Health, Happiness, and Cheer on Mother’s Day

May 7, 2018
Alice with Bill Jr ca1935_500x400
Alice S. Marriott and J. W. Marriott, Jr. (ca. 1935)

I recently came across a poem my mother wrote to me some 37 years ago, which she titled "This Is Your Life, According to Mother."

She gave it to me in June 1981 in honor of my 25th year with Marriott International. It recounts, as only a mother could do, her pride at my modest achievements in life.

Reading it today brings back so many cherished memories: my love of boat racing, and dislike of chores ("His father wanted him to do some chores," the poem goes, "but he felt mops and brooms were awful bores"), working at the Hot Shoppes — my parents' first business venture after they moved to Washington, D.C. — meeting and marrying my beloved wife, Donna, starting our own family, opening our first hotel.

"We wish him good health, much happiness, and cheer," mom's poem concludes, "And hope he will have another 25 years."

I only wish I could thank my mother today for the beautiful gift of this poem as well as tell her that it's now been 37 years since that day and I'm still around.

Reading her poem, I'm reminded of her love and generosity, and of her kindness and support, every step of the way as I’ve journeyed through life.

Mom was a true inspiration to me, to everyone in the Marriott family, and to anyone who worked with her over the years.

She was smart, earning her degree in Spanish from the University of Utah at just 19. She was creative, a talent that she put to good use decorating our first hotels. She was a businesswoman, who was involved in every decision made during those critical early years. She was a role model for every woman who wanted to live their lives to the fullest.

My daughter, Debbie Marriott Harrison, described her as "the definition of class, devotion, and hard work."

I couldn't say it better myself.

Thank you, mom, for a wonderful life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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

Listen to the Audio | Listen to the Poem

Grace in Life ... and in Death

April 18, 2018
Barbara Bush, Chef Laurent Richard, President George Bush at The Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park – September 2004 This past week, Barbara Bush taught this country – and the world – one final lesson: how to die with grace. Letting go for someone who loved and enjoyed life so fully could not...

Striving for Excellence, Always

March 13, 2018
J. Willard Marriott Sr. I'm often asked why Marriott International has been so successful over the years. I tell them it all harkens back to my father's commitment to taking care of the associates, and his endless striving for excellence at every level of the company. I was reminded of...

The Top Three Things I Look for When Visiting a Hotel

February 2, 2018
It probably goes without saying, but I have visited thousands of hotels. Just this past year, I have seen over 100—and that’s a drop in the bucket compared to my younger days. Touring properties is a passion of mine, not an obligation. I’m often my happiest when I’m at a...

An Equal Chance for All

January 3, 2018
The Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan in India is doing some great work. Earlier this year, the team won our Debbie Marriott Harrison TakeCare Award of Excellence for promoting the wellbeing of their associates and making the hotel a healthier place to work. Recently, they made a video celebrating their...

Taking Care of Our Own

December 21, 2017
The holidays are a time for many things, but above all, it’s a time for family. I am fortunate to be spending another Christmas with those I love. On Christmas Eve, we host a big family dinner and on Christmas Day my wife Donna and I go house to house...

Doing Good in Every Direction

October 31, 2017
I’m of the firm belief that to do something right, you can’t cut corners. I’ve been at that crossroads many times before, but I can confidently say I’ve done my best to do things the right way. This covers anything from maintaining ethical business practices to putting associates first. Personally,...

All in the Family with Fairfield by Marriott

October 26, 2017
Fairfield by Marriott turns 30 this month. In the blink of an eye, I’ve seen the brand evolve from its first property in Atlanta, GA, to nearly 900 hotels around the world, entering new markets like Brazil, China, and Nepal this year. Though a lot has changed, I’m comforted to...

Lending a Helping Hand

September 11, 2017
Hurricane season is hitting hard. Hurricane Irma has made landfall while cleanup is underway in the wake of Harvey. And as the floodwaters start to recede in Houston and other cities in the Gulf Coast, the stories are starting to emerge. Simple acts of kindness can mean the world to...

Building a Foundation of Hospitality

August 17, 2017
Five years ago, my family’s foundation partnered with San Diego State University to create the China Hospitality Education Initiative, or CHEI. Our idea was to establish relationships with a few Chinese schools and offer hospitality teachers hands-on operational experiences and teaching resources to supplement textbooks.

Marriott's "Boots on the Ground"

July 26, 2017
A Snapshot from this Year's Business Council Conference I can’t believe it has been almost a year since the close of the Starwood acquisition. I am so proud of all of our associates and our integration teams for all of the hard work that they have done to make this...