Congratulating the Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Challenge Winner: ecycler

March 8, 2011

Ecycler Fairfield Inn Small Business Challenge Site A few months ago, I mentioned a great contest our Fairfield Inn & Suites brand was doing called “The Small Business Challenge.”  The owners of ten small businesses stayed for free at our Fairfield Inn & Suites hotels as they traveled around the country, trying to grow their businesses and competing for a grand prize of $20,000.

I really like this promotion as my father was an entrepreneur and without his spirit of innovation, taking risks and tremendous determination, Marriott wouldn’t be here today. So, I have a great amount of admiration and respect for people who start a business from the ground up.

I was especially impressed with the winner, a start-up company based in Chicago called ecycler.  In parts of the country where there’s no recycling by local governments – or it’s too expensive – ecycler connects homeowners and businesses with people who collect and sell recyclables.

In this way, ecycler is offering economic opportunity and creating “green jobs” for people while providing a valuable service that puts them on the cutting edge of sustainable innovation.

The founders of ecycler, Tim Laurent and Craig Robertson, talk about their unique business in a video that you may want to watch.


For a small company like ecycler, the $20,000 grand prize will help them grow their business.

Congratulations to Tim and Craig, and all the other small business owners that competed in the Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Challenge.

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

Congratulating the Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Challenge Winner ecycler

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Hi Bill,Are you utilizing LED technology yet for your lighting systems in your hotels? A great saving on your carbon footprint and yes our technology can save 60% on your bills.

I traveled across the U.S. a few years ago and loved your Fairfeld and Springfield Suites. At a couples of places at breakfast, I asked where their recycle bins were and they said they did not have any. I hope tht has now changed throughout the U.S. Love the properties.

When I arrived at the Residence Inn, Sacramento Downtown at Capitol Park earlier this month my reservation could not be located and "there was no room in the inn". (I believe a communication error made while booking caused this.) This has never occurred in over 40 years of being a Marriott customer.

Celeste ***** worked very hard to make an accomodation work at this location. I want to publically thank her for easing my stress at the end of a long travel day.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Challenge was a great opportunity extended by Marriott and very well deserved by eCycler.

To answer the question posed by Christopher Craig...

As one source of revenue, ecycler will charge its collectors a "matching fee" when they accept a pickup. Stay tuned to as we expand our offerings over the next couple of months.

Thank you for recognizing ecycler in this post. We feel honored to have won the Fairfield Challenge and further honored that you took the time to mention us. We really appreciate the support Marriott provides for small business owners and we look forward to doing great things with the boost this award has given us.

Both my husband and I want to say thank you for your leadership in hotel business. It happened the day before yesterday. As you know, Tokyo was also hit by the earthquakes. We were on the superexpress train, which violently shaked and stopped for hours. When we finally arrived at the Tokyo Station, all other trains were stopped
and we could not go to our destination. (We were to have my mother's 102nd birthday in the eastern suburbu.)We tried all the expensive hotels near the station, including the Imperial, in vain. We walked toward dawntown, no taxi availabe, and a few buses running, but a long, long line. Finally we found Ginza Marriott; we often stayed LAX Marriott and liked their service. The Ginza Marriot did not have vacancy, but kindly opened their banquet room for travellers. They even served a small, warm rice ball with filling wrapped with nori free for breakfast. They were very polite and kind as usual all the time. I'd like to keep talking about Ginza Marriot on March 11 to anybody.
Thanks, Marriot. Midori in Nagoya, Japan

What a great motivator, a prize and the opportunity to excel in your entreprenurial pursuits. I've got to catch this contest next time!!
S. Webster

I am a satisfied Marriott timeshare owner but I wonder whether buying Marriott shares is a good idea. I hear the timeshares are being spun-off to a new company. If so, I wonder whether it was a good choice to buy into the Destinations program.

I sincerely congratulate Mr> BILL MARRIOTT for his leadership, should run for the first chair of USA

Wilder Savany

Good morning!

Today my family and I had the most amazing experience at your Fairfield Inn at 8489 Highway 64 in Memphis, TN.

Marissa D. ******, Assistant General Manager, came to our rescue as the Yellow Cab we ordered never arrived, after repeated calls by Miss Talley. So as any great employee and person would do, she put us in her car and drove to the Memphis Ballet where our daughter was to have an audition to join the Company.

Marissa went way beyond the call of duty and she should be acknowledged for the true caring attitude she displayed.

I have been a long-term Marriott rewards customer, number *********, and Marissa's act today reinforces why I continue to be loyal to Marriott.

I would hire Marissa tomorrow as her caring and take charge demeanor is what any business strives for.

Thank you again!

Rich Tinervin

Interesting Concept, but from a sustainable solution standpoint, how does Ecycler make money?

Hi Bill,
I am continously impressed with the innovation of your company and the thought that went into this small Biz challenge...This truly sounds like a company I would enjoy working for and as soon as I finish my degree, I am heading your way.
Thanks again and keep up the good work.

This demonstrates that the entrepreneurial spirit continues to be alive and well & I am confident that all the participants appreciated the opportunity to compete for the top prize. Our congratulations to Mr. Marriott for his leadership and the two fine men that won who clearly "learned" along the way and I am sure this experience will help them as they mature through the various cyclical lives of owning a business, whether public or private.

Very nice! What a great idea, to incentivize small businesses AND give them a great role model for a place to stay "on the road." Congrats to them!