My father often said “take good care of the associates and they’ll take good care of the customers.” That’s at the heart of how we do things at Marriott every day. Our associates around the world put people first - whether it's inside the hotels or outside in the communities they serve.
Every associate has a commitment to teamwork, excellence and the Spirit to Serve. But there are always a special few who really shine. To recognize their terrific dedication, once a year we invite them to Headquarters and put on a special awards ceremony in their honor.
I could blog at length about how much our associates do for our guests. But let me give you just a couple of examples:
Don “Archie” Archuleta is a Bell Person at the Anaheim Marriott. He’s an incredibly compassionate person. He remembers guests’ names and always offers them a warm and sincere welcome. Once, when driving a female guest to the airport, she learned from a phone call that her husband had died in a tragic car accident. Archie became her shoulder to cry on and her pillar of support, making sure she made it safely on her way. That guest still stays in touch with Archie. They have a bond for life.
At the JW Marriott in Seoul, South Korea Julie Dongju Lee exemplifies the “humanity” in Human Resources. She makes a personal investment in all of her fellow associates keeping the lines of communication open and making time to visit every department to offer encouragement or just listen. A common topic in her associate training program is adapting to change – pointing out to managers that change cannot be controlled, but reacting to it can be controlled.
Mohammed Ramadan started out with us as an Airport Driver in Kuwait. Now he’s a Visa Supervisor. He’s in charge of making sure work permits and other forms are in order for everyone who works in the hotel. He says the best part of his job is witnessing an associate’s journey from being hired to when they get on the job and learn how to work. While he processes forms for more than 550 associates, Mohammad never loses the focus of putting people first.
I am proud of all of you.
We also give out the Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service. This year The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore received that honor. And the J.W. Marriott, Jr. Award for Excellence in Diversity goes to our Western Southwest Sales Organization.
This is just a quick snapshot of the overall picture. I wish I could single out everyone who deserves it. But I’d love if you could share any stories about exceptional associates you’ve met in our hotels.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.