Animating History

December 14, 2015
By now you may have heard the story … in 1927 my parents started a root beer stand in Washington, D.C. Later that year, my mother saw an opening in the business to introduce hot food to the menu… and The Hot Shoppe restaurant was born. That was the beginning...

Inspired Leadership

December 2, 2015
In a thoughtful break from my favorite detective novels, I decided to read some more about American history. I chose “Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader” by Robert Middlekauff. I was not disappointed. The book covers Washington’s life and career as a military leader. At the age of...

World's Favorite—And Now Largest—Travel Company

November 16, 2015
I can’t quite imagine what my parents would have thought today. A business they started as a root beer stand is about to merge with Starwood and become the largest hotel company in the world. Well, I can guess at one thing my dad would have said, “Bill, don’t think...

Honoring Our Veterans

November 9, 2015
Of the many ways I've been blessed in life, none compares with the opportunity to get to know some of our nation's veterans, and to count many of them as part of the Marriott International family. One of these is David Norman Brown, who was an engineer with our company...

Seeing the Ability and the Promise

November 3, 2015
The greatest heartache of my life was losing my son, Stephen, in June 2013. From the time he was a teenager, Stephen suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease that slowly cost him his eyesight, hearing and eventually his life. I’ve said before that Stephen was my hero. He didn’t let...

Best Laid Plans

October 28, 2015
I’ve mentioned before that our company was founded on five core values. One of them –the most important – is to Put People First. That is easy enough to do when things are good, but even more important when things are out of our control. Late last Wednesday night, a...

Loyalty Matters

October 19, 2015
I usually write about the people in our company and how important they have been and are to our success. It’s true that there’s another part of the equation, however, and that of course are our many, many loyal customers from around the world. Just like we’ve had associates who’ve...

Shoe Shine Therapy

October 6, 2015
Recently, I was in New York City for the NYU Hospitality Conference. In between sessions, I had my shoes shined by Ben Brown, our long-time shoeshine man in the New York Marriott Marquis, who just turned 90 years old. I decided to interview him for my blog. I am sure...

What Happens When Potential Gets a Chance

September 22, 2015
For young people today, jobs can be a very big deal. It’s often tough to get a stable one, especially when the odds are stacked against you. That’s the way it was for a young woman I recently heard about: Nicola. She lives in the United Kingdom and she had...

When Honesty Makes You Stand Out

August 4, 2015
Many years ago, a few Marriott International executives waited in our boardroom to update me on a hotel project I was really excited about. The group apparently killed time by talking about what a terrible idea my project was, but when I walked in and enthusiastically asked, “So, how’s my...