More than 500 hospitality industry leaders join the School of Hotel Administration to honor J. W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr.
"Landmark event." "An icon in the fullest sense of the word." "A tremendous night."
The gala culminated in the presentation of the first Icon of the Industry Award to J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc., and a legend and pioneer in the hospitality industry. Marriott received the award, presented by Dean Johnson and Bruce White, CEO of title sponsor White Lodging, to a rousing standing ovation. As an advocate for higher education, Marriott spoke about success being a combination of education and opportunity. Although he acknowledged that today’s students are entering a competitive job market and difficult economic times, he said that the key to every success story is to “never, never, never give up.” These are encouraging words from a true icon of the industry.
Under Marriott’s lead, Marriott International has grown from a family restaurant business to a global lodging company with more than 3,200 properties in 66 countries and territories. Known for its commitment to diversity, social responsibility, and community engagement, the firm is consistently recognized among the most admired companies. Marriott has developed a family of 18 lodging brands that range from limited service to full service luxury hotels. The company manages and franchises hotels and resorts under the Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Bulgari, Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites, and Fairfield Inn brand names. It operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Ritz-Carlton Club, and Grand Residences by Marriott brands. The company also operates Marriott Executive Apartments, provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division, operates conference centers, and manages golf courses.
Marriott serves on the board of the J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a member of the National Business Council and the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council. He also serves as the chairman of the Mayo Clinic Capital Campaign. Mr. Marriott recently served on the board of trustees of the National Geographic Society, as director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation, chairman of the President’s Export Council, and a member of the Secure Borders Open Doors Advisory Committee and the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Marriott has also been a leader in higher education in hospitality, as seen in his generous support of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and San Diego State University. He is an honorary member of the Cornell Hotel Society, and the school’s executive education center bears the Marriott name.
To learn about sponsorship opportunities for the next Cornell Icon of the Industry Awards Dinner, please contact Joe Strodel, director of corporate and foundation affairs, at email@example.com or 607.255.4646.