Christmas surprise: FloraCraft gives $4M to workers

Michigan

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Workers at FloraCraft in Ludington got a Christmas surprise on pay day: $4 million from their chairman.

At a company holiday lunch Friday, Lee Schoenherr announced he was giving $4 million in cash bonuses and 401(k) contributions to full-time employees as a way to thank them for their hard work and dedication, which helped propel the company into a global leader.

Schoenherr said his announcement was met with a range of emotions from workers.

“From a few tears to cheering and thanking. A few people came up and said, ‘You know, I’ve been working for you for x number of years and now I have the money to do such and such,'” he said. “I had a hard time keeping the tears back myself, seeing the reaction.”

Each employee’s gift amount will vary based on how long they’ve been with the company, with the average amount topping $20,000. Employees who have been with Floracraft more than 40 years will get a gift of more than $60,000, according to the company.

Schoenherr said the amount may be a little higher based on the company’s performance, since employees are part of a profit-sharing program.

Schoenherr said he’s been thinking about how to reward employees for a few years, but this idea developed over the past year.

“Through the years, my wife and I have supported the community in a variety of ways. Every time we did that I thought to myself, the reason we can do this is because I have such great people — loyal, hardworking — to make it possible for us to do it. I thought it was probably really time to recognize the fact that we they have played an important part in any of the giving we have done. And this would be a good way to show my appreciation just for them,” Schoenherr told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. 

FloraCraft is a family-owned business that distributes nationwide and in 17 countries. Its foam products are available at more than 20,000 stores, including Walmart, Amazon, Michaels, JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores and Hobby Lobby.

The company says in its 72-year history, it’s never laid off an employee.

“Doing something like this, they’ve got to believe we really do appreciate them. If we can make their lives a little bit better also, that’s a wonderful reward for myself and the company, too. I think everyone is happy. It’s a merry, merry Christmas for everyone, I hope. At least it was for me,” Schoenherr said.

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