Bayada Home Health Care surprises employees with $20M holiday giveback

Cherri Gregg
November 20, 2018 - 3:19 pm
Bayada employees

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A company founded in Philadelphia 43 years ago surprised employees Tuesday by giving each of them a cut of $20 million. The big reveal was held at the Bellvue Hotel on South Broad Street.

"This is a secret. Nobody knows about it," said Mark Baiada, founder and chairman of Bayada Home Health Care. "We're all going to open up the envelopes together. I'm excited about it!"

Baiada started the company at 15th and Walnut Streets in 1975 and grew the organization into a billion dollar business with nurses and home care aides providing in-home care in 22 states. In 2019, the company will become a non-profit, so Baiada reserved $20 million to give to employees. He says the money is divided based on an employee’s earnings and years of service. It will also include some retired employees who helped build the company over the years.

"This whole thing is emotional to me. It's like 43 years," said Baiada with tears in his eyes, "It's not about the money, it's about the spirit of thanks for the work that they've done."

Then, the big reveal at noon in front of 100 employees in the Grand Ballroom. They opened white envelopes, identifying their cut based on years of service. The reaction was silence as they read their letters. Then, a standing ovation.

"It was a shock, an absolute shock," said Sherri Pillet, a division director who's been with the company for 39 years. "It was terribly generous of him."

Reporter: Were you surprised?

"Absolutely," said Cassandra Freeman. "Floored."

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Freeman has worked as a nurse at Bayada for 38 years. 

"I am thankful," she said. "I love what I do, I love my patients."

Reporter: So your check was good today?

Yes, it was good today," Freeman said, "really good today."

Freeman says she'll use the money first to buy new tires to help with her long treks to see clients. Then, she'll surprise her college age children."

"This came right on time," she said.

Baiada recently handed the CEO reins over to his son as Bayada executed on its succession plan. 

"I want Bayada to be here 100 years from now," he said. It's about serving this community."