M.O. “Bus” Ryan passed away on September 16, 2016. Bus joined Marriott in 1960 – when we had just two hotels. I brought him on board from Hilton, which I considered to be the most successful hotel chain at the time. Bus joined us as General Sales Manager and soon became General Manager of Hotel #2 – The Key Bridge Marriott. In 1965, Bus opened Hotel #6 – The Atlanta Marriott Downtown. Later he assumed a role at our corporate office and helped open 32 hotels before he retired after 28 years with Marriott. He went on to become Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
The cover of the funeral program featured a picture of Bus in casual clothes opening the door and welcoming his guests to his summer home on Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. Several of the speakers at his funeral mentioned Bus’ great skills as a host – always greeting visitors with a hearty smile and delivering their favorite beverage complete with a napkin.
Many who attended the funeral had been hired by Bus to work at the Atlanta Marriott. He was largely responsible for helping to develop our company’s culture of smiling, gracious hospitality in the very early years.
He came to Marriott with a thoughtful understanding of hotel operations and was a great source of knowledge and inspiration to me personally. I grew up in the restaurant business and had very limited knowledge of how to run a hotel. Bus taught me a lot and was instrumental in helping me lay a foundation of hospitality and caring for associates and guests. Bus was a terrific guy and received tender love and support from his wonderful wife, Carmen, through 60 years of marriage.
I will always be grateful for Bus’ contribution and friendship.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.