CEO Launches Program to Pay for Employees’ Weddings

Chieh Huang grew up poor, now grateful for the chance to be generous
By Sherley Boursiquot, Epoch Times
May 27, 2016 Updated: June 1, 2016

Chieh Huang of Edison, New Jersey, is the CEO of Boxed Wholesale, a company started in 2013 that offers free delivery of groceries and household products.

The 34-year-old announced in May that the company will pay for employees’ weddings—even though they are getting double the minimum wage, Huang told the Epoch Times.

However, Huang has always been gracious to his employees.  

College Tuition for Employees’ Children

Last year, Huang announced that he would start paying college tuition for the children of his employees out of his own pocket.

So, why is the CEO of Boxed so nice to his employees?

When employees face personal hardships, Huang wanted his company to help them.

When Huang first started his company, he had the idea that he wanted to “treat his employees right”—when employees were going through hardships in their personal lives, he wanted his company to be able step in and help as much as possible.

“Most companies are not as responsive,” Huang added. When employees are going through something, they just get a “good luck.”   

Chieh Huang announces to his employees that Boxed will be paying for weddings of full-time employees. (Boxed Wholesale)

Huang’s kind offer—personally paying tuition for his employees’ kids—was because he and his older sister grew up poor.

If children don’t have access to education, it will be a perpetual cycle.
— Chieh Huang

“Education broke that poverty cycle for my family,” he said. “If children don’t have access to education, it will be a perpetual cycle.” 

So far, Huang has paid for two separate students. “Four semesters are already paid for,” he said.

He said there are five people in the program so far who are taking advantage of his offer, four of whom are already in school. These children are not limited to one particular school, either. They can go to any college of their choice—however, they are responsible for their own accommodations, Huang said.

Program Launched to Pay for Employees’ Weddings

There are currently 128 full-time employees at Boxed Wholesale, and all of them are eligible for a paid wedding by the company. 

Boxed Wholesale will contribute $20,000 toward each wedding, Huang told the Epoch Times. 

The announcement was made at a company-wide meeting in the Edison fulfillment center to surprise Marcel Graham, 26, of North Plainfield, New Jersey.  

Graham’s mother had fallen ill and he had to cover her medical bills, while trying to save up money to pay for his wedding. But he later realized, because he has been covering his mother’s medical bills, there wasn’t enough left to put away for his upcoming wedding in November.

“So, why not change that?” Huang thought to himself. He said that Graham “put his heart and soul” into the company, so it naturally felt like the right thing to do. 

Huang took matters into his own hands and decided that he would be paying for Graham’s wedding instead. Graham’s fiancée, Tara, was also at the meeting when Huang announced that Boxed will be stepping in to pay for their special day.

(Boxed Wholesale)

Afterward, he announced that all full-time employees from their fulfillment centers in New Jersey, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Dallas, as well as their corporate and support offices in New York City and San Mateo, California, will also benefit from this.

Huang told the Epoch Times that the offer is ongoing as long as employees “stick with us for the entire ride,” he said. “Meaning, when we become a public company, or hypothetically if the company is sold.”

Over three years, only two people have quit.
— Chieh Huang

He stressed that if employees are fired or have quit, they are no longer eligible.

“Over three years, only two people have quit,” he said.

When asked how he feels after he has done all of these good deeds, he said:

“I feel thankful that I am in a position to do something like this and do the right thing. Some folks would want to do the right thing in life, but they are not in the position to do so.”

Huang’s family, however, thinks “we’re crazy,” he told Epoch Times.

“They expect any and everything right now,” he said.

Being poor never left me, it keeps me motivated, and it also keeps me grounded.
— Chieh Huang

Huang describes himself as a “humble guy” and feels that he is “awfully lucky” to be in a good position in life. “[The memory of] being poor never left me, it keeps me motivated, and it also keeps me grounded,” he said. 

When asked what else he has up his sleeve for his employees in the near future, he said he doesn’t know for the moment.

“There’s a long road ahead of us, so we’ll see.”