Tonight, I have the privilege of being joined by our most elite associates from all around the world at our annual Awards of Excellence gala. It is an event we hold every year at our Marriott Bethesda North Hotel in Bethesda, Maryland, to honor the best of the best within our company. These associates not only provide our guests with great service, they also make it a point to take wonderful care of their fellow associates and the communities where they work and live.
This year’s honorees come from throughout the United States, as well as around the globe, from countries like China, Egypt, India, Brazil and Scotland. And, as usual, many of our honorees have some amazing stories that I would like to share with you.
Robert Hampton is a doorman at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly and, at 75 years young, has been with Marriott for 27 years. He has been known to do everything in his power to help customers, even lending a guest his suit coat when the gentleman realized he had forgotten his own just before a big presentation. Robert also takes great pride in caring for his fellow associates. When he noticed that one of his co-workers did not have a reliable mode of transportation, Robert told his colleague that if he could get his driver’s license and insurance in 30 days, he would sell him his old truck for $1.
And, Joanne McHugh is a general accountant at our Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, where she has earned the nickname, “The Energizer Bunny,” for her energetic attitude and unwavering desire to help everyone around her. She recently played the Easter Bunny at the Easter brunch at the Newton Marriott, and she looked fabulous in her bunny costume.
Despite being diagnosed with lung and liver cancer a few years ago, Joanne continues to work full days in the office, not leaving until every last customer call is taken care of. She also still finds time to give back to the community by participating in the 20-mile Walk for Hunger in Boston, and also rallied her fellow associates to help her host a fundraiser for the “Hope Lodge,” a facility which helps out-of-town cancer patients undergoing treatment in local hospitals.
Each and every one of these associates that are being honored tonight are wonderful and incredible, and a great inspiration to all of us. I congratulate all of them, as well as the winners of the Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service, the Courtyard by Marriott Chennai in India, and the J.W. Marriott, Jr., Award for Diversity Excellence, the Renaissance Sao Paulo in Brazil, and thank them for their truly remarkable service.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.