup quarterback
$8,955,000

LaDainian Tomlinson
Chargers running back
$16,000,000

Mike Scifres
Chargers punter
$308,800

Brian Giles
Padres outfielder
$8,333,333

Khalil Greene
Padres shortstop
$355,000

Ryan Klesko
Padres outfielder
$9,000,000

Trevor Hoffman
Padres relief pitcher
$5,000,000

Mark Loretta
Padres second baseman
$2,750,000

Phil Nevin
Padres first baseman
$9,625,000

Jake Peavy
Padres pitcher
$750,000

 

Sandee Fitzpatrick
waitress at T’s Café in Solana Beach
$32,000

Dave DeLuca
Allied Services Pest Elimination exterminator
$70,000

Dano McCarthy
jewelry estate buyer, Leo Hamel & Company
$60,000

David Henry
candlestick maker,
$800 a year
A retired chemist, Henry makes wood candlesticks. He exhibits at Trios Gallery and sells his work on-line at davidhenrywoodarts.com.
Best: “The creative part—I love making things.”
Worst: “When I create something new and different, and no one buys it.”

Valerie Harris
Ralphs bakery manager
$33,000

Angelique Walters
hair stylist, Entourage Hair Salon
$115,000

Marcia Stahovich, R.N.
specialized critical-care nurse
$75,000

Araceli Morales
Araceli’s Maid Service crew leader
$23,000-$60,000
Best: “Finishing up.”
Worst: “Bathroom scum, ovens and spiderwebs.”

Sean Leckie
W Hotel bartender
$38,000

Edgar Engerd
coordinator of the San Diego County Fair Flower & Garden Show
$25,000 per fair season

Hubert Lorenz
The Culinary Wizard master chef and caterer
$80,000

Asong Kennedy
FedEx Kinko’s Copies assistant
$8.50 an hour

Kamarin Stevens
Hooters Gaslamp waitress
$140-$170 a night
Best: “I meet lots of people, and I enjoy the girls I work with.”
Worst: “Being harassed.”

Shonna Smith
embalmer, funeral director and star of A&E’s Family Plots
$52,000

Donna Kleusner
beautician, New Look Salon Carlsbad
$100,500

Nick Nathan
Community Pools pool technician
$27,500

David Leyton
freelance audio engineer
$77,000

Nonprofit Organizations

Julie Meier Wright
Economic Development Corporation CEO
$225,000

Reint Reinders
Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO
$225,000

Doug Myrland
KPBS general manager
$162,000

Stephanie Bergsma
KPBS associate general manager for development
$112,000

Tom Karlo
KPBS assistant general manager
$112,968

 

Sarah Znerold sarah on phone
president of SZPR public relations firm
$85,000

Brian Reba
Four Seasons Resort Aviara valet
$24,000
Best: “Tips, and getting to drive Ferrari Spiders and Lexus GX740s.” Worst: “Cars that smell, and running in the heat when there are 900 people in one party.”


Most Popular

  1. Secret San Diego
    Psst! You didn’t hear it from us, but this town has all kinds of "hidden gems" (yes, we said it). And we’re not talking ghost stories at the Hotel Del.
  2. The Best of Ensenada
  3. Culture and Cocktails Goes Nautical July 10th
    Seafaring photo booths, locally-sourced, Ballast Point Cocktails, a not-to-miss summer exhibition...interested yet?
  4. The Ultimate Fourth of July Guide
    Festivals, food, and fireworks—the essential combination for celebrating Independence Day in San Diego. Here’s what’s happening around town this weekend.
  5. Best of San Diego: Food & Drink
  6. FIRST LOOK: Bottega Americano
    With Bottega Americano opening this weekend, Downtown gets its first gourmet food hall

Promotions

Best of Ensenada 2013

Where to eat, drink, sleep & play

Hawaii: Island Fresh

A handy guide to Hawaii's farmers markets

Connect With Us: