Farewell to Murphy

July 15, 2014
Listen to blog Our beloved golden retriever, Murphy, recently passed away. He had been a wonderful member of our family for 13 years. Murphy was our third golden retriever. He brightened our lives with sweetness and goodness. The only thing he ever asked from us was to be petted. He...

A Tale of Two Graduations

July 7, 2014
Gonzalez & Marriott Families at Cornell University Graduation I recently attended the graduation ceremonies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Our grandson, Matthew, was receiving his masters in hotel administration. It was a great thrill to see him walk across the stage and receive his diploma. Matthew is our daughter...

From Homeless to Homeowner

July 1, 2014
When we acquired the management business of Gaylord Hotels, we discovered that their corporate culture mirrored ours. Their employees are called “Stars” and they do much to celebrate them and provide opportunities for them. Each year we select nine or 10 associates from around the world to honor with the...

All You Need is Love

June 24, 2014
It seems that couples are everywhere in the summer months. Couples are walking in parks, in your local movie theater, and in your neighborhood restaurants. Most notably, couples are walking hand-in-hand from wedding ceremonies around the world. My own wedding anniversary is this month. On June 29, Donna and I...

Success Is Never Final

June 17, 2014
My dad and I together in 1972. When my father was alive, we would often discuss the progress the company was achieving. With each great success, he would tell me to stop patting myself on the back and would remind me of one of his favorite sayings, “Success is never...

Monumental Hotel in the City of Monuments

June 10, 2014
Do you know why I love the hotel business? It’s all here in our 4,000 hotel, the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. There are more twists to this hotel story than the traffic circles from L'Enfant’s original city plan. It took 20 years to get it done, but it’s the end...

When No One Is Looking

June 3, 2014
At left, the excellent team at Courtyard Charlottesville North. At right, Karina Macias and Leticia Martinez in a newly renovated guestroom. Do you ever think, “no one will notice” so I’ll leave it, litter, dirt, stain… you fill in the blank. It is so much easier to go through life...

Why You Should Hire a Vet

May 22, 2014
Monday marks an important day in our nation’s history. It’s Memorial Day. While many of us will be grilling up some burgers and enjoying the warm weather with our family and friends, this day honors the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country— laying down their...

Stories of Excellence

May 15, 2014
Often when I visit a hotel, I try to go to the kitchen and then visit the associate cafeteria. I want to see if the General Manager knows the names of the people who work there and where things are really located. For guests checking in, they might not notice...

Marriott Gets Small Business

May 12, 2014
Our Small Business in 1927 This week is National Small Business Week and it got me thinking about our company’s start as a small business. Eighty-seven years ago this month, my father and mother opened the first A&W franchise in Washington, D.C. They started out with six employees and a...