Monday, December 25, 2006

Looking For A Good Story?

This is a story that deserves national exposure since it is so rare we see such displays of largess. Robert Kern, founder and recently retired CEO of Generac Power Systems, gave bonuses to his former employees out of his own pocket. This was done without an announcement, press release or any media trapping whatsoever.

Jeff Dries has worked at the company for nine years and said he got a check for about $10,000.

"People had gone home for lunch and checked their mail like they normally do," Dries said. "They just got broadsided" by the checks.

Dries said he and his wife plan to use their gift as a down payment on a house.

"I know it's going to change a lot of people's lives," he said of the gifts.

I add here that I was an employee of Generac (in the portable generator division) for a short time before my division was sold just prior to Y2K. I only had limited encounters with Mr. Kern, but anyone you talked to that knew him always spoke of his loyalty to his employees. Much was made about the fact that the company did not lay off employees in hard times. Mr. Kern himself never sought attention, even inside the company. While he preferred to tinker with product design, he was a brilliantly shrewd businessman, timing his sale of the portable generator division perfectly before the market went through the floor after Y2K. Sure this news surprised me, these stories are so rare. But in the analysis, it was just Mr. Kern returning some loyalty. Read more at the link below.

Merry Christmas to everyone from This Blog Title For Sale.

JS Online: Generac Workers Get A Holiday Surprise

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3 astute observations :

  1. Lisa said...

    Happy seasonal days off to ya, rich!

  2. richmanwisco said...

    thank you very much lisa!

  3. stuffle said...

    Haven't been reading blogs lately and just getting caught up now, so a late Merry Christmas to you too...

    My dad worked at Generac for over 30 years, first in Genesee, then out in Jefferson. He is still out there, though obviously not as an employee of Generac anymore.

    I still remember when Generac had to temporarily lay off a lot of engineers back in either the late 70's or early 80's. He put them to work on a farm he owned so they would still be able to pull in something. The details on that are a bit hazy, I fairly young then, but I do remember going out there...