When Mark Baiada founded BAYADA Health Care back in 1975, he had no idea he’d become the millionaire he is today.
The generous philanthropist has worked hard throughout his life, letting the motto: “Think big. Work hard. Show love” guide his every action. He’s been honored with tons of awards, even being named one of the “75 Greatest Living Philadelphians“— but now, despite his previous achievements, he’s truly outdone himself.
As the founder of BAYADA, Baiada employs 23,000 employees in 25 states— and this past Thanksgiving, he decided to show them how grateful he was for their hard work.
Calling 100 special employees to the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia (only one block away from the company’s original office), Baiada hosted a special dinner.
Planned in honor of Thanksgiving and national Home Care & Hospice Month, the event was the backdrop for the founder’s unexpected announcement. He began: “As I work to transition BAYADA into a non-profit and take the next step in the evolution of our company, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what has gotten us to this point and what I am particularly thank for, which is our dedicated team of home health professionals.”
“This gift is a token of my appreciation, in hopes that it helps every BAYADA employee to understand just how important they are to BAYADA and to our Lasting Legacy vision of being the world’s most compassionate and trusted team of health care professionals.”
He then told them he’d taken $20 million of his own personal funds and divvied it up amongst the employees in attendance.
The amounts differed from person to person, being based on the individual’s lifetime earnings and seniority within the company. The checks ranged from tens of thousands for long-time employees to $50 for those who had started the week before.
During the event, Baiada acknowledged a few notable employees with personal mentions. These included:
- Deven Jeffers, RN, BSN, who fast-tracked her career through the company’s nursing program and works part-time at a hospital ICU
- Mat Gunkel, RN, the company’s 2018 Hero of the Year— an honor awarded for his dedication to a 16-year-old patient with cerebral palsy named Dominic
- Lindsey Conley, who started the company’s Associate Leadership Development Program and now works as a director for a divisional recruiting team
- Anna Anderson, who has spent the past 30 years painstakingly matching the company’s clients with the perfect health care practitioner
As you can imagine, many were moved to tears by the founder’s incredible act of generosity.
“BAYADA is a special company full of employees who are all bonded together in our deep commitment to our clients,” the founder said.
“My wish is that in 100 years, we are continuing to celebrate these incredible health care professionals and the work they do to improve the lives of our clients.”
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