Marriott celebrated its 30th Marriott Awards of Excellence, a recognition program that honors its top associates worldwide. The awards were established in 1987 to pay tribute to company founder J. Willard Marriott and have since expanded to recognize not only individuals but also teams for outstanding community service, diversity and inclusion, culture and well-being initiatives.
The J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence is presented annually to Marriott associates nominated by supervisors or peers for outstanding performance and for demonstrating five key traits: achievement, character, dedication, effort and perseverance. Below are summaries of the 2016 honorees.
- Tim Acton, lead banquet server at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, started nine years ago as a busboy. He wants to prove to the world that even with a disability you can work your way up.
- Savenie Casimir-Marc, housekeeper at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, is originally from Haiti and has been a STAR at the hotel for 14 years. She lost her husband in a tragic accident two years ago and found hope again by coming to work.
- Won Choi, general manager at the Courtyard Medford Airport, moved to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea when he was 22 years old. Today, he focuses on creating a positive environment for associates by turning everyday tasks into fun team experiences.
- Rachel Chung, executive assistant at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, started at the hotel in 1994, before the official opening. Through her work she has developed many close friendships. She even stayed with a guest in the hospital and then assisted with her recovery once she returned to the hotel.
- Martel Cole, executive steward at The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, joined the hotel 25 years ago. He manages the daily kitchen operations, banquets and the hotel restaurant. Martel founded a church in 2009 and most recently opened a library in his Jamaican hometown.
- Rosane Lucas, chief concierge at the JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro, started as a tour guide and today is an ambassador for her city, sharing knowledge with visitors from around the world. Rosane mentored 10 at-risk high school graduates and then helped them all secure jobs.
- Benjamin Napoleon, guest services manager at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort, started at the property in 1967 as a busboy. A native of Kaua’i, he only left once to serve in the army during the Vietnam War. He makes sure both his guests and associates are taken care of, and is also known for hosting the best garage barbecues on the island.
- Freddy Pather, concierge at the Protea Hotel Edward, started at the hotel 54 years ago as a busboy. Freddy has served kings and queens and heads of state. Today, he runs and cares for the hotel like it’s his own business.
Marriott also announced the Berlin Marriott Hotel as this year’s recipient of the Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service. This prestigious award recognizes a Marriott business unit and its team of associates for excellence in corporate citizenship. Also, the J.W. Marriott, Jr., Diversity Excellence Award was presented to the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. This award is the highest form of recognition for a business unit, corporate department or individual that demonstrates excellence in promoting diversity and unity.
Additionally, the company recognized Marriott’s France Business Council with The Stephen Garff Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture. This award honors a business unit or corporate department that embodies the Marriott culture and the company’s five Core Values: Put People First, Pursue Excellence, Act with Integrity, Embrace Change, and Serve Our World.
Lastly, the San Marquis San Diego Marina was recognized with the first Debbie Marriott Harrison TakeCare Award of Excellence. This is a new award, created to recognize a team for demonstrating significant achievements in creating a culture of wellbeing.
“We are so proud of our newest class of honorees and grateful for their many contributions both at our hotels and in the communities they serve,” said Debbie Marriott Harrison, Global Officer, Marriott Culture and Business Councils. “We know our people are the heart of our company. Their hard work keeps our guests coming back time and time again.”