Marriott on the Move




Living the American Dream

Posted:03/05/201210:08 AM

My family has lived the American Dream.  My father started out herding sheep and saw an opportunity and drove cross-country from Utah to Washington, D.C. to open up an A&W Root Beer stand.  That was way back in 1927.

Many of us forget where we came from, but not me.  I was reminded of all this when I recently received the “Keepers of the American Dream Award” from the National Immigration Forum.  The honor is what Marriott is all about: opportunity, no matter where someone is born.   Remarks

At the awards ceremony, I talked about the fact that 50% of our hotel General Managers started in the hourly ranks.  Those are the kind of opportunities our industry offers.   

I also talked about Marriott’s language training program called Sed de Saber, which means “thirst for knowledge.”  We’ve helped thousands of associates improve their English.

I know it’s more difficult than ever for people to realize the American Dream—whether it’s immigrants or native-born Americans.  That’s why I’m hopeful our elected leaders will start making some progress on improving the economy and the job market so they can also start focusing on other important issues like comprehensive immigration reform. 

I haven’t forgotten my family’s beginnings.  And after accepting this award, I’m going to keep doing everything I can to help others achieve the American Dream and open doors to a world of opportunity for our associates. 

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

Listen To Blog



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Lessons on Life and Lodging

Posted:11/10/201110:05 PM

The other day I received a totally undeserved standing ovation as I spoke to students at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.  I think the students just wanted to stretch their legs after 45 minutes of listening to my stories.  


I was really surprised and stunned by the applause.  But as I later thought about it, the clapping wasn’t for me but the incredible growth of our hospitality industry.  

A big reason for that growth is the increasing number of colleges and universities that offer degrees in hotel management.  Marriott works with Cornell and many other schools to develop and fund this course-work.  And, of course, we hire as many of these graduates as we can.

And so, I was honored to share my experiences with these future hoteliers.  The best part was my daughter, Debbie, who interviewed me on stage.  She had probing, insider-type questions.  She also interviewed her husband Ron Harrison who heads up Marriott’s Architecture and Construction department.  She lobbed him some softball questions.  I thought that was pretty smart.  It was great family fun.  

We’ve put together some excerpts (above) or you can watch the entire 45 minutes.  I don’t know who’d want to do that. 

After meeting many of the Cornell students, I’m excited about the future of our business.  There’s something about being on a college campus that energizes me and leaves me very optimistic.  As my college-aged grandchildren say, “I’m pumped!” 

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

Listen to Blog


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Blogging with "The Boss Man" - Our Summer Interns

Posted:08/08/201110:24 AM

Listen To Blog 

I started out at Marriott much the same way our young people do today.  I worked after school and during the summer.  It wasn’t called an internship back then, but I knew it was a great way to get experience and learn the business.  When I was 14, I stapled invoices after school in the Hot Shoppes accounting office.  

Summer Interns

Today, when walking around hotels and headquarters, I see a lot of bright, young excited faces.  A few interns are helping me post this blog.  They want us to add more pictures.  So we took a picture and wham!  It appeared instantly on one of their Facebook pages with the caption: “Hanging out with the boss man after recording his blog.”

They took a picture of the boardroom, too.  I don’t know why anybody would want that, but they did.  Long gone are the quiet interns who just put invoices together. 

While a majority of our interns come from hospitality schools, many don't.  I knew nothing about hotels when we opened our first one, but I was sure anxious to learn.   I certainly learned on the job much the same way our interns learn when they arrive at our company.  

Marriott Boardroom

In the coming weeks, we will say goodbye to our summer interns.  Hopefully, they will come away with a better understanding of how hotels operate.  And, equally as important, we will learn from the next generation what truly "turns them on." 

As “the Boss Man,” I want to say thank you to all of you. 

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

Leave a comment telling me about your internship.


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Celebrating the First Graduate of the Marriott Scholars Program

Posted:12/06/2010 4:20 PM

Brayan Melo (L) and his mentor David DiFalco When I was growing up, my parents often reminded me that education was a passport to the world.  They encouraged my brother and me to pursue college degrees and instilled in us continuing thirst for knowledge.  They were also committed to building and investing in the lives of other young people and helping develop future leaders.

In 2007, to honor my parents’ memory and vision, we formed the Marriott Scholars Program.  Through this program, Marriott partnered with the Hispanic College Fund and the United Negro College Fund to encourage and help students explore the many opportunities in the hospitality industry.  This relationship is a wonderful blend of Marriott’s commitment to educational opportunities and diversity.

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20 Years of Helping Youths with Disabilities Find Meaningful Careers

Posted:06/03/2010 4:20 PM
Bridges Student Christina Alexion with Terry Bradshaw and Richard Marriott July marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, something our company has supported with all our heart and soul.  After all, we are in the hospitality business and we welcome everyone.

That’s why last night I attended a very special event we hold each year, the annual fund raising dinner in Washington, D.C., to support Bridges from school to work.  It’s a program that is run by the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities and is chaired by my brother Richard.  The purpose of the program is to help young people with disabilities, ages 17-22, make the tough transition from school into satisfying and rewarding jobs and careers.
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Urging the U.S. Congress to Support Language Education

Posted:08/04/2008 5:52 PM

IStock_000005432570XSmall I recently blogged about our new program with Rosetta Stone that will allow us to train our people in more languages.  And in the past I've blogged about our Sed de Saber - "Thirst for Knowledge" - program that has been so successful in teaching English to our Spanish-speaking associates.

Our customers and associates speak countless different languages, and we love the fact that we are able to help our associates communicate better with our guests, with each other, as well, and in their personal lives.

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Marriott and Rosetta Stone Teaching Together

Posted:07/31/2008 2:12 PM

V3_ESP-L1 I've found in all these years that the most important thing in success in life and in business is communication. Marriott is a very diverse company and our employees speak a lot of languages. Having hotels in almost 70 countries means our guests speak many languages too.

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Determined to Get an Education

Posted:02/23/2007 2:09 PM

My Father J Willard Marriott Reflecting back on Marriott's 80 years in the hospitality industry, one word summarizes our company's enduring success: opportunity.  This weekend in San Francisco, I'm challenging our JW Marriott, Marriott and Renaissance General Managers from around the world to look for opportunities for their associates to grow and build careers within Marriott. When your employees see personal opportunity, the company thrives, and that has helped Marriott get to where it is today.  At the recent Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites General Managers Conference in San Antonio, I shared with all the General Managers the following story about an opportunity my father was fortunate enough to receive. 

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Faces of the Future

Posted:02/08/2007 4:33 PM

Faces of the Future I'm blogging from the road today.  I'm in San Antonio for a Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites General Managers' meeting.  We had almost 850 people in our auditorium this morning and boy, are they enthusiastic about the future of the business and the way their properties are doing.

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Thirst for Knowledge

Posted:02/02/200712:25 PM

Irvine Marriott Hotel I was just out in Los Angeles last week visiting our hotels. I got to about 15 of them, and I was thrilled to see that over nine or 10 of them had totally renewed their interiors in the last six months. Some of them are still underway, but they really look sharp, and I was very proud.

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I'm Bill Marriott, Chairman & CEO of Marriott International.

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