Boss surprises employees with bonus
VINELAND, N.J. - April 2, 2009 (WPVI) -- At a time when bonus has almost become a bad word, the employees of Bollinger Insurance have each received bonus checks in the amount of $1,000 after taxes.
The checks were a surprise and came out of the pocket of company CEO Jack Windolf.
"I was thrilled. The girl standing next to me, who barely new me, I turned around and I grabbed her and I hugged her and she was like, 'Wow, I feel closer to you now,'" employee Caroline Verderose said.
About a year ago, 51 percent of the company was sold and Jack Windolf got a $500,000 in deferred compensation and he shared it with all 454 of his employees.
"It was going to be the Bollinger mini economic stimulus package and it is kind of mini, it's only $500,000, but every little bit helps," Windolf said.
Many of the employees have big plans for the windfall.
"We are taking two of our oldest grandchildren to Myrtle Beach for a week in June," Denise Middleton said.
"I, personally, am going to be able to take my first official vacation with my 12-year-old son, courtesy of Jack," Jennifer Kingsland said.
Bollinger is headquartered in North Jersey with several offices including one in Vineland and one in Moorestown. Employees say they aren't surprised by Jack Windolf's kindness.
"We get nice picnics, bonuses for Christmas; he's a very nice boss," Cathy Grusmeyer said.
Bollinger is an insurance broker and does business with insurance giant AIG, where executive bonus has become the poster child for corporate greed. His employees say Jack Windolf is the antithesis.
Windolf says he feels good about sharing, but says its also good business practice.
"You have to share with your employees and that's all we're doing. It's not really a gift, it's an investment," Windolf said.
Windolf says he'd like his company to set an example for other companies.
local/state, cathy gandolfo
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