Leonard Abess Jr. worked his way up from the print shop of the City National Bancshares of Miami to become its majority stockholder, then sold it to a Spanish firm last November, making a tidy sum in the process. But his rich retirement didn't allow him to forget his former employees. "''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself,'' said Abess, who was concerned that their 401(k) plans had taken a beating in the downdraft on Wall Street last year."
So what did he do about it?
"...all he did was take $60 million of the proceeds -- $60 million out of his own pocket -- and hand it to his tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, everyone on the payroll. All 399 workers on the staff received bonuses, and he even tracked down 72 former employees so they could share in the windfall.
For longtime employees, the bonus -- based on years of service -- amounted to tens of thousands of dollars, and in some cases, more than $100,000."
Read more about this remarkable man in the
Miami Herald .