Post Register: Share The Wealth

Idaho Falls Post Register on Melaleuca

Post Register  |  By Clark Corbin |

More than 260 Melaleuca employees walked away from a meeting Tuesday with a share of $2.64 million — and they didn’t even have to play the lottery.

During the annual employee meeting, company officials distributed bonuses to 264 employees who reached longevity milestones with Melaleuca.

Started six years ago, the longevity bonus program rewards employees who reach milestones of five, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years with the Idaho Falls-based manufacturer of household products and health supplements.

CEO Frank VanderSloot said the program is designed to reward longtime employees and bolster their retirement plans.

“It’s one of the funnest things we do all year,” VanderSloot said. “Clearly, Melaleuca has prospered, and clearly it’s the employees who are really the heart and soul of the company.”

The bonus program rewards all employees reaching milestones of five-year increments this year, whether they are a top executive or sweep the floors in the warehouse. Regardless of their regular wage, employees who reached the five-year milestone received a net check for $5,000.

Employees who served 10 years netted $10,000, while workers employed for 15 years earned $15,000 and so on.

The longest-serving employee honored Tuesday was return specialist Gayle Smith, who works in shipping and returns and netted $25,000.

“Gayle was one of seven employees at the manufacturing plant when we started with her,” VanderSloot said.

“(That longevity) means we’ve gone through life together; we’ve been a team for a long time,” he said. “It’s an emotional thing. To me, it means they believed in us when there wasn’t anything to believe in.”

Employees are free to do what they please with the bonuses, but VanderSloot and top officials encourage them to put the money in deferred compensation plans for retirement savings.

The plan is part of VanderSloot’s goal to allow his career employees to retire as millionaires. Under the plan, employees who reach 30 years of service and devote their longevity bonuses to retirement plans and take advantage of 401(k) matches would expect to retire with $1.1 million saved up, VanderSloot said.

“For a long time we tried to figure out how to make sure our employees were prospering along with (the company), so we announced the program in 2006,” VanderSloot said. “It makes it possible for every employee, regardless of level, to retire as a millionaire.”

Featured News

East Idaho News: Local veterans get ‘trip-of-a-lifetime’ thanks to Melaleuca

It was the “journey of a lifetime” for eight military veterans who traveled to the nation’s capital last week on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of Melaleuca.

Forbes Names Melaleuca One of America’s Best Employers Four Years in a Row

For the fourth year in a row, Forbes has listed Melaleuca as one of the top employers in America.

Melaleuca Promotes Frank VanderSloot to Executive Chairman, Jerry Felton to Chief Executive Officer

Melaleuca has appointed Frank VanderSloot as Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors and has promoted Jerry Felton to Chief Executive Officer.

Melaleuca Donates $50,000 to Buy Rifle-Grade Bullet Proof Vests For Law Enforcement

As part of Melaleuca’s support for our heroes, the company donated $50,000 to support law enforcement by outfitting them with the best body armor available.

Melaleuca Promotes Cole Clinger to President

Melaleuca has named Cole Clinger as President of the company. Clinger’s promotion to President was announced by CEO Frank VanderSloot.

Melaleuca Donates $250,000 for Typhoon Relief in the Philippines

Following Typhoon Rai, thousands of displaced families in the Philippines will benefit from a $250,000 donation by Melaleuca of the Philippines.