Marriott's 'Spirit to Serve' is in Good Hands

April 14, 2014

25K hrs of community service

When I was a boy and young man, community service was of little or no interest to me.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps I considered my Naval service career enough.  No one had even thought of recycling or wearing a seat belt for that matter.  We had sacrificed during the war.

Now, I’m noticing a growing importance for serving our communities around the world, particularly among today’s young people – the Gen X and Y’s.  Marriott’s college recruiters report and our new hires want to work for a socially responsible company. 


It really hit home for me when students at the BYU Marriott School of Management – for its 25th anniversary – launched a “Spirit to Serve” community service campaign named after ours at Marriott International. “Studying” and “volunteering” were two activities I never considered doing together in college. Today’s generation thinks otherwise. Good for them.

The BYU goal is impressive.  At the entrance to the school, stands a large lucite-shaped “M.” Inside, blue tennis balls mark the progress. The goal is to fill it up and reach 25,000 hours of community service.  Each ball equals one hour. It’s a great visual reminder.  But more than that, it’s a wonderful tribute to our company’s culture of service.  

I’ve learned a lot by volunteering. I don’t cook a lot, but I did for DC Central Kitchen.  At the Atlanta Food Bank, bagging groceries was tricky for me.  At a Habitat for Humanity build, I was pretty good at tossing some loose rocks out of the way and hammering.  I ran with the torch-in-hand to kick-off our yearly Children’s Miracle Network activities.

It’s nice to know that Marriott’s “Spirit to Serve” will be in good hands with this giving-back next generation. I’m passing the torch, may it shine brightly.

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

P.S.  Since recording this blog, the school reached its goal of 25,000 hours of service and the "Big M" is filled with tennis balls.  Congratulations!  

Listen to blog

Renovating Riyadh

April 7, 2014
I remember travelling across the world to the desert sands of Saudi Arabia in 1979. We were starting to open hotels all over the world. With its rich culture and strong heritage, Saudi was the best place to plant our first flag in the Middle East. The Riyadh Marriott Hotel...

Take Me Out to the … New Baseball Academy

March 31, 2014
The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The smell of fresh popcorn and peanuts in the air. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of opening day for baseball fans. So much potential and promise for your favorite team to make it all the way to the Fall...

Dr. DeSanctis - A Great Role Model for Me

March 25, 2014
Dr. DeSanctis' Care Made a Lasting Impact on Me After My Boating Accident A recent article in The Boston Globe was titled, “After six decades of devotion, the doctor is out.” In 1978 my father was admitted to Mass General Hospital in Boston after suffering several heart attacks at our...

Great on the Road With Courtyard

March 18, 2014
I’m not one to sit still. I like to get out, tour our hotels and meet our guests. I make sure to thank our customers for their business. One way we reward them is through our Marriott Rewards program. We now have more than 45 million members in 71 countries....

Thanks for Sharing Your Rules for Success

March 10, 2014
I’ve had the great pleasure over the last two weeks to review more than 60 comments posted on “My 12 Rules for Success.” Thanks for sharing how the rules applied to your career and how they’ve inspired you for future success. Each of the 12 rules resonated with so many...

How It All Got Started

March 4, 2014
Have you heard of taking your act on the road? Well, that's what I've been doing lately with the help of my daughter, Debbie Marriott Harrison. Debbie is our Global Officer of Marriott Culture and Business Councils. A company's culture is not something you can build over night. My father...

My 12 Rules for Success

February 25, 2014
My father liked to say, "Success is never final." Before the paint dried on a brand new Hot Shoppes restaurant, he was already signing a deal for the next one. He had high expectations for his associates (especially me) and he always wanted to pursue excellence. When my dad decided...

What Do You Think?

February 19, 2014
Back in 1954, I came home from the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School for Christmas. My father was a good friend of Ezra Taft Benson who was at that time the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Somehow they finagled to get Eisenhower to come down to our family farm in Virginia....

Turning Ideas Into Entrees

February 11, 2014
My first job was in the kitchen; recent taste panel menu It’s no secret that I’ve always loved good food. Our company started out as a root beer stand and I flipped hamburgers throughout my college years. These days, I get to indulge myself by attending regular taste panels hosted...

The Ritz-Carlton Kicks-Off Right

February 4, 2014
The recent Super Bowl game had me thinking about the importance of kick-offs. In football, kick-offs help set the tone for each team’s possession. They can either give a team great advantage or put a team behind before they even start a play. Before the grand opening day of every...