Hotel Online  Special Report

Marriott Expanding Diversity Initiative, Pledges $1 billion
to Minority and Women Owned Suppliers Over
the Next Five Years


February 8, 2005 - Marriott International, Inc. today announced expanded goals for its Diversity Outreach Initiative, including:
  • $1 billion pledged to minority and women owned suppliers over the next five years. 
  • Relationships with four newly signed minority and women owned and managed financial services firms. 
  • Minority owners and franchisees to double in five years.
These goals were reported to a subcommittee of Marriott's Board of Directors, known as the "Committee for Excellence," which is focused on achieving the highest levels of diversity in the lodging industry. The committee is chaired by board member George Munoz, principal of Munoz Investment Banking Group, LLC. Membership includes board members Debra L. Lee, president and chief operating officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET); Harry J. Pearce, former chairman of Hughes Electronics Corporation; and William J. Shaw, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International; as well as six other senior executives who represent various disciplines throughout the company.

"Our diversity outreach has created opportunities for us to benefit from the talent and expertise from organizations who share our vision and commitment to excellence," said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International. "With more than $210 million in expenditures in 2004 -- a 40 percent increase over 2003 -- we are on track to achieve $1 billion with diverse suppliers over the next five years and have established our continued lodging industry leadership."

Marriott also announced that it has signed agreements with minority and women owned financial institutions, who will provide Marriott with services for projects ranging from financing hotels to managing money market funds, and are assisting the company with other capital market transactions. They include:

  • RLJ Development, LLC -- Marriott invested $20 million in RLJ's Urban Lodging Fund headed by Robert L. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Black Entertainment Television (BET). In addition, RLJ purchased two Residence Inn by Marriott hotels in 2004, and now owns a total of four Marriott-branded products. 
  • Williams Capital -- Williams Capital Management, a registered investment advisor that is majority African American-owned, will manage overnight cash investments. Williams Capital Management's parent company, The Williams Capital Group, is also one of two firms that assisted Marriott with its stock repurchase in 2004. Also in 2004, The Williams Capital Group participated as a co-underwriter for a public securities offering for the company's timeshare business. 
  • Milestone Capital -- a women-owned investment advisor, specializing in institutional cash management, will manage overnight cash investments.
  • Marriott's 401(K) retirement plan has retained Ariel Capital, an African American owned investment advisor, to manage one of its funds.
As part of its broad-based diversity initiatives, Marriott also plans to build on the company's outstanding track record of attracting top tier minority owners and franchisees. "Marriott provides many attractive opportunities for minority and women-owned entrepreneurs and businesses, and we're going to enhance that appeal over the coming months," said Mr. Marriott.

As a "hall of fame" member of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for eight consecutive years, Marriott has always been committed to employing a talented and diverse workforce. In particular, the company has doubled the number of women and minorities in its top 400 leadership positions over the last six years. Marriott's current and future success in workforce diversity is supported though programs such as its Leadership Education Series, which teaches managers how to lead and build their careers in today's increasingly more diverse and complex marketplace.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. is a leading lodging company with over 2,600 lodging properties in the United States and 64 other countries and territories. 


Stephanie Hampton
Marriott International

Also See: Norm Jenkins Named Senior Vice President for North American Lodging Development; Will Oversee Marriott's Diversity Ownership Initiative / December 2004
Marriott Partners with USDA to Provide Assistance and Mentoring to Minority Farmers to Facilitate the Purchase of their Food Products into the Marriott Distribution System / March 2004

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