April 19, 2015


Family portrait 1970
New Year's Day, brother Dick and our families with our parents

Family has always been number one in my life. As a father, I made it a point to be home for dinner every night I was in town. Over my career, I arrived at the office at 8:00 a.m. and I was home for dinner at 6:15 p.m. SHARP!

While I traveled a lot during my career, family time over evening meals was a top priority, not to mention an extremely gratifying source of daily fun and support.

Dinner in our home was high-spirited, full of love and laughter. Away from home, I may have been C-E-O, but during precious meal time, I was D-A-D.

When I would get home at night, a beautiful meal would be waiting. The kids would be scrambling around the house trying to do their homework and getting ready for dinner. They always told me about their day -- the teacher they liked the least, the most difficult problem at school, and their favorite friends. It was a wonderful sharing time to get to know the kids. We always had an opening prayer and a blessing on the food, and we had a lot of fun talking about the day and the days ahead.  And, of course, I always did the dishes. Every now and then I'd get my kids to help me. But the dishes were my job.  (Aprons became a favorite gag gift.)

Some say it is really tough to focus on family in today's working world.  I disagree.  It's your decision to make, but I can tell you it's worth keeping family the #1 priority. 

In my Marriott Marquis Washington DC hotel opening speech, I introduced my son David this way: "David runs over one thousand hotels up and down the east coast when he's not raising his three sons and daughter."  Family over work.  It's how our family business has grown, how we keep our associates and why Marriott is recognized as “One of The Best Places to Work.”  Putting family first is good for business.  In fact, if business comes first, you won't be happy for very long.

Let me know how you strike a balance between work and family.  I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Listen to the Family First blog

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"Family over work. It's how our family business has grown, how we keep our associates and why Marriott is recognized as “One of The Best Places to Work.” Putting family first is good for business. In fact, if business comes first, you won't be happy for very long."

Dear Mr. Marriott,
Your quote above is well said sir. Thank you for sharing and reminding us of what truly is important. Your are truly inspirational.

Indeed my family of my mother and two sons are the reasons of my life even though it is a challenge to make it home for family dinner every night but as best as we could, we keep in touch with a kind caring word during the day.

Please sir, allow me to confess my hope that one day other Leaders at all levels within the Company would, like you, understand the true meaning of Family life and know what motivates, such as kind words which comes from caring about people regardless of creed, color, gender, generation or level.

Thank you sir for standing up for Family over Business. God bless you and your immediate Family as well as your Marriott Family.


I’d like to call to your attention an experience with superior customer service provided to me by Brie Collins who is employed by the Fairfield Inn, The Dalles, OR. When I had some work related schedule changes, she went above and beyond to meet my needs and to make sure they could accommodate me at this property. In addition, I want to compliment Ben Lawrence who made sure that some food I had left in the little cooler was rescued and I picked it up the following week.

I’ve commented to you before about what an outstanding facility this is, and how well managed it is. Even before I was a Platinum member, I was treated as though I were. The entire staff, from the crew that mans the desk to the ladies who prepare the breakfast meals and the housekeeping staff, is outstanding and consistently goes the extra mile to make my stay as comfortable as possible. They are all warm, friendly, and helpful. They model the quality of service I expect from every Marriott property.

I recently spent several days at the Marriott Desert Ridge in Scottsdale and the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor and the management of those properties, even though they are much larger, could learn something from the management of this small property.

I hope you will pass on my thanks to Ms. Collins and all the staff at the Fairfield Inn.

H. M. Timmons, Jr.

Mr. Marriott,

Wow what an amazing post! As fast as this world is we must never forget our priority's and the reason we make so many sacrifices ultimately to create a better life style and future for our loved ones. To be connected with a leader that has ha true understanding of the reason of our passion. It is an honor and privilege. This made my day. Thank you, have a blessed day

Your are one Person everyone should admire, your thinking and the way you take care of your Business and Family is awesome...

Thank you for your heartwarming stories.
You are an inspiration. Perhaps, although the chain has grown, is why I, for one, stay at Marriott hotels, only. Your dedication and commitment
trickles down to all, your businesses. God bless your family and all the Marriott's staff's families.

How true this is. Through all the crazy schedules that I had to work through over the years, it was worth it to be home with my children and be able to take them to school and make them breakfast. These are cherished memories that they and I will always remember. It is hard to balance sometimes, but the effort twill always leave you happier in the end.

This is an uplifting blog and I and my non-profit foundation would love to work and build with Mr. Bill Marriott and the Marriott family. Thank you for the encouraging words of wisdom.

Thank You, Tony L. Turner and The Your Turn Foundation Inc.

Dear Mr. Marriott,

Thank you for reminding us what truly matters. We work every day and give 100% to our careers, but we must never forget that we do it for our families. We must never trade a family for a career.

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work for a company where you preserve the strong values your parents instilled.
May God continue to bless you.

Mr Marriott,

I am overwhelmed to hear how you balance your professional life and your social life. Its also good to see you adopting the four entities dimensions - Social/emotional , Physical, Spiritual and Mental habits. I also strongly believe - Putting People Frist- would be my family! who is my day to day inspiration at work.

I belong to my Mum and Dad as well as Marriott Family!

Keshwaree Devi SEETUL

Good to see that family matters, especially in our field of work, as majority of our time is spend at the hotel! Great ideology and family values especially for all of us who are a bit of “traditionalists”, looking at Thanksgivings diners, Christmas, etc., which at at definition consists of ideas passed down from generation to generation. It boils down to the philosophy of how we want to live our family life, so happy to see that you made it home for dinner at 6:15 p.m. SHARP! It’s fantastic.

Marc Wozniak
General Manager
Four Points by Sheraton
Lagos, Nigeria

Family is what everyone should have and treasure all there Life. Makes all the work rewarding plus you have someone to share ever thing with all of your accomplishments etc.

Very interesting and lesson for us. Even you as a LEADER but you always have a dinner at home WITH YOUR FAMILY. That's MARRIOTT ways!!! Family should come first. job can replace with another but if you loose family none can replace them!
Proud to be Marriott's family.

First I would like to thank GOD for having me worked in your company Marriott which is true & blessed place to work with. Man like you(Bill) is one in a million blessed by the Lord GOD of Israel along with your blessed family, GOD fearing man. May the Lord GOD blessed you more years to come. A very inspiring family of yours. To GOD be the glory.

What a beautiful tribute "Family First" about your mom on 4/19/2015 and about the importance of family. I can hear God/Family/Faith in your blog writings and believe you have
been blessed because you are a blessing. We, indeed, are blessed to be a blessing! We have stayed at Marriott in Washington, D.C. to show our precious grandson Washington
and are planning a trip to New Orleans in July of this year
to visit the WWII Museum, again. We have stayed at the Riverside Marriott before and loved the way the guest is treated special and is like being a part of
a family...not 'just' a guest! God bless you/your sweet and amazing family!

Nice to know you have blog here~ very touching article. I can tell it is really coming from bottom of your heart! Right, I cannot agree more that family should be the first priority than anything else. You can have thousands of different work but family is the only one in the work that you can have fun with! I try to balance my life now since my little princess birth. I try to cook her even a simple meal but healthy and making her know that mum loves her so much. I try to play with her when I am away from work. I have to say, so far, everything goes smooth!
Thank you for your sharing which makes me so emotional to write down few words!

The lord almighty has shower his blessings upon you and your family Bill so may his grace be upon you and your entire family forever. Amen

When my now adult children were in elementary and early jr. high, we'd have Friday Family Night. Each week, a member of the group would decide an activity or outing that we'd do on Friday night. The ideas and activities ranged from playing card games such as UNO, going bowling at an alley with neon lights, to academic fun-which was ALWAYS my choice when it was my turn; of course my children would reply, when it was my turn, "ohhhh, it's mom's turn; get your pencil and paper out." Initially, they dreaded my turn, but I eventually learned ways to make learning experiences more fun to the point they didn't know they were learning. Good times, they were. Now with grandchildren, aged 1.5 and 4.5 years young, I read to them and we just dance or whatever it is we do to the music! :)

Thank you, Bill, for sharing those tender and loving moments.

~ Joy

Dear Mr.Marriott,
It was nice to read your article about how important family is to us in our life. In China we also have an old saying "A famliy with harmony leads to all well-been". Thank you for sharing your secret of happiness to me.

LOVE this article! This is the reason I love working for this company and am proud to be apart of the Marriott family. My family is everything to me and I feel supported in making them a priority.

So grateful for the opportunity to work for Marriott!!!

wow this gives me so much hope puting the family first then work
for when I have my owne family one day.

Mr. Marriott,
I've spent most of my life answering the same question every time I'm asked "no, I'm not related". But I must admit it has been a great honor to share the same name as someone like yourself, someone who has lived his life with all the character traits that you exemplify. I thank you for all the examples you've provided over the years both professionally and personally.

Best Regards,
Dean Marriott

Dear Mr. Marriott and Family,
I am a Veit Nam Area Veteran 1971-1978. Two tours in Korea.
I jumped from job to job after getting out unitl I found The Marriott Hotel and Resorts in 1984.
The Moto "Take Care of your Associates and they will take care of our Guests" has alway stayed with me.
Being part of the Marriott family for just over 30 years has made it possible for my wife and I to put our 2 children (my Step-children) through college. One a Seior Software Engineer and the other a 2nd Grade Teacher. If it where not for stocks, bonds, profit sharing and working for the Marriott Family I do not think my children would be as sucessful as they are. Family Comes First.
We have met many times over the years and it has been my pleasure to have met in passing such a strong family.
I will be eligible to retire in 3 years. I would love to stay on for 10 more years but the economy being what it is and all the cuts over the years this would not make it possible.

Thank you for a great career!!!

Dear Mr. Marriott,

This is a lovely article. I am a new mom of a one month old and just got back to work. My manager has been wonderful being mindful that I am a new mom by giving me flexible hours. I am able to work and still put my family first. Thank you for acknowledging families by being an example. -Elsie Mufuka (guest service agent at Fairfield Inn and Suites Charlotte Uptown in Charlotte, NC)

Every morning I wake up, make coffee, get myself ready before the rest of the family wakes up. Then I make a well balanced breakfast, my wife takes our oldest to school as she works at that school, I take our middle son to school and our youngest to daycare, at work by 7:30 am and home by 6 to have dinner with the family. I believe family and a good strong family relationship is the key to happiness.

Mr. Marriot,

I absolutely love that I work for a company who is aware of what is most important, FAMILY. I am a fairly new employee for the Waterford Marriott in OKlahoma City, Oklahoma. In the short time that I have been employed here, I have many new friends that I am sure will continue to grow and become life long relationships. What I love best about these people/friends is that they live by your motto as well, they are hard workers when they are here at work but family is most important to them and when they are not here they are taking care of their children or spouses. I currently work an early shift as an AYS (At Your Service) so that I can make it home in early afternoon to be with my children since my husband is the supervisor on night shifts with his company. I am very thankful that I am allowed to worked these hours so that I may be there for my children instead of relying on a sitter or childcare. So thank you Sir for putting family first and aloowing your employees to do the same. I have really enjoyed working here and I plan to stay for a long while to come.

Jessi Mason
At Your Service