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Jackie Ford, J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence

Jackie Ford
Executive Secretary
College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Hyattsville, Maryland

 

Jackie Ford, a native of South Africa, was a young, newly divorced mother of three fighting her way out of homelessness when she found work in Marriott’s pilot program “HomeSolutions by Marriott,” which provided housekeeping in homes. When the program ended, she interviewed at a Courtyard hotel for a housekeeper position. The hiring manager refused her for that position, saying, “You need to be up front! You belong at the front desk!”

After serving in several front desk roles, she moved into sales, helping open the Suburban Maryland Sales Office for Marriott. She joined the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in February 2006 as an administrative assistant supporting the catering sales department. In that role, she was considered the backbone of the department. The department’s sales revenue grew exponentially each year, from $1.5 million to more than $4 million. “That kind of growth requires a lot of contracts and proposals to be generated,” says Derwin Swann, Catering Sales Leader. “None of it would have been possible without Jackie’s stellar administrative support and spirit of hospitality to each and every customer.”

Her bright and contagiously positive attitude has endeared Jackie to every associate she has connected with in her 18-year career. She’s affectionately known as “Momma Jack,” which suits her just fine. She says, “Family is everything to me. The sense of genuine family at Marriott is what keeps me here.”

Throughout her career, Jackie has included her children in her work life, even involving them in the hotel’s community-service activities. She instilled in them the value of hard work and the importance of giving back. All three of her children have worked for Marriott as adults. Jackie adds, “We, as a family, proudly represent Marriott. Today, my children are in the business of serving and giving back because we know where we came from.”

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