NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a non-profit U.S. business association dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government communities across the globe, today announced that J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International, Inc., will be the recipient of the 2017 Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award. The award will be presented to Mr. Marriott at the 15th annual BCIU Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Awards Gala on December 4th in New York City. Mr. Marriott and his father had a special connection to President Eisenhower who established BCIU in 1955 to “inspire, encourage and assist” American business leaders to build international understanding through private initiatives in communities where they operate around the world.
Mr. Marriott’s leadership of Marriott International spans nearly 60 years, where he led Marriott from a family restaurant business to a global lodging company. In 2016, Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts, creating the world’s largest hotel company, now with 6,400+ properties offering more than 1.2 million rooms across 30 brands in 126 countries. Known throughout the industry for his hands-on management style, Mr. Marriott has built a highly regarded company culture that emphasizes the importance of Marriott’s people and recognizes the value they bring to the organization. Mr. Marriott’s leadership has helped to build one of the best portfolio of lodging brands, ranging from select service to luxury hotels and resorts.
“I am deeply humbled to accept BCIU’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award,” said Bill Marriott. “As a young man, I learned a great leadership lesson directly from President Eisenhower. He was visiting our family farm and just before we were about to go outside into the cold, he turned to me asked, my opinion about going outside. ‘Bill, what do you think?’ I, of course, said we should stay inside by the warm fire. I’ve thought back on that day many times over and what struck me is that what made President Eisenhower such a successful leader is that he wanted to know what the people around him thought. It’s a lesson that has stayed with me all these years and one that I practice to this day.”
Since 2003, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Entrepreneurship Award has been given to business executives who exemplify the definition of an international business leader by exhibiting outstanding contributions to global commerce. Mr. Elumelu extends a distinguished roster of BCIU’s Award recipients, which includes Andrew N. Liveris, Dow Chemical; Carlos Slim; Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric; Pele; Mukesh D. Ambani, Reliance Industries; Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal; Go Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines; Masami Iijima, Mitsui & Co.; Marilyn A. Hewson, Lockheed Martin; Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic; Maurice R. Greenberg, C.V. Starr & Co.; Rotan N. Tata; Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Kingdom Holding Company; Roger Agnelli, Vale S.A.; Lord John Browne, BP; Raymond Gilmartin, Merck & Co. and Lee Raymond, Exon Mobil Corporation.
“Mr. Marriott, within one generation, transformed his family’s business from a local restaurant chain into one of the most well-known, trusted and truly international brands in the world,” said Peter Tichansky, President and CEO of BCIU. “He brings his spirit of service to all he does, in business and in his community, and embodies the exemplary characteristics of a visionary business leader. His personal connection with President Eisenhower makes the award uniquely inspiring this year.”
About Mr. J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International, Inc.
J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc. Mr. Marriott’s leadership spans over 60 years of innovation and growth in the hospitality industry. He has guided what was once a family-run root beer stand and restaurant to a global hospitality company. In September 2016, Marriott, Inc., finalized its largest acquisition, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The company now has more than 6,400 properties across 30 brands in 126 countries and territories.
Mr. Marriott spent his high school and college years working in a variety of positions in the family’s Hot Shoppes restaurant chain. He became a full-time associate employee in 1956, and soon afterward began managing the first Marriott hotel. He became President in 1964, served as Chief Executive Officer from 1972 to 2012, and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1985. Mr. Marriott is known for his hands-on management style, which is built on his parents’ value of putting people first. Referred to as a lodging innovator, Mr. Marriott shifted the company’s business model in the late 1970s from hotel ownership to property management and franchising by splitting the company in 1993 into Marriott International, a hotel management and franchising company and Host Marriott International, a hotel ownership company. His strategic decision allowed the company to accelerate its growth and broaden its leadership position. Today, the Marriott corporate culture continues to emphasize the value that its employees bring to the company.
Mr. Marriott serves on the board of trustees of the J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation. He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society. Previously, he was Chairman of the President’s Export Council and a Director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation. He served on the board of General Motors and the Mayo Clinic. Mr. Marriott grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. He earned a Bachelor of Science in banking and finance and later served as an Officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Marriott is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is married to the former Donna Graff. They are the parents of four children and have fifteen grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.
Fifty years ago, BCIU was formed at the White House Industrial Cooperation Council Conference on November 10, 1955, under the leadership of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a “people-to-people” initiative. BCIU encourages international understanding by bringing together senior government officials and business leaders on issues of common concern by facilitating public-private partnerships in the global marketplace, and by assisting with problem-solving in turbulent situations and markets. BCIU also conducts commercial diplomacy training courses for U.S. Foreign Service, U.S. Commercial Service, and other U.S. Government trade promotion personnel. BCIU utilizes a mix of business executives and experienced trade promotion officials as faculty instructors for these courses.
Brad Thatcher, Thatcher+Co.
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SOURCE Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU)