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J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence

Named for our founder and created in 1987, this award recognizes the company's finest associates who, through their extraordinary service, exemplify the timeless core values of our culture.

Bahieh Musa

Front Desk Lead-Night Audit

Courtyard by Marriott Charlottesville

More than 30 years ago, Bahieh Musa came to the U.S. from the West Bank in search of better opportunities. She was young, newly married and could not speak English. She applied for a housekeeping role at the Courtyard by Marriott Charlottesville and quickly adopted the hotel and its associates as her second family, who now affectionately refer to her as “Ms. B.”

Shortly after she was hired, hotel leadership recognized Bahieh’s dedication and willingness to learn. She was asked to fill in as cook in the Bistro hotel restaurant and later moved to work at the front desk. She studied English by watching Sesame Street with her young children and reading every newspaper or book she could find. Her life’s motto is to “never stop learning and never stop trying!”

By 2009, Bahieh assumed a role that fits her best — Front Desk Lead and Night Auditor. In this role, she will do whatever it takes to ensure the hotel operates without issue during the night — from checking in guests to fixing an overflowing toilet to completing the nightly audit of rooms. When the sun rises in the morning, if there is still more work to be done, Bahieh is the first to volunteer. That may mean cleaning rooms, doing laundry or serving breakfast in the Bistro.

Bahieh does not understand the concept of “stillness” — she’s always moving, always looking for ways she can be helpful to guests or her fellow associates. It’s not uncommon to find Bahieh making a sandwich for a hungry guest in the middle of the night or driving a guest with food allergies to the nearest supermarket to access allergen-friendly food.

Her dedication to guest satisfaction is the reason why guests return to the hotel again and again. One guest visited the hotel for brunch with her friends 28 years ago and continues that tradition every year because of Bahieh’s friendship and service.

When asked what motivates her in her job and why she stays at the hotel, Bahieh replies, “This is how I was raised — to help others. Retirement isn’t for me. I’m happier when I’m working.”