WATCH | As part of Circa's new business series, "Incuvators," we spoke with Jackson Healthcare CEO Rick Jackson about his annual holiday gift to employees.
In a word, what drives Rick Jackson in both his personal and professional life is giving.
The son of an alcoholic single mom, who became an orphan in his teen years is now the head of a billion dollar health company, Jackson Healthcare.
The company has been named multiple times one of the best places to work in Atlanta, where it's based, as well as one of the healthiest large U.S. companies.
The accolades are plenty, but what makes the business unique at it's core, its CEO would say, is it's focus on values.
"We really care about improving patient care in all of the lives that we meet," Jackson told Circa as part of a new business series, "Incuvators." "I was trying to create an environment for my family. Loyalty, encouragement, forgiveness, acceptance."
In other words, his priority for his company's workplace culture is creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.
WATCH | The full "Incuvators" interview with Jackson Healthcare Chair Rick Jackson.
One way in which he achieves this is through a $100 holiday bonus he gifts employees annually.
As Jackson tells it, the first Christmas he spent in an orphanage, everybody had some place to spend the holiday, except for him.
"I didn't have anybody to go home to so I, you know, I cried that night because Christmas is such a big deal to me," he recalls. The next morning when he awoke, he found an envelope under the door of his room from an anonymous donor. Tucked inside was $100 bill.
"I was like, 'Wow!' That was a lot of money back then," he said. "It blew my mind that somebody that I did not know would give me $100 as a child, and of course I really appreciated it."
With that money, he bought a record player. And with the money left over, he purchased transistor radios for the kids who came back from their holidays without any gifts.
In memory of this event, which really touched his heart, he gives each of his employees a card with $100 folded inside each December.