Company Founder Thanks Employees with $20 Million

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hand out / hænd aʊt / (phrasal) – to distribute something

    Every Christmas, the CEO hands out gifts to all employees.

  2. luncheon / ˈlʌntʃən / (n) – a formal lunch that is part of a celebration

    We surprised our boss with a birthday cake during the company’s annual luncheon.

  3. as a token of (something) / əz ə ˈtoʊkən əv / (idiom) – as a gift that symbolizes or represents something

    My supervisor gave me a gift as a token of recognition for a job well done.

  4. gratitude / ˈgrætəˌtuːd / (n) – a feeling of being thankful

    She showed her gratitude to her coworkers by giving them some cookies.

  5. touched / tʌtʃt / (adj) – feeling happy because of what someone has done

    Rina was touched by her boss’ compliments to her work.


Read the text below.

The chairman of a home health care company has handed out $20 million to his employees.

Mark Baiada, chairman and founder of BAYADA Home Health Care, announced his $20-million gift during the company’s luncheon in November. He gave the money as a token of gratitude for the employees’ hard and meaningful work.

The money came from Baiada’s personal funds. It was divided among thousands of people, including current and retired employees. Reportedly, new employees got $50 each, while those who have been in the company for a long time collected tens of thousands of dollars.

Baiada’s gift came as a surprise to the employees, which include nurses, home health aides, therapists, social workers, and other home health care workers from 22 states in the United States. During the luncheon, the employees greeted the announcement with tears and a standing ovation.

Some employees expressed their plans on how they would spend the money. Plans range from Christmas presents to international trips. BAYADA Pediatric Nurse Nicole Green was very thankful for the gift but felt even more touched by Baiada’s recognition of the employees’ hard work. Green said that she would use the financial gift for her daughter’s college tuition.

Baiada’s generous gesture was a part of the company’s transition into becoming a nonprofit organization. The billion-dollar company will also be donated to a charitable foundation. By doing this, Baiada hopes that the company will be able to focus more on serving the community rather than making money for its shareholders.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the $20-million gift was enough to show gratitude to BAYADA’s employees? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, is money a good token of gratitude? Explain.

Discussion B

• Why do you think it is important to recognize people’s hard work? Explain.
• What kind of token of appreciation would you prefer to receive for your hard work (e.g. money, medal)?