Employees of a large commercial real estate firm received a life-changing surprise when they were gifted $10 million in bonuses at their company holiday party.
St. John Properties handed the cash out to its 198 employees in recognition of the company hitting its target of developing 20 million square feet of space in eight states.
The cash was handed out based solely on years of service, with the average employee pocketing $50,000. The largest bonus—$270,000—went to an employee of more than 44 years.
Ed St. John, founder of St. John’s Properties in Baltimore, Maryland, and company president Lawrence Maykrantz, gave out 198 bonus checks to their employees during the year end festivities.
“I’m shocked. I’m very thankful,” another said.
“What happened tonight was magical,” an employee said. “It’s really amazing.”
A video of the surprise announcement showed employees reacting with shock, tears and gratitude as they opened a red envelope containing their bonus amount at the company’s holiday party December 7.
“I was totally blown away when it happened,” one woman said in the video.
“It is life changing,” another woman said. She then bursts into tears. “It is so generous.”
“To celebrate the achievement of our goal, we wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives,” said Edward St. John, the company’s founder and chair. “I am thankful for every one of our employees, for their hard work and dedication. I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.”
Maykrantz said employees told him they plan to use the money to pay off mortgages, buy cars, pay off debts and pay for their children’s educations.
This bonus will be paid out in addition to the company’s annual year-end bonus, as well as other benefits, which include pension matching, profit sharing and paid vacation time.
“My philosophy has always been to surround myself with the best and the brightest – and that is what we have done. Every professional at St. John Properties is committed to excellence every day,” said St. John.