Dear people, Marriott International turned 90 years old recently. A great reason to be in a joyful mood and celebrate with champagne and fireworks. Here it follows the story which we would like to share with you, it is much more than a story of a company, is a narration based on the great devotion of a close knit family, it is about passion, loyalty and perseverance. A story which proves the fact that if you believe in your dreams, the sky is not the limit, you become unstoppable.
Everything started 90 years ago when J. Willard and Alice Marriott have started a business for the first time in Washington DC. Their business was called Hot Shoppe, which consisted in a tiny space, with only 9 places only before it expanded. Afterwards, as time went by, it enlarged and got to open more and more places as such. In 1937, the Hot Shoppe begun delivering lunch boxes for airflow passengers, introducing for the first time the air catering concept for commercial flights. However, the key move was made in 1957, when the Marriott family have done a historical revolution when they got involved into the hospitality industry by opening up the first Arlington hotel in Virginia. The rest is history…
During a 90-year-period of continuous activity, the company has accelerated in an alert rhythm, getting to the point where it is today: a sustainable brand, respected and appreciated world wide.
Moreover, all along this time, it continued to be administrated with the same involvement by the future generations of Marriott family which always guided themselves after the same life principles the founders have established within the household that handled with success the business grounds.
The work continued to grow and expand with the same dedication and passion from the ones in charge, and brought JW Marriott right in the top most important hotel companies in the world. The most recent development index was made in 2016, when Marriott International and Starwood Hotel&Resorts merged. The mind blowing result placed them right o top as the biggest company in the world with over 6.000 properties in more than 120 countries, summing up 1.1 million rooms.
The company has evolved and changed, but the core values remain the same, and among them, integrity guides us in all our actions, in every decision we make and every step we take.
In Romania, it all started in 2000 when the first opening of the hotel chain happened. In 2004, as a recommendation from Bill Marriott the company’s CEO of that time and following a-two-year rebranding trial, the hotel became known under the name of JW Marriott (first one in Europe for this brand). Nowadays, the hotel operates 402 rooms and apartments, 6 restaurants and lounges, 12 event halls, altogether it belongs to one of the biggest 5-star hotels in Bucharest and even Romania. Isn’t it impressive?
THE MARRIOTT ASSOCIATES AND THE BEAUTY OF WORKING IN A HOTEL
All success would have never been possible without the devotion of the ones attracted to the fascinating world of hospitality whom decided to board into this spectacular adventure called JW Marriott and become the „associates“. For the ones who are new to the family, we have to explain the fact that „associates“ are actually the employees. This is another proof of appreciation of the employees and of the permanent desire of the company to invest in them.
As you have already probably created in image of yourself, operating a 5-star hotel isn’t an easy job, it is like a theatre play where every single decoration has to be put in its place, and every single actor must know its role by heart. In addition to the fact that you are engaged and represent JW Marriott, a brand which makes itself remarked through the elegance and the diversity of experience. The success of a good play will always have its starting point from the chemistry between the players, from both front and back stage, players and technicians. Moreover, the permanent communication in another key element of a beautiful story and of course nothing would be possible without the concentration at its highest and a continuous repetition. We function by the same premises: we are a united team, constructed in many years, passionate of what we’re doing and always cheerful to be part of the great family of the hotel which completes the company. For all of us, JW Marriott is more than a job, it is a lifestyle and it is loaded with the possibility of evolution, of striving for your dream and believing in it. It is motto also promoted by JW and Alice Marriott which consists indeed in that fact that there are no barriers when what you are going it is done with passion.
One of the biggest advantages of a person which decides to join our team is becoming a associate of JW Marriott is that, no matter the position chosen, the possibility of growing and building a strong career are limitless but they should also be part of your personal bucket list. As it is being said, „sky is the limit“ and we are proud of the countless remarkable professional routes of some associates that started from the bottom and got to evolve in time and finally got to lead. Our actual manager is maybe the best example when it comes to this and the living proof that in JW Marriott’s family, everything is possible.
This point refers only to the possibility of promoting, furthermore to the changes a JW Marriott associate feels to make, as for example relocating and this stands for relocating within the company or in another city or country. All of these movements are done regarding every individual’s aspirations because JW Marriott associates are encouraged and supported in evolving towards the direction they choose, because, together with many other things, family at the end of the day means backing up each other.
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: EMPLOYEES APPRECIATION WEEK
Recently, all JW Marriott hotels celebrated at the same time “Employees Appreciation Week”, representing a long-time, beautiful tradition which is awaited with joy and enthusiasm annually and gives us the chance to unwind and reduce the daily activities to honor the people that represent this brand.
One thing the JW Marriott founder used to say was “Take care of your people and they will take care of your customers”. This is not just an unwritten motto of ours, it is much more, it underlines that the JW Marriott associates are our most reliable source.
In other words, “Appreciation week” is a special week for us in which we underline by hosting lot of events wanting to promote relaxation and fun As well as a deep gratitude to be close to one another, just like in a big family, as well as a deep gratitude to be close to one another, just like in a big family. Because in a way or another, this is exactly what we are: JW Marriott family, united, passionate and close to each other. From the atmosphere and excitement of this wonderful week we decided to share today and with you, because when you pass the threshold you feel that for us to receive and to have as guests is more than a job: it is a really special feeling .From the atmosphere and excitement of this wonderful week we decided to share today and with you, because when you pass the threshold you feel that for us to receive and to have as guests is more than a job: it is a really special feeling.
THE JW MARRIOTT FAMILY LITERALLY AND FIGURATELY
For us, the “JW Marriott Family” is not just a metaphor, it is as real as possible. We spend a lot of time together, we are close, we share common experiences and we support each other, which makes us feel like a family. Some of us, however, are family for real. Throughout the years, this very nearness of the people and the atmosphere we share daily led not only to friends but also to the formation of much closer relationships, whether this was the meaning of the people who found their life partners here And married, be they so happy with the atmosphere in which they worked, that they urged their siblings, sisters, or children to pursue a career in JW Marriott and become associates in their turn.
The examples are many and fascinating. Marina and Ella Anton are the first to come to mind. Marina arrived at the hotel exactly at the beginning, in 2000, in the Laundry department. Three years later, she encouraged her daughter, Ella, who was only 19 years old, to join JW Marriott. That’s how Ella’s success story started, a typical story for a Marriott associate, we could say: Ella started working in the HSK department, then went to Room Service, and in 2007 she moved to HR where Occupied three intermediate positions until, in 2015, he came to lead the entire department as HR Manager.
Marcel and Ionut Zamfir or, as we like to call them, ‘the amazing Zamfir brothers’, are another enlightening example. More sympathetic than the other, the Zamfir brothers conquer you at first glance. You’ve done to work in the hospitality industry, and each of them has quickly found a place in the JW Marriott team. Marcel, the big brother, has been Bell Boy for about 15 years, and Ionut, the younger brother, has worked since 2001 at Banqueting, then since 2004 as Bell Boy, with a short intermezzo in which he has left for the United States.
Bubu and Marian, mother and son, both talented in the kitchen or Cicu brothers, Cristi, 10-year-old Cucina waiter and his brother, Alexandru, who came to practice in the hotel but stayed here as an employee, are two other relevant examples. And the list does not stop there.
The Sumurducs have, besides their charismatic and seductive personality, an amazing story. With a previous experience at Marriott Qatar, Monica and Cezar are now teaming up with JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel: Monica is for 9 years in the Vienna Lounge, and Cezar has just celebrated his first year as a bell boy, but certainly not the last one.
Ms Mihaela and Mr Catalin, also had a joint trip, working together at the Banqueting department. From one point, their careers took different directions, Catalin continuing to work in the Champions. They remain together not only in the Marriott family but also in their own family.
Carabageac Cristian and Ramona are also another good example of what the Marriott family means. Cristi, the current Banqueting Chef, hasn’t been working in the hotel for some time now, but has recently made the decision to return to the team. This time, he did not come alone, Ramona accompanied him not only in his life, but also in his professional career.
Just like Cristi, over the years, many of those who chose to leave the hotel at some point in search of other professional opportunities have finally returned to team because they have not found anywhere The feeling of a united family that they have experienced here. And this is another thing that we are proud of: we like to think that what differentiates us from other hotel teams is precisely the fact that we have managed to create this family, which everyone feels is part of and where everybody finds their place. Thus, from Cucina’s manager, who has been in this position for 17 years and to his team of waiters, who have many years of experience behind, in many cases personal history overlaps with Marriott history.
PASSIONATE AND TALENTED
But how do all these people whom have been living for so many years, every day at the same job, do not get bored and do not get bored of it? For those in the JW Marriott family it is not at all a mystery or an insurmountable obstacle. Most of them do not feel like coming to a formal job, but in a reunion with their family. So warm is the atmosphere here. And when I feel, however, that they have reached a threshold at which they risk falling, they continue to evolve by finding their own personal challenges. Beyond being perfect professionals, they are truly special, talented and passionate people, always animated by the desire to learn something new or to gain and develop new abilities.
And here, the examples we can offer are countless. Cristi Negru, room service, is passionate and really talented at graffiti. Roxana Bitan is drawing and, Yasemin Ozturk is talented at drawing. Yasemin is for 3 years in the hotel. After debuting as JW Marriott Hostess, she moved to FO and was then promoted as Supervisor in the Executive Lounge. In her free time, however, Yasemin cultivates her talent she has since she was little: drawing. Her favorite technique is the pencil, but she has recently started to play with textile painting as well. Without any specialty training in this area, with only an inherited talent from her mother, Yasemin proves us everyday that when you really like what you’re doing, you can evolve not only in career but also in terms of passions that you have.
Like her there are many other colleagues with passions: Claudiu Ionascu from Pavilion Lounge is very good at rap. Georgiana Niculoiu, also from Pavilion Lounge, is super talented at classic and contemporary dance. Mihai Zaharia is a real master in carving fruits and vegetables. And talent sometimes extends even at team level, such as the entire Engeneering department, which dances and looks sensational in popular costumes. Believe us, we had the chance to see them live!
Often, however, consciously and consistently grown passions can take things to another level and can turn in lifestyle, career or business. This happened in the case of three former colleagues of our Champions, for example, which, driven by a shared love of flair bartending, founded, along with Luca Valentin, the terrible child of Flair’s Romanian agency bartending Exquisite Bar Solutions, one of the first structures of its kind on the Romanian market. Today, Marius Gogoasa, Adrian Caradeanu and Ionut Ivanov organise international competitions in gender support and continue to develop the area, which for them was once a simple hobby. We admire them and we wonder if our current colleague, Vlad Toma, is going to follow their footsteps. Equally passionate in flair ,Vlad works routinely at the terrace ‘The Garden’, but most times, when not on duty, Vlad can be found at Champions repeating. Like our other talented colleagues, we also want Vlad to carry on being passionate.
WHEN PASSION, TALENT AND PROFESSIONALISM ARE RECOGNISED
And when the passion for what you do, the native or cultivated talent and the perfect professionalism combine, what happened to us recently, at the Top Hotel Awards: recognition and appreciation ceremony, both embodied in a number of very important prizes. Thus, we were rewarded with the Best Hotel of the Year Award, affiliated to an international network, in the category of 5 star hotels, and this award was followed by the Best Convention of the Year award. Our Executive chef, Nicolae Lica, has won the Best Chef of the Year Award. And JW Steakhouse received the second prize in the category of fine dining restaurants. Certainly, all of these awards have a lot of work and dedication back from the whole team of people who every day put a lot of passion in what they do, managing to pass this on to our guests. Beyond a strong team spirit, there is something that animates us and brings us together: the feeling of belonging to a great family, full of amazing people. Which we continue to cherish in our own way every day.