From Homeless to Homeowner

July 1, 2014

  Gregory Scott

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 J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence, named for my father.  We have a large event with over 800 of our senior associates in attendance to celebrate these honorees.

One of the core elements of our culture is to provide people opportunities.  All of us in attendance were especially touched by Gregory Scott and his story. 

For nearly 20 years, Gregory was homeless and strung out on drugs.  He’d been living under the Third Street Bridge in downtown Washington, when one morning he knew it was time to change his life.  As he says, “I woke up one day and decided to turn everything around.  I wanted a better life for myself.”

Gregory’s awakening led him to Washington’s Gaylord National Resort in 2008.  After so many years of hard living, getting hired wasn’t easy.  But his determination won out.  When asked what value he could add to the team at the Gaylord, he said, “Given the opportunity, I won’t let you down.”

He spent the next four years as a public space attendant in the housekeeping department before being promoted to his current role as Guest Services Engineer.  Gregory works the evening shift, ensuring guest rooms are in perfect order, from the plumbing to minor air conditioning repairs.  He makes following up on guest maintenance requests a top priority, even calling in on his days off to ask about earlier reported problems.

What a comeback!  Gregory has found success not just in his profession, but also in restored relationships with his family. He even just purchased his first home!

The best part of Gregory’s story is that it doesn’t end with his own personal success.  He cares deeply for the homeless.  He is a founding member of the “Get Involved” program at his hotel.  He helps deliver boxed lunches to the homeless, as well as assists them in finding employment and housing.

Everybody loves a good comeback story.  There’s something about a story of someone overcoming great odds to find success and happiness that touches all of us. It’s a part of the American dream! I’m proud of the leadership at Gaylord, which gave Gregory an opportunity to begin turning his life around.


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

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Greg, we are more alike then different.Good luck and I wish you well on your new home

Awesome!!! Very inspirational life story!!

Awesome!!! Very inspirational life story!!

Congratulations Mr. Scott! I am so proud of you my heart is on the verge of bursting. You are truly an example of what "the Spirit to Serve" is all about. God had a plan for you, but he could not lead you into greatness until you were truly ready to accept your calling. God blesses us so that we may bless others. I was honored when I received this prestigious award in 2009. I was beginning to feel as if my efforts were simply to no avail, totally unnoticed, and no one really cared. But in God's saving grace, he smiled, and playfully nudged me. In His own way he reminded me that He sees and He knows the good that we do. So this award served as confirmation that I was doing something right. Some individuals may never truly understand that a serving spirit is an attitude and a way of life. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. God bless you and yours.
Jo Street
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
Buellton, CA 93427

Gregory, you are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the great work.

Gregory, you are a true inspiration for mankind. You were hired because of YOUR inate qualities, who you are, the skills you presented and the manner in which you conducted yourself during the interview. Congratulations on a job well done! Best wishes for continued fortunes that your personal actions, with the strong self motivation you possess, will continue to bring forth to you.

We're so honored to you have, Gregory, as part of our Gaylord Hotels team! You're an inspiration to us all.

Tammy Henry
Director, Marketing & eCommerce
Gaylord Hotels

God is awesome! All of these heartfelt comments mean so much and this story reminds me of where I came from. Were it not for the Marriott family I shudder to think of where I would be!

I am proud and honored to work for a company that values others and gives second chances. Thank you Mr. Marriott for touching so many lives. You are blessed to be a blessing to others!

You are a shining example of lifes possibilitites and the meanining of a true "STAR"!

Life is the smartest and the wisest teacher in the world. No matter how we try to trick it we can not do it. All of us have ups and downs but we have to remember who we are, what we are and why we all are here. Unfortunately, some people forget the truth of our existence or they are afraid to face the truth. The sky if high and than higher we go then more painful we are falling down. Thank you for your infinite faith Mr. Gregory and thanks to Mr. Marriott for his hard work to build this Empire of Marriott Hotels and priceless opportunities to it's employees.

A huge congratulations Gregory. Your story and the Marriott family principles that shape this company reminds me of the emotion I felt when this company gave me opportunity not so long ago. I hear your emotion and gratitude; thank you for allowing us to see the man you became and the struggles you overcame. I would like to say thank you to all my collegues that believed in me.


Congratulations Gregory and kudos to Gaylord for having faith in what Gregory could offer and how they could help an unfortunate individual of the community change his life!

Wow!!! What an AWESOME GOD we serve!!!

Keep up the good work Gregory.


You are an blessed Gregory. Thank you for sharing your story with us all. Keep moving forward.

Great Comeback. God bless you

THANK YOU for sharing your story. What a privilege to be able to pray for you:
"Lord, we thank you for the opportunity that you have given to Gregory to restore his live. You designed him perfectly for your purposes here on earth. I pray for Gregory's spiritual health. Help him Father to keep seeing the good things that you have for him. I pray for his physical health. Touch him with your healing hand and may he know his healing comes directly from you Lord. May he remain steadfastly connected to you and your ways. Bring support for his “Get Involved” program and may all he need be perfectly timed. A helping hand at the right time, a phone call right when he needs encouragement, a friends/family members smile to brighten his day. Your words to lift him up and give him hope to continue looking at the good things around him. We praise you Father for Gregory’s life. May he receive all the glory and honor to continue on the right path and always seeing the positive thing around him.

Chela de Lannoy
Senior Sales Manager
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

What a great story God Bless You Mr. Gregory Scott you give so many people hope.

Wonderful and inspiring story! Thanks for sharing!!!

God bless you Mr. Greg! Thank you for the inspiration. I pray that in twenty years, I will have maintained the level of "fight" that you have to reach my goals with and for Marriott.


What a truly inspiration for me and all of us to do better everyday and to not judge but help...

Thak you Mr. Marriott and thank you Mr. Scott for sharing your story with us.

Congratulations to you Gregory ! That was amazing story you have shared. All the best to you and your family.

Awesome story! Awesome opportunity Marriott gave him! Excellent for him!

This is such an inspiring story! He not only helped himself but now is trying to help others. Amazing man!