The co-founder of a cabinet manufacturing company in Iowa is taking more than 800 employees on a company-paid Caribbean cruise.
Gary Bertch, co-founder of Bertch Cabinet manufacturing, is being called America's best boss. He is taking his employees on a five-day cruise along the Caribbean to celebrate the company achieving key goals for the year, the Daily Mail reported.
The Carnival cruise is set to depart Jan. 8 from Miami. Employees will be spending the night at a five-star hotel before boarding the ship.
The ship will make stops at Key West and Cozumel, an island off the coast of Mexico.
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When asked why Bertch chose Carnival cruise, he said he chose them because they are a "fun ship."
"And if anyone knows our crowd, they like to have fun," Bertch said in an interview with The Courier. "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."
Bertch Cabinet manufacturing was founded in 1977. At one time, they employed more than 1,000 people. Employment numbers dropped to about 600 people in 2011, but the company has since added about 240 workers.
"We finally got into the black again last year after we made it through the recession," Bertch explained.
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Last year, Bertch challenged his employees to accomplish certain goals. He offered the cruise as an incentive.
The cruise has been offered as a reward to employees since 1989, but stopped in 2005 because of the recession.
Bertch said recovery has been "very slow," but he remained optimistic.
"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."