Marriott … It’s Where I Belong

March 11, 2013

In the past year when I’ve done interviews with the press, I’ve received the question repeatedly about how it feels to have a non-family member for the first time as CEO. Arne Sorenson is as much a member of our family as everyone else. I’ve always considered each and every one of our associates part of our family.

J.W. Marriott, Jr. & Sr.Everyone finds their way in to the company differently – through friends, or family or even an advertisement. Almost everyone I meet says they were born to do this work.  And me, I was born in my job too, and trained every day by a very demanding boss – my dad. My father was the human resources department, and he wanted all of our workers to feel that this is where they belonged.  He basically adopted everyone.  Let me give you a few old-time names.

Mac Woodward ran our central commissary when we had the Hot Shoppes. The Stiller brothers, Bob and John, they both worked in airline catering and running our restaurants. Herschel Hagen was the manager of our ice cream plant at the commissary. And there are many, many others, most of whom I can’t remember at this point, but all had an impact on my life.

86 years after our founding, “Marriott, Where I Belong” is the theme of our latest recruiting campaign.  It’s a nod back to when we were a small family business.  My dad would take sick workers to the doctor, and finally hired a doctor on his staff – one of the first companies to do so.  If our associates got in trouble, he’d bail them out.  He was always there for them.

Marriott-Sorenson - WIB

The company has grown to over 300,000 associates who work at company-operated and franchised hotels. But it’s nice to know that our global company still feels like family. It’s that sense of family that makes our guests feel at home.

Family in the workplace can be an interesting dynamic. Some might say that business is business and that you should leave your personal life at home. But it’s difficult to put your personal life on hold while you’re working.

As part of the “Marriott, Where I Belong” HR campaign, we produced a video and this neat Facebook app. You’ll meet some of our extended family, and I’m sure get a chuckle at the end of the video from Palitha of Sri Lanka. They all make me feel so proud. Visit our Careers website if you think this is “where I belong.” 


I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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I'm a new addition to the Marriott family but I am happy to say that the Marriott family has welcomed me with open arms. I wouldn't want to work for anyother hotel chain.

Shi ei Marriott.
(Navajo Translation)

I have worked in many Hotel chains. I went from boutique to luxury. My dream was always to work for a hotel chain that apppreciate your hard work and appreciate you for who you are, no matter where you from and what accent you speak in.Prior to joining Marriott,I was a customer but currious i was, i always observe service and staff treatment. Marriott was always my prefered hotel when traveling beacause of service and staff readiness.
I am one proud marriott Associate and i feel that i belong from the first day i started.

I am not a Marriott associate, but when I travel "Marriott IS where I belong!

nice blog

I thought it was silly of me, that whenever I drove by our local SpringHill Suites, my soul would tell me that I belonged there. I thought I was crazy! I had a great business of my own for 16 years, so what was I thinking? Last May, I closed my business to actually move to a new location and grow. In the meantime, I needed to pay bills, so I walked into the SpingHill Suites and asked for an application. I was hired for the front desk and within 3 months I was offered the position to be the Events Manager for the SpingHill and soon to be opened, TownePlace Suites! I absolutely LOVE my job and truly know for a fact that Marriott, is Where I Belong!

Beautiful words offer hope in self
Photo very beautiful and expressive

I am glad you appreciate GREAT employees- of which you have many. I would like to send a comment about an associate who went way above and beyond what's expected - Steve H @ Renaissance Long Beach. How do I do it?

Dear Mr Marriott,

Marriott was definitely where I belonged for many years. My career began in 1980 at Camelback Inn, where I became Assistant Controller under the tutelage of Dave Buck. Dave Rolston was our GM and Dick Brezinski the sales and marketing guru. I know you remember these names and many more from those golden days in Scottsdale. Your parents would sometimes visit the accounting office (housed in a casita) and it was a treat to see them on property.

I was recruited into the Marriott ID training program at Duquesne University and relocated from Pittsburgh without a car or established credit to purchase one. Dave Rolston got on the phone to SVP Al LeFavre, who personally signed by car loan with the Marriott Employees Federal Credit Union.

As I moved from Camelback to Hilton Head, Charleston,SC, the Mandalay in Dallas, Moscone Center, Rancho Las Palmas and Desert Springs with Ralston again, Marriott became more and more like a family. As my career evolved from accounting to catering, sales and marketing, I met the most wonderful people, received invaluable training and enjoyed amazing experiences.

Upon reaching the regional level and with over 17 years of service, I decided to pursue other opportunities. Thirteen years later, I've maintained many friendships made during my time at Marriott and continue to be amazed by the company's growth.

It's been over 30 years since I was introduced to Hawks & Doves at corporate orientation, and I still live by these words of your father: "Take care of your associates, and they will take care of your customers."

God bless you Mr Marriott! And may God bless the company we love and all if its associates.

Cindy Duffy
Palm Springs, CA