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2014 Alice S. Marriott Award for Community Service

Orlando World Center Marriott
Orlando, Florida

Taking It Personally

The Orlando World Center Marriott, one of the largest hotels in the Marriott International portfolio, is always busy serving its guests and community. “With over 1,400 associates calling Orlando home, it’s important to provide service opportunities that associates can feel personally invested in,” says Dorathy Nevitt, director of human resources. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

Throughout the year, associates step up in a big way to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), including donating raffle items, fundraising with a “Pancake Day” in the associate cafeteria, or participating in The Torch Relay for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “I have family members treated across the country in CMNH hospitals,” says Bridget O’Shea Trott, sales administrative assistant. “I am proud of our associates’ efforts to ‘make miracles happen’ in our own backyard.”

While joining a Spirit to Serve activity may start out as an occasional commitment, many associates find themselves dedicated to a cause long term. “I returned from a service trip in Haiti and felt inspired to continue to help,” says Nancy Padilla, accounting supervisor. “My colleagues were eager to assist, and together we raised $3,200 to build a home in Mandeville, a small village in Haiti that was severely damaged by the 2010 earthquake. Now we’re working on our second home.”

In partnership with Clean the World, the housekeeping staff collects soap and bottled amenities from guest rooms, which are then processed and sent to developing countries in need. “We have continued this effort for the past four years,” says Yolanda Soto, housekeeping supervisor. “It’s not considered extra work by our housekeepers. It’s something they want to do.”

The hotel is also committed to training and creating opportunities for diverse and disadvantaged youth. “About a month ago I saw three of our past Career Day participants,” says Faustine Bridges, senior sales executive, when recalling an event with the Boys & Girls Club. “They are keeping my business card so that when they turn 18, they can apply for a job at our hotel.”

Through the Orange County Public Schools Transitions Program, associates work with high school students with special needs to prepare them with job skills and confidence to lead full, productive lives. “We’re supposed to inspire them, but really, they inspire us,” says Tim Shamrell, director of training. The hotel also works with Jobs Partnership of Florida to mentor students, review resumes, conduct mock interviews, and help underserved students find employment.

“This is our home. We want to make it a better place to live,” says Doug Ridge, general manager. “Working together, we are making a difference both now and for the future.”



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