Money and Main Street

Heroes of the economy

From saving a stranger's home to feeding needy families, these 8 people are making personal sacrifices to help others out of the doom and gloom.

1 of 6
BACKNEXT
Rob Katz
Heroic act: Cut his own salary to $0
Position: CEO, Vail Resorts
Hometown: Vail, Colo.

Things are still sunny at Vail Resorts, which operates five ski and snowboard slopes in Colorado and Lake Tahoe, Nev. The company's revenues rose in the second quarter, boosted by real estate sales. But CEO Rob Katz expects the situation to head downhill.

To prevent layoffs, he decided to take the biggest cut himself. Unlike the AIG executives taking big bonuses and salaries, Katz cut his $840,000 a year salary down to $0 for 2009, and he will take a 15% cut when it is reinstated.

Seasonal employees were asked to a 2.5% pay cut, and executives agreed to a 10% reduction. The company's board of directors has agreed to reduce their annual cash retainer by 20%. Total saved: More than $10 million annually.

"If I was going to ask someone making $8 an hour to take a pay cut, they needed to know I was doing something that would really affect me," Katz says. "No one wants to see their salary reduced, but at least in this case those at the top are making the biggest sacrifice."

In order to adjust to a $0 salary this year, Katz said he will cut back on expenses like travel and food.

"I'm making changes, but you can't compare the challenges I go through to some of our folks," he explains. "I've saved money because I've made more over my time. They need to find a way to put food on the table."

"People here would rather take a pay cut than see their colleague lose their job," he adds. "Everyone at the company is a hero." -- J.P.


NEXT: Pam Koner, Jaime Raskulinecz and Linda Varas
Last updated April 14 2009: 11:18 AM ET
More Galleries
For sale: Steve McQueen's 1967 Ferrari The red 1967 sports car is expected to fetch millions at auction. More
The 13 most WTF gadgets From the weird to the gross, these 13 gadgets will make you wonder why they even exist. More
Best-loved cars in America These cars and trucks topped J.D. Power's APEAL survey, which measures how much owners like their new vehicles. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.