Home > Uncategorized > $1,038,716


A while back, the Herald mentioned that Dean Christensen, CEO of “non-profit” Coast Central Credit Union, received a million dollar compensation package for 2009 (reported in late 2010).

It looks like 2010 was a rough year, Dean only got a 3.5% raise.  His compensation increased to $1,038,176 in 2010, as reported in November 2011.  The members of Coast Central are a very generous bunch of people to keep Dean in the lifestyle to which he is accustomed.  Other credit union members are misers in comparison. CEO Wayne Bunker of Provident Credit Union, which holds twice the assets of Coast, made only $677,101 in 2010.

Unfortunately, Dean fails to reciprocate.  A comparison of Coast Central’s rates with those of Provident still shows Coast offering less interest on savings and checking and charging more on loans.  That’s just natural.  Coast needs more from its members to keep from turning its CEO into a pauper.

Provident tax filing: http://www2.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/941/482/2010-941482957-07afa6e5-9O.pdf

Coast Central tax filing: http://www2.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2010/941/287/2010-941287157-07cbe3dc-9O.pdf

  1. Not a member anymore.
    April 3, 2012 at 9:26 am

    47 times Humboldt average per capita income, to run the county employees credit union. No shame here.

  2. April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Call me a socialist, but I think “Executive” pay and bonus packages are a major symptom of the sickness of capitalism. What does this person do to deserve this amount of money? This goes for any CEO, It’s all part of the “Neo-Feudalism” of modern America. The greedy-fat-cats set themselves up as “Executive-sole” and pay themselves outrageous amounts and play “royality” towards their fellow workers. Talk about collective-bargaining, these guy’s have it nailed down.
    Funny how the capitalists always blame the lowly worker’s for high production costs. As if minimum-wage is way too much.
    It all boils down to greed. plain and simple. People get rich mostly through greed. You really have to want the money, to get the money. Of course saying this in a capitalist society is bound to bring out the defenders of an unjust society. Let it fly my friends. People will get sick of getting screwed over by someone with inherited advantage eventually. People are revolting!

  3. Ain't democracy grand?
    April 3, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Sorry, but quit your bitchin’. The guy works for a nonprofit, and nonprofits are run by elected boards. Run for a seat on the board. If members agree the guy is overpaid, they’ll agree with you and vote you in.

    Run or get off the pot.

  4. April 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

    $1,038,176 never felt better!


  5. Bolithio
    April 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

    How much do the board members make?

  6. Mitch
    April 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Ain’t democracy grand is exactly right. Here are the names of the Coast Central Board of Directors:

    Robert Gearheart, Ph.D.,
    John Gladding,
    Denise Jones,
    Brendan McKenny,
    Pat Brown,
    Ron Rudebock,
    Joyce Jury,
    Kelly Walsh,
    Diane Leiker

    I’d say anyone with any concern over a million dollar salary at a non-profit that offers lousy rates has several options — move their money from Coast Central, discuss this concern with someone on the Board of Directors, or run for the Board of Directors.

    Of course, if you’re happy with Dean Christensen’s pay package and don’t mind paying more for your mortgage and getting less for your savings, you have no problems.

  7. jr
    April 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I wonder how his salary compares with that of former CEO Sreve Antongiovanni, adjusted for inflation.

  8. Just Watchin
    April 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Interesting how the other CEO’s compensation was referred to as “only” $677,101. I wonder how many of the occupiers pulled their money out of the “Big,Bad Corporate” banks and took it to Coast Central.
    As for Moviedad, here’s a line from a movie by my favorite executive, Gordon Gekko……” Greed is good” !

  9. April 3, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Of what interest is any of this to a NON-MEMBER?

    By the way, moviedad, while some of this issue may be about “greed” the real motivation is about elitism – call it class distinction, if you will.

  10. Mitch
    April 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Joe Blow,

    Some non-members might see this as an abuse of non-profit status, and an example of how, even in groups that are supposedly operated in the public good rather than for profit, the greedy have still learned how to suck money out of the system.

    Any time you can charge 1,000 people an extra buck when they’re not worried about a buck, you can add $1,000 to your salary. It’s a fundamental problem in any organization serving a large group, not just a problem of for-profits. A million dollar salary in this non-profit is an example.

    That’s one of the reasons we’ve seen such huge salary inflation among “executives” and “high level administrators” in comparison with individual workers, even professionals.

  11. Mitch
    April 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Oh yeah, “Ain’t democracy”? The reason IRS Form 990s include compensation information is precisely so that everyone can know what the executives at a non-profit are making. That way, it’s not just a secret for the compensation committee, and an organization’s membership as a whole can decide if they are being well-served. So can the public as a whole.

  12. Fact Checker
    April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The irony is that the group which has done their jobs the WORST are paid the MOST. After all, one can not blame the branch manager in Fortuna at Bank of America for the trillion dollar bailout paid for by the middle class. Nor can one blame the bank tellers. Not even the regional managers from Smith Barney. The group of people who nearly bankrupted America endlessly plunder the companies they ¨lead¨. How does one take an annual wage for millions of dollars when, at times, said companies are losing hundreds of millions, or worse, literally billions of dollars?

    ¨Special Report
    Show Me The Money
    Scott DeCarlo, 04.13.11, 06:00 PM EDT
    Bosses are again feeling flush, receiving their first bump since 2006.
    After a collective pay cut in 2009, chief executives of the 500 biggest companies in the U.S. (as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value) got a collective pay raise of 12% last year…¨


    ¨You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” -Joseph N. Welch

  13. Blackcoffee
    April 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    As a Coast Central member for many many years,

    with both a business account and a personal account,

    I’d just like say… that seems unreasonable.

    I’d rather he be paid less.

  14. Harold Knight
    April 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I have to agree with “Joe Blow”. It’s about classist elitism.

    Too many Americans feel special by their mere proximity to millionaires…including their relationship with employers. Every inspirational speaker/charlatan reminds us that success is about personal relationships.

    It explains why so many poor folks in Eureka put the republican candidate’s political signs in their yard.

    Keep dreamin’…

  15. Raybowls
    April 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I’m with Blackcoffee. i’m also a member and consider this excessive. Coast Central should be setting an example, not following the standard corporate banker’s self centered interests ploy.

    Belonging has felt better. Please note Board Members. Thank you.

  16. Plain Jane
    April 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Again, Matt Taibbi 2009

    “But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.”

    And now we have the GOP and all of their presidential candidates clamoring for more tax cuts for the rich, deregulation for business and tax increases or benefit cuts for everyone else. I can’t think of a more fitting insult than “peasant” for the non-rich who vote Republican and “hoarder” for the rich who do, using the most insulting definition of both.

  17. Blackcoffee
    April 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Coast Central – Board of Directors
    2012 Coast Central Credit Union
    2650 Harrison Ave.
    Eureka, CA 95501

  18. April 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    “Jews for Hitler.”

  19. What Now
    April 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    “Roosting chickens for KFC.”

  20. Not Envious
    April 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm


    It is not that you want what Dean Christensen has (which would be jealousy), you just don’t want him to have it (envy) because his having more makes you feel less.

    The “Evil Eye,” is “Green-eyed Envy.” It is a base human emotion. You who are posting here in opposition to his salary are rank with envy.


  21. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Well, Not Envious, you’d have a point if Christensen had gone out and created something for the money.

    But, since the money would either belong to Christensen or to the members of Coast Central, I think the emotion you’re looking for is “justice.”

    What does he do for his money that the CEO of Provident doesn’t do? Provident has more employees, more members, and more assets. Coast Central probably has more advertising.

  22. Fact Checker
    April 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Not true. Most of the people I know are happy making a living, not a killing. Honestly, the exception are some people I personally know who are kinda wealthy or wealthy. There is something about owning a gas station-buisiness, making nearly 100K a year and deciding that with the right price adjustment, they can make between a quarter mill or more a year right here in little ol´ Arkleyville while paying their neighbors minimum wage. (The bigger the city, the more magnified the opportunity). When some people get so close to that big pile of cash that they can smell it, they go a little crazy, crazy with greed. It´s as old as mankind. Your regular old working stiff is usually thrilled to make a living and have good health care. What we used to call ¨the Ameerica Dream¨.

  23. Fact Checker
    April 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    my response was to the person who claimed they were ¨not envious¨

  24. The Once-ler
    April 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    ¨Every once in a while I sit down with myself asking ‘Once-ler, why are you a Once-ler?’ And I cringe, I don’t smile as I sit there on trial asking ‘Aren’t you ashamed, you old Once-ler? You ought to be locked in a hoosegow, you should! The things that you do are completely un-good.’ Yeah? But if I didn’t do them, then someone else WOULD! That’s a very good point, Mr. Once-ler. Progress is progress, and progress must grow!¨

  25. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    So, take the money and don’t look back then? I can’t really blame him, his conscience is his own. Makes me wonder about the board.

    Growth is growth. Whether it is progress remains to be seen.

  26. Smart 5th Grader
    April 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Anon 4:34 ¨Makes me wonder about the board.¨
    Spot-on observation.

  27. High Finance
    April 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    This is nobody’s business but the members of Coast Central.

    Like somebody said, don’t like the CEO’s salary ? Become a member and run for the board. But be aware, the board members are unpaid and probably spend 10 hours a month in boring evening meetings taking time away from their families.

    Some of you might want to make informed decisions. Take a look at Coast Central’s balance sheet before Christenson became CEO and compare it to today. You will be flat out amazed at the difference.

  28. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Is the board elected? I’ve been a member for six years and don’t recall ever getting an election ballot.

  29. High Finance
    April 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Read the quarterly newsletter that comes with our statements.

  30. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    What do I care about their balance sheet if Coast Central won’t offer me a competitive rate? What good does their growth do me, or any member?

  31. Plain Jane
    April 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Of course HiFi gives all credit to the CEO and none to the regular employees or members who are being screwed by Christensen’s outrageous salary. Whose pockets do you think the money comes from?

  32. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    “Take a look at Coast Central’s balance sheet before Christenson became CEO and compare it to today. You will be flat out amazed at the difference.”

    Amazed at what, how well a CEO can help milk money from the public? Color me not impressed.

    Remember when free checking meant free checking? As of 2010, Most major banks charge about 10 bucks a month to have a checking account now. What a bunch of FUCKING BULLSHIT. Let’s not get into the direct deposit waver scam, etc…free checking used to mean “thanks for trusting us, thanks for letting us borrow your money to further our own fortune”…etc etc…as if the business of money is transferable in the first place. Banks are banks, money is a pyramid scam from the get go. But I digress….

    Coast Central charges 6 dollars per month to have a checking account with them. Population of humboldt = 130,000, times 6 bucks = about $750,000 per year. Let’s not pretend even a tenth of humboldtians bank at coast central. 1/10th of 750k = 75k. Let’s not pretend most of the people who bank at coast central only have a checking account through them. So how about Coast Central BANK show us they really give a shit by cutting their CEO’s paycheck to a mere $950,000 so those of us who don’t want to jump through all kinds of computerized hoops to let them borrow our money can have a damn free checking account??? Coast Central is just another penny pinching bank run by a bunch of stuffed suits.

  33. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Re: my own post @ 8:18…bad math…haha, a doozy of a mistake minus some monthly decimals…done in a quick rage after reading this topic. But my points and probabilities stand. I get my checks cashed @ banks as I’m payed. I’ve been to coast central several times since closing my own account at a major, and didn’t open an account through coast central because they also didn’t offer free checking, and their interest rates are worthless as the rest. How many fucking times do I have to wait more than five fucking minutes for them to look at their damn computer screen long enough to tell them it’s okay to give me my money? They’ve claimed to not have me “in their system” twice in the past year despite letting them finger print me etc. ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASSION TO GET INTO THEIR FUCKING SYSTEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. WHAT THE FUCK. I can pretend to be nice once, but fuck them after that. Smalltalk wth the tellers at all the banks, bla bla bla, wait wait wait, process process…unless this or that or th eother. They’re a bunch of liars and salespeople, trying to milk us of any and all money they can. They’re BANKS. They want YOUR MONEY and like most business nowadays, they’re dumping a shit load of money into hiring people who WILL make X amount of people actually believe they’re doing some kind of benevolent service in handing over their money, enough that those people will fucking PAY to hand over their money! insanity!

  34. 713
    April 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I bank at Umpqua. Free checking and I have never had the problems you described. Serious question: do you bounce a lot of checks or carry a very low balance? I know banks don’t like those types of customers because they are not profitable.

  35. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    “Serious question: do you bounce a lot of checks or carry a very low balance? I know banks don’t like those types of customers because they are not profitable.”

    Absolutely not! I never have nor would bounce a check, and my checks come from temp agencies or direct from employer. I kept a savings account of around $2,000 for a long time, but when all the banks started requiring direct deposit and/or a ~$25 account transfer PER MONTH to waive their new BULLSHIT FEE, I closed my accounts, not that @ interest rates a savings account does anything for the money owner, instead all for the bank. And that’s assuming their customers don’t see their own time as worth anything.

    It’s not that the banks see people like me as ‘not profitable”…instead they’re collectively creating a solid class divide between those who computer and those who do not computer. when I put my money in their bank, they look at it down to the thousandth of a penny…and they use that money to invest. And They are paid time and over for use of their non-tangible “service” through all kinds of initial fees, check fees and minimum balance requirement. Minimum balance requirement is a broad daylight feel-good scam much worse than gas stations charging 99/100th’s of a cent to top off prices, we’re born into the minimum balance requirement fooled into thinking we’re not paying the bank that much money in th efirst place, but the math is all there, they use that money and if we take it back we have to pay, or switch banks where we will have to pay that much again plus all the initial fees and check fees etc. They ALL use OUR money to further their private empire. bla bla bla etc etc etc

    Umpqua doesn’t have free checking either, you either have direct deposit and/or another account with them that auto-transacts their checking fee waiver. I’ve looked into all of this before deciding I’d rather deal with the post office as my “checking account’ and keep what I can save safe in my own tangible domain.

  36. Anonymous
    April 4, 2012 at 12:13 am

    This appalls me at some level. I feel no jealousy…have no idea who this man is beyond reading about him here and there. I have one business account with Coast Central and have no issue with their service. That said, I just find it hard to imagine what this guy could do to warrant this kind of compensation! Truly, seems over the top. I’d be very interested to hear the board opinions.

  37. Just Watchin
    April 4, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Hey Anonymous……. Can’t you just have your welfare checks direct deposited to avoid the checking fee ?

  38. Smart 5th Grader
    April 4, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Just Watchin at 5:28 am
    Wow! You´re a hater!

  39. 713
    April 4, 2012 at 6:14 am

    10:31 – I do have direct deposit and maintain a minimum balance in a savings account. You complain about the low interest rates paid, but on the other hand, you can get a home loan for 4% now. I’ll take a 4% rate on my mortgage and 1% on my savings account any day. Maybe I am unique in that my mortgage balance is more than I keep in a savings account.

  40. Gil Yule
    April 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I’m curious why anyone (especially someone self-named “High Finance”) would continue to keep their money at Coast Central when apparently “A comparison of Coast Central’s rates with those of Provident still shows Coast offering less interest on savings and checking and charging more on loans.”

    On the surface it seems like bad business to me. Am I missing something?

  41. Mitch
    April 4, 2012 at 9:01 am


    At least based on the rates they advertise, Provident’s fixed rate mortgages are half a percent lower than Coast’s. It’s possible that Coast advertises a rate available across a larger range of credit ratings than Provident. You decide how likely that is.

    A half percent on a 30 year mortgage is a very substantial sum of money. I don’t have an amortization calculator in front of me, but the difference in payments is probably 10% or more of the price of the house.

    If it’s true that Coast is getting an additional half percent on its mortgages over non-Humboldt credit unions, then that’s the penalty that this region’s credit union mortgage buyers are suffering under.

    People would be up in arms if they lost enough mortgage interest deduction that their effective payment for a house went up by 10% of its price. This is the same thing. Like the lottery, it’s a stupidity tax. Unlike the lottery, it goes to Dean Christensen rather than education.

  42. Mitch
    April 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    It was not totally fair of me to call Dean Christensen’s salary a stupidity tax on Humboldt homeowners and savings account holders. Actually, it’s more of an ignorance tax.

    The ignorance is maintained by a for-profit media that refuses to cover such things, or covers them in Pravda style, explaining away the problem as soon as it is alluded to. And that media is paid by Coast Central and others who pay it to carry their ads (which are necessary — because their rates are bad they have to trick people into banking with them).

    The model of having ads sponsor reporting is long-since gone. “Content,” not even reporting, is now there for the ads, and the purpose of the media is to make money by selling ads. The content may be good or bad but the business doesn’t care — it just wants eyeballs for the ads, which is the true mission of today’s media.

  43. Dull Boy
    April 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

    What are the salaries and bennies for the big shots @ the Eureka Chamber of Commerce? I know that none of them are making 7 figures, but at least Christenson is presumably doing some work for his grand salary, as opposed to being a parasite on society.

    Since the CoC wages are taxpayer subsidized, we have a right to know.

  44. Mitch
    April 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Dull Boy,

    Here is the Greater Eureka CoC’s Form 990:


    It looks like they have $160,000 of total compensation, but none of it rises to reportable levels. I’m not sure, but I think you have to report anything above $100,000.

  45. High Finance
    April 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Dull Boy knows the wages of the Chamber are not “taxpayer subsidized” yet he persists in that lie.

  46. Fact Checker
    April 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Yeah, the Chamber keeps Eureka City money in the left pocket and they pay themselves from the right pocket.

  47. travcat
    April 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What’d ya gonna do?

  48. April 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I am a CCCU member for over 30 years. Mr. Dean Christensen is wildly overpaid. Where does he think he is, Salt Lake City?
    This is Eureka, Humboldt County and he is taking over 50 times the median wage. The Board is rubberstamping him and the top management. Time for a change! Seems like a Board member is a lifetime appointment average tenure is 20 years+, I wonder why?
    He is 4x Rollin Richmond at HSU, 2x Joe Mark at St. Joseph Hospital system, on and on….what a greed head

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