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Stephen Garff Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture

The Stephen Garff Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture celebrates the legacy of Stephen’s contribution to the company. This award recognizes a Business Council, property or team for excellence in demonstrating the timeless core values of our company culture.

Stephen Garff Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture

Hawaii Business Council

For their commitment to upholding and exemplifying Marriott’s five core values, the Hawaii Business Council has been selected as this year’s winner of the Stephen Garff Marriott Award of Excellence for Culture.

Hawaiian culture is defined by the “Aloha” spirit — a mutual affection for one another and an extension of caring with no expectations. It is this spirit that defines the mission of the Hawaii Business Council and helps them embody Marriott’s core values to put people first, pursue excellence, embrace change, act with integrity and serve our world.

The Hawaii Business Council includes 15 managed resorts spread across four Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia. In Hawaii, a large percentage of the local population is employed by the tourism industry, e.g., hotels, restaurants, recreational activities. At Marriott-branded hotels in Hawaii, many associates have over 20 years of service and more second generations are employed there.

Whether its participating in charity walks, beach and highway clean up, planting indigenous native plants or cleaning ocean canals, every hotel in the Hawaii Business Council is committed to improving the communities where they live and work. According to Business Council Co-Chair Tets Yamazaki, “We take care of each other. We want to complement the strong Aloha spirit in our communities.”

When the Maui wildfires devastated the western part of the island in the summer of 2023, the Business Council immediately jumped into action to aid their community — alongside thousands of other local volunteers. Many associates in West Maui lost homes and loved ones in the devastating fires. The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali and The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua opened their doors to 750 associates and their families — many arriving with just the clothes on their back.

Meanwhile, the Business Council got to work gathering supplies, fundraising and securing a cargo plane to get much-needed supplies to the affected community as quickly as possible. Leaders and associates worked tirelessly to care for the physical and emotional needs of victims. Nearby, the Wailea Beach Resort - Marriott Maui worked with the World Central Kitchen for over one month to serve over 750 meals per day to the West Maui community.

Marriott Business Councils from across the U.S. also jumped in to help. From Boston to San Diego to San Antonio, Business Councils mobilized to raise money to support associates impacted by the wildfires. Business Council Co-Chair Steve Yannarell wasn’t surprised by the outpouring of support, “People couldn’t help fast enough. To me, that’s Hawaii and that’s Marriott.”