12/05/2012 01:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2012

Chris Ninos, Florida Man, Rewarded By Bosses For Hard Work With New Car (VIDEO)

A Florida man was rewarded by his company with a brand new car, according to reports.

Chris Ninos, a resident of Boca Raton, has been BMI Elite's chief financial officer for the last two years. According to a press release, his bosses at the digital advertising agency describe him as being one of the most "loyal, honest, trustworthy and hardworking employees" at the firm.

On Thursday, Ninos thought he was going out for lunch with his coworkers when they insisted on stopping by at a local Ford dealership. There, to his astonishment, Ninos was given keys to a brand new 2012 Ford Escape.

"Some people said they thought I was going to have a coronary right there," Ninos told the Sun Sentinel. "I went to sit in the car and I almost started to cry."

The $30,000 SUV is in Ninos' name and is not a company car.

According to the release, Ninos' old car, a 1998 Ford Escort which had 99,000 miles on it, had been giving him "lots of trouble in recent months."

Brandon Rosen, the CEO of the company, said he had tried to convince his employee to get a new car on multiple occasions; until finally, Rosen said, he and the company's president, Dan Lansman, decided to surprise Ninos with a new ride in appreciation of his dedication to the firm.

"He's been driving the same car, I think, since I've known him, which is about almost 11 years now, and he's been talking about getting a new car and just not wanting to do something for himself like that," Lansman told WPBF.

Rosen told the Sentinel that Ninos was "deserving of the big gift because he's the type of employee who treats the company as his own."

The newspaper writes:

Big gifts -- such as a car, cash and trips -- to recognize employees for top performance have been unusual as companies weather tough economic times. But even if money is tight, experts urge employers to reward valued workers in other ways: Recognize them in front of co-workers, give a trophy or iconic award, or surprise them with an "on-the-spot" recognition such as a Starbucks card.

Most employees expect to be appreciated if they do a good job, said Bob Nelson, author of "1501 Ways to Reward Employees,'' at a recent human resources association meeting in Palm Beach County. "If no one notices, they say, 'why am I hitting it so hard?'"

Rosen seemed to agree.

"I love taking care of our employees and showing them that we really care about all the hard work they do for us," Rosen told WPBF.

This is not the first time that a company has bought a new car for an employee.

In 2011, a Tennessee father of five was given a new car by the IT company he works for after his old vehicle started giving him trouble. ""We feel a lot of love here," Chad Andrews told Knox News after receiving the car. "It's not just a job. It's a family."