Santa’s Helper: Michigan Business Owner Gives $4M in Christmas Bonuses

Ludington-based FloraCraft’s owner and Chairman Lee Schoenherr announced almost $4 million in holiday bonuses during lunch on December 14.

“This idea has developed over the past year and is my way of saying ‘Thank you’ to our team for the role they have had in our success,” Schoenherr said in a statement. “My wife, Joan, and I are blessed in so many ways. We want to share these blessings with the men and women whose energy, passion and loyalty inspire us every day.”

According to Michigan Live, “FloraCraft is the world’s leading manufacturer of foam products for the craft and floral industries,” and are distributed through national retailers that include Walmart, Amazon, Michaels, JOANN, and Hobby Lobby.

The bonuses are not an indication that Schoenherr plans to sell or retire, he assured employees. Rather, the money is meant as recognition of the work each employee has done to help in “building a world-class company in Ludington.” The gifts combine 401k contributions and cash bonuses, and will exceed $60,000 for employees who have been with the company for over 40 years.

“It was very humbling,” said FloraCraft assistant production supervisor Mary Overla. “I started crying – it was huge for him to do something like that for everybody.” FloraCraft’s loyal employees average about 9 years with the company, and some are second or third-generation workers, stretching back to the company’s founding in 1946.

“Our employees were beyond surprised – and deeply grateful of Mr. Schoenherr’s generosity,” said CEO Eric Erwin. “He wants to ensure our employees have resources available as immediate reward for their hard work, along with a nest that allows them to save, plan and prepare for their future security.”

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