Boss takes employees on Caribbean cruise -- all 800 of them!



January in Iowa can be cold and dreary, but employees at a cabinet company are about to get a sunny reprieve from the winter doldrums, all thanks to the boss.

All of the more than 800 employees of Bertch Cabinets in Waterloo will get a free trip to the Caribbean next month. The company announced the trip on its Facebook page.

"We leave January 8," company president Gary Bertch told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. "We've got four charter aircraft that will be flying directly to Miami Sunday and staying at a nice five-star hotel. Then on Monday, we'll bus over from the hotel to the port and load up on the ship."
Bertch told his employees the trip was a reward for them after they helped the company meet its goals for the year. He offered the cruise as an incentive a year ago.
"We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals."
That's a heck of a lot better than getting a $5 gift card and a pat on the back.


Boss Rewards 800 Employees for Meeting Year’s Goals with a Caribbean Cruise

Vacation days have a slightly different meaning for the employees of Bertch Cabinets.

To reward its employees for a successful year of business, a cabinet manufacturing company in Iowa announced it will take over 800 employees on a Caribbean cruise in January.

“We leave Jan. 8,” company president Gary Bertch told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “We’ve got four charter aircraft that will be flying directly to Miami Sunday and staying at a nice five-star hotel. Then on Monday, we’ll bus over from the hotel to the port and load up on the ship.”

From there, the week-long vacation on a Carnival ship will make stops in Cozumel, Mexico and Key West, Florida.

The company announced the vacation on Facebook.

“Bertch is excited to announce a company wide vacation!” they wrote on Dec. 20. “We will be closing all facilities January 9-13 so we can set sails for the sunny Caribbean! This trip wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our incredible Bertch associates!”

Bertch said he offered the tropical getaway as a incentive to meet goals set forth by the company, which was  founded in a barn in 1977, more than a year ago.

“We were anticipating we’d have better sales again this year,” he said. “We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals.”

The company periodically rewarded its employees with a vacation starting with a trip to Acapulco in 1989; another took the company to Hawaii. However, the practice stopped in 2005 ahead of the recession that hurt the business until last year when they were finally in the black again.

“We’re happy we were able to achieve our goals. And they’re never easy. The financial goal was the big one,” he said. “We hit the other goals. Not by much. But we hit them. We’re looking forward to the following year.”


America's best boss? Iowa cabinet maker takes all 800 of his employees on a week long Caribbean cruise

A Waterloo cabinet manufacturer is taking its more than 800 employees on a company-paid Caribbean cruise to celebrate achieving key goals as it recovers from the recession.
Bertch Cabinet manufacturing co-founder Gary Bertch told his employees earlier this month that the company had met its goals for the year — and they would go on a five day cruise.
Employees depart on Sunday January 8 on one of four charter aircraft flying directly to Miami, where they will spend one night in a five star hotel before boarding the ship.

The Carnival cruise includes a stop at Key West and on the island of Cozumel off the coast of Mexico.
As to why Carnival?

'They're a fun ship. And if anyone knows our crowd, they like to have fun,' Bertch said in an interview.
'The first time we had them we ran them out of beer. We've learned they stocked extra for our trip this time so we don't run out.'
The company, founded in a barn 1977, once employed more than 1,000 people. Employment dropped to about 600 people in 2011, but the company has since added about 240 workers, Bertch said.
'We finally got into the black again last year after we made it through the recession,' Bertch said.
He challenged employees a year ago to meet certain goals and offered the cruise as an incentive.
Cruises had been reward to employees since 1989, but that hadn't happened since 2005 because of the recession.
Bertch noted the recovery has been 'very slow' in his industry.
'We were anticipating we'd have better sales again this year,' Bertch said. 'We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals.'

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