Howard Cooper, of the Howard Cooper Import Center company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, surprised his employees with incredibly large bonus checks the day he retired.
Cooper is 83 years old and has started the company 47 years ago. His car dealership was recently sold to the Germain Motor Company located in Columbus, Ohio. He decided to retire soon after.
He began doing business in 1966 by dealing Volkswagen vehicles, and later added Porsche and Audi franchises to his portfolio.
As a parting gift, this generous boss compensated his 89 employees for their years of service with bonuses of $1,000 (€774) per every year they were with the company.
Sandy Reagan was Cooper's most loyal employee, and, as a result, received the biggest bonus. The check for $46,500 (€36,018) left her speechless.
Reagan started working at Howard Cooper's in '66, and hasn't left since. She started out as a bookkeeper, and has been a supervisor at the company for a while. She was also the person asked to print out the checks, which is when she got the surprise of a lifetime.
“Oh it was totally a surprise to everyone,” she told ABC News
Bob Jenkins, a 26-year employee at Howard Cooper's, was working as a mechanic at the company. He received a year's paycheck for his good service and loyalty.
Cooper announced that he would be retiring and that his employees would be compensated for their work on the local news station, on Wednesday morning.
“I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it. […] I hope it makes a difference in their lives, like they have made in mine,” he told AnnArbor.com
Even newly hired employees received an appropriate share of the bonus.
“If you were here for 6 months, you got $500 (€387). If you were here since July, you got $83 (€64),” Reagan said.
Some of Cooper's employees left the company after he retired, to pursue higher education degrees, invest or relocate. Their boss changed their lives.