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How Much Do You Make?
By Stephen Johnson

August 14, 2007
For their August edition, the editors at Northern Virginia magazine dared to ask the question that, in a region filled with highly classified government workers, is nearly as sensitive as “What do you do?” With a little charm, a lot of coaxing and some topnotch investigative work, they were able to discover the salaries of more than 100 Northern Virginia residents, from politicos and professional athletes to belly dancers and bus drivers.

Says Northern Virginia contributing writer McLean Robbins: "Salary information in this area is locked up tighter than the D.C. Madam's telephone list, and getting people to admit their name in conjunction with their place of work is more difficult than snagging a seat on the orange Line at Ballston at rush hour.

"You'd be amazed at what we came up with," says Roberts. "A waste management supervisor earns more than an account manager at a Fortune 500 company. George University President Alan Mert nets $100,000 more than U.S. Senator Jim Webb."

Public Company CEOs

You'd expect to find some seven-figure salaries among the area's public company CEO's, and you won't be disappointed: Gary Fose, Chairman and CEO of Spring/Nextel, made $1,436,783 last year; Ronald D. Sugar, Chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman, made $1,433,654. Neither came close to Frank Battan, Jr. Chairman and CEO of Landmark Communications, who made more than $700 million, or Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and CEO of Capital One, who made $37,438,699.

Sports Stars

Washington Wizards Forward Antawn Jamison made $16,360,095, while his teammate Gibert Arenas made $11,946,667. Redskin Wide Receiver Sanatana Moss made $3,542,200. D.C. United Defensive Midfielder Brian Carroll made $58,754.


Dulles Toll Road Tollbooth Operator Joe Boroski made $35,000. Kathey Icheter, Fairfax County Director of Transportation, made $134,000. David Goodman, an urban planner with WALK Arlington, made $70,000. Fairfax Connector Bus Driver John Ashford made $43,000.

Richest Residents

Several of Northern Virginia's richest residents are African-Americans: Rodney P. Hunt, who owns McLean RS Systems Inc., the largest African-American owned company in the Washington area, has a net worth of $265 million. Sports enthusiast and Black Entertainment Television co-founder Sheila Johnson is America's first African-American female billionaire, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Other local high-tet-worth individuals co-founded technology firms that became worth billions: America Online co-founder Stephen Case has a net worth of $900 million, while Michael Saylor, Chairman and Co-Founder of MicroStrategy, has a net worth of $318 million.

At Your Service

Fairfax Fire and Rescue Chief Ronald L. Mastin made $160,000. Prince William County Sheriff Glendell Hill made $133,550. Loudoun County treasurer H. Robert Zurn Jr. made $103,844, while Sarah Hopwood, Supervisor of Library Media Programs for Prince William County, made $100,472.


"Oracle, AOL, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton -- just point and click and any number of technology companies are bound to pop up here in the Silicon Valley of the east. And along with these companies come a myriad of jobs with varying paychecks," says contributing writer Vanessa LaFaso Stolarksi. Among them: San Chung, a senior systems engineer with International I Computing Systems (who made $120,000); MJ Dilworth-Smith, a senior compensation consultant with Northrop Grumman ($108,000); Harry Levere Breedlove II, a senior management analyst with Bearing Point ($70,000+), and Abhijeet Jhala, an associate consultant with Open Wave ($64,000).

Northern Virginia magazine's Robbins says people in Loudoun County were the most cooperative with the magazine's researchers, while people in Prince William County were the least forthcoming about their jobs and salaries. And he said that the kindest responses came from the Fairy Godmother Custard Shop in Del Ray.

Steve Johnson is Director, Corporate Communications of HireStrategy. HireStrategy provides consulting services and executive search solutions in the technology, sales, human resources and accounting professions. HireStrategy, an Inc. 500 company, is ranked by The Washington Business Journal as the #1 staffing firm in the Greater Washington area, and recognized by Washingtonian magazine, as one of Washington's "Great Places to Work."

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