• December 8, 2011

    Esalen CEO Tricia McEntee, internal email, January 21, 2010:

    In the interest of building a relationship of honesty, integrity, and trust, among organization employees, [survey] results should be communicated effectively by a unbiased professional and acted upon by the organization.

    Who is being allowed to communicate the results of the Leadership Culture Survey in an effective way? How are the results of the survey being acted upon by the organization? The CEO should follow her own advice, gleaned from professionals, or resign.


    [Esaleaks invites the results of the Leadership Culture survey, to be communicated effectively and without bias through open publication.]

  • December 6, 2011

    I request an appointment with the Director of Guest Services at an open community meeting, perhaps during staff week. That seems like a good time when we can all hear the results [of the Leadership Culture survey] without the risk of exposing our inner workings to seminarians.

    I trust Jan entirely in her intentions and would like to stress my full hearted belief in her integrity.

    I imagine the decision to do things this way was not in her hands, but I don’t know for sure.

    I just don’t trust the mechanism of dispersal for this information. Why can’t we see the results in a more open forum where community dialog can be facilitated?


  • December 6, 2011

    The salary distribution at Esalen is disappointingly typical of corporations:

    Perhaps the reality of executive compensation at Esalen would be digestible if not for the poor performance that has come along with it.


    [This data is 4 years old. The expansion in management through the ensuing 4 years has been immense. —Ed.]

  • December 6, 2011

    In the recent CEO report to the Board of Trustees, this passage stands out:

    Sponsored by Trish [McEntee] and Scott [Stillinger], Jan [Sinclair] and the EEteam conducted two 2 hour all staff meetings to communicate results of Leadership Culture survey

    This is a misleading statement. Actual detailed numbers were never released because the results came out very poorly. The staff at Esalen has been told that the results are available only if one makes an appointment with Director of Guest Services Jan Sinclair. Unfortunately, the implicit motive behind that move appears to be one of intimidation.


    [Esaleaks invites the raw results of the Leadership Culture survey for anonymous publication on this web site.]

  • December 5, 2011

    Thank you for publishing the Esalen Community Representative Report of October 2010. It is apparent that the issues we have as a community are being ignored and that when the issues are swept under the rug or thrown a token of appeasement we quiet down for a bit. Unless a real change is made and honest communication takes place I fear the same things will be true in 2012.

    If the administration hasn’t paid attention in the past I invite them to pay attention now. The administrative class around the world is paying the price for their arrogant lack of attention to the people they are “leading.” Decades long dictators are being dethroned, tried and executed. Governors are being recalled by their constituents. Esalen is a microcosm. Please listen to us now and choose to be a hero for what is right, and not another example of disgraced elite, out of touch with the base of power that exists in the people.


  • December 5, 2011

    These executive compensation figures apparently do not include health insurance or housing allowances. With all benefits included, these seem to be very hefty compensation packages. The Board believes these levels are necessary to attract “top talent.” An alternative HR process might (1) compare Esalen top earners’ total compensation and benefits package with that of other similarly-sized non-profits and/or hospitality services. With this knowledge, we could then (2) advertise positions with a salary range that tops out somewhere slightly below standard levels, and see who bites. If the positions are intrinsically attractive, qualified candidates might bid the compensation cost down.

    The executive team may claim they have already more or less used this approach, but it is highly questionable whether there has been enough transparency for those outside the cabal to verify the effectiveness of Esalen’s hiring practices.


    [The placement of Tricia McEntee in the CEO role without conducting a public talent search, or even interviewing qualified candidates put forward by the community, exemplifies administration's preference for opaque hiring practices and favoritism. —Ed.]

  • December 5, 2011

    Esaleaks presents the Esalen Community Representative Report of October 2010. The report is now over a year old, yet the problems it outlines remain overwhelmingly unaddressed — including a hostile working environment, disregard for individual skills and potential, a lack of open collaboration, and the sense that management is orchestrating a major cultural shift without openly discussing its intentions.

  • December 4, 2011

    Esaleaks welcomes all types of raw data that might assist in understanding Esalen’s inner business workings. On that note, we present Esalen’s complete 2009 tax return, with thanks to our contributors.

  • December 4, 2011

    Esaleaks would like to announce the start of the “Esaleaks Compensation Project” in which the salaries, qualifications, and performance of Esalen managers and executives is discussed. What are they being paid today, and is it commensurate with what they’re doing and what Esalen needs? Could people with better qualifications and greater resonance with Esalen history, teachings, and spirit be hired at similar salaries? Who are they? How well are the “executive team” (CEO and HR Director) performing in the context of the Institute’s goals of supporting personal and social transformation, and how does their relationship impact hiring?

    As the project proceeds, we invite thoughts about these questions, current compensation data, and many new questions being asked.

    We begin with a sampling of top salaries from Esalen’s 2009 IRS Form 990 Part VII, graciously provided by an anonymous contributor.

    Is the Board willing to admit having learned anything from the tragic and costly tenures of Harry Feinberg and David Patterson? If not, how does this bode for Esalen’s ability to evolve a successful hiring process?

    Our contributor notes:

    Please be aware that the Form 990 filing only requires disclosure of salaries for officers, board members, key employees & “highly compensated employees” (as defined by IRS). Hence, the whole tier of directors now in place at Esalen doesn’t appear here. And, I believe (I have no accurate numbers to back this up) that their compensation currently falls in th $60K-$80K range.

  • Anonymous upload

    Comments Off
    December 4, 2011

    Esaleaks now offers a web-based file upload page here.

    It can be accessed using the Anonymouse anonymizer here.