Hotel and fast-food magnate J. Willard Marriott Jr. was named "Distinguished Business Professional of 1988" in ceremonies Friday by the BYU Management Society.
The society is a Washington-based group of BYU alumni and friends - many who hold top positions in government and some of the nation's largest corporations - whose goal is to develop leadership and professionalism.Kent Lloyd, president of the society, praised Marriott as a "symbol of integrity and enterprise," and said the society could think of no one better to win its first business award, which it plans to give annually.
He said the Marriott Corp. has 223,000 employees, has $6.5 billion in sales annually and operates in 24 countries.
Marriott told the society that Marriott Corp. has been successful because "we take care of our employees so they will take care of our customers."
He said most people don't work at a job just for money - although that is important. They want to work where they feel important and feel that they matter. If they do, they are not complacent at their jobs and strive to serve customers more.
An example of how the company tries to show that care is that while the company plans soon to close its first-ever hotel - the Marriott Twin Bridges in Alexandria, Va. - because it is out of date, the company worked hard to find jobs for the more than 300 employees who will soon be out of work.
"All but six have jobs that are better than or equal to what they had before," he said.
Marriott added that the company is looking to help in other ways too, such as adding day care at one of its hotels in New Jersey.
Marriott is chairman of the board of the Marriott Corp., which his father founded. Marriott himself oversaw the start and expansion of much of the hotels operated by the firm.