Today is a very special day for me and for my family. My dad, John Willard Marriott, Sr., is being inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame at the U.S. Department of Labor here in Washington, D.C.
As many of you know, my father, with the great help of my mother, Alice, founded this company, which started off as a nine-seat A&W root beer stand, in 1927. Dad was a hard worker and our employees emulated that same work ethic. He also believed the key to a successful business was to, first and foremost, take care of your employees because he always said, "If you take care of them, they'll take care of your customers and the customers will keep coming back again and again."
My father always made sure to take time to listen to his employees and let them know that they were a part of his extended family. He also made sure they were well cared for. In fact, he was one of the first employers to offer health care coverage to employees. He hired a doctor and a surgeon to take care of their health needs for little or no money back in the 1930s.
To this day, Marriott believes it's our responsibility to promote wellness and help employees make good decisions about which health care plan is right for them and their families. These plans include free preventive care, lower-cost drugs for those with chronic conditions and free sessions to help people quit smoking.
Through our "Know Your Numbers" campaign, we remind our associates of the importance of knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body mass index. They keep a record of their numbers through a Personal Health Record. We also offer health care coaches to help associates better understand their conditions and treatment options.
I am very proud of the legacy and high standards my father left behind that are now enshrined in the Department of Labor Hall of Fame.
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.