Creating a World of Opportunity That Spans Generations

November 30, 2012

Siu Lam has worked for Marriott at the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel for 22 years. Her first nine years at the hotel were as a housekeeper making up 15-plus rooms per day. Her last 13 have been spent as a senior housekeeper, supporting, deep cleaning, inspecting and covering any extra unassigned rooms.

Siu Lam and members of the Boston Marriott Copley Place teamSiu Lam came to Boston from Hong Kong to be with her husband’s family. She had two children along with her, ages 6 and 11, and she spoke no English as they arrived at their in-laws’ home. Once she got to Boston, she set out to find a job that would allow her to provide for her family. With little professional training and zero language skills, the task seemed almost impossible.

Her friend, Mei Z, also from China, suggested that Siu Lam apply at her company, Marriott, where a housekeeping position was available. Mei Z acted as a translator for the interview. The interviewer said that Siu Lam was not ready, and suggested that she should take English classes for a month and come back again. Sure enough, a month later, after several free English lessons at her local church, Siu Lam returned an interview with more confidence. She claims that her English was really awful, but she did enough to get a job.

Over the last 22 years, Siu Lam has seen Marriott as a “great provider” to her family. She talks about her children as great success stories that have flourished because of the stability and opportunity that Marriott provided. Like many other hard working associates, Siu Lam has dedicated herself and her earnings to her family, and the outcomes have been truly remarkable. Her oldest son, for example, grew up in the Boston public school system. He learned a combination of perfect English, Cantonese and Mandarin. He excelled in high school and earned a spot at the University of Massachusetts, where he studied economics and finance. Recently, he received a major promotion to a high position with the Hong Kong office of State Street, a leading provider of global financial services.

According to Siu Lam, “Marriott give you a chance; all we hoped for was a chance.” She continues, “I clean the toilets and the bathrooms, we all do, and we are happy to do it, because in return Marriott gives my children a car, a college education, a job, a house and a life that we wouldn’t have otherwise.” A few years ago, through diligent saving and smartly investing in her 401k, Siu Lam was able to purchase her very own city apartment in Boston. She has also returned to school with Marriott’s back-to-school refund program. And, as her kids grew in English proficiency, so did Siu Lam. She now acts as translator to those searching for new talented associates.

As a company, we at Marriott pride ourselves as opening the doors of opportunity for all our associates.  I’m very proud of Siu and many others in the Housekeeping Department at our Boston Copley hotel who have shared their stories of accomplishment.

I’m Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the move. 

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That's an amazing and inspiring story. I am so thankful to work for Marriott and all it has to offer for the employees. Thank you Bill Marriott.

Are comments no longer being posted here, Mr Marriott?

What a shame :)

If that is the case, then my humble suggest is to mention it on the front page of this blog, or email us readers, I love reading this blog, you have a wonderful mind :)

thanks Brother in the mid 80s you teach me a great lesson at the ch ch branch always remenber, thanks you are good person.


I am not sure this is the right place to make this comment but I could not find another place on the site to acknowledge one of your employees. I recently stayed at the springhill suites in Chesterfield MO with my family over the holiday vacation. The car ran out of gas in the parking lot. Your employee Kevin Juilfs took me to the gas station to get gas. He also provided jumper cables when it still wouldn't start. He took me back to the gas station to get more gas. He then Jump started my van using his own equipment. He went way above the average employee. I travel for a living and this was a miracle. My family was able to get back to Chicago in time. Kevin Juilfs should be promoted and accommondated. He is the kind of employee you want to keep around for a long time.

Dean Salit
SPS Promotions
Chicago, IL

Wow a truly inspiring story in which I can perfectly relate. Marriott is truly one of kind as it develops associates to better themselves and become truly successful not only in their career but also providing for individual families.

Wow a truly inspiring story in which I can perfectly relate. Marriott is truly one of kind as it develops associates to better themselves and become truly successful not only in their career but also providing for individual families.

Inspiring story! It touched me because I've worked in hotels, started as a maid, then reception, saved up money, became self employed, and bought my own apartment. I retain a soft spot for the hotel trade, because that's where I started out too, and would go back, as i've learnt a lot since.

Marriott is really a great hotel and perfact success story.

Wow, another wonderful story! Thanks, Mr. Marriott and thanks Ms. Lam for the wonderful example!

Marriott gives us many opportunities every day, helps me achieve my personal and professional goals, I am very proud to belong to this great family :) THANKS MARRIOTT

Regards from Perú!