Gary Bertch it taking his employees on a cruise – all 800 of them – next month, keeping his word after they met goals he laid out for his Iowa cabinet company a year ago.
Bertch, cofounder and president of Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing, told the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier that he challenged his employees to hit certain target goals and dangled the cruise in front of them as the ultimate carrot.
"We finally got into the black again last year after we made it through the recession," Bertch told the Courier. "We were anticipating we'd have better sales again this year. 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."
Bertch Cabinet once had more than 1,000 employees before the recession hit in 2008, dwindling that number to 600 by 2011, the newspaper reported. The company has hired about 240 since then as business continued to pick up.
Bertch made the announcement official on the company's Facebook page days before Christmas.
"We leave Jan. 8," Bertch told the newspaper. "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."
According to its website, the family-owned Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing works out of a 750,000 square-foot facility in Waterloo, Iowa. The company started manufacturing with a table saw in a family barn in 1977.
Bertch's vacation plans for his employees won kudos from many on social media.
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