Stephen G. Marriott, BYU alumnus and son of Marriott International Chairman of the Board Bill Marriott, died June 23, 2013, from complications of a mitochondrial disease. He was 54.
Stephen Marriot’s father blogged that “Stephen is one of my great heroes, because he never allowed his disease to get in the way of his ambition or his passions.”
Despite physical difficulties, Stephen Marriot was known for his work ethic.
“He worked his way up in our company from summer jobs in high school, starting as a cook at the Bethesda, Md., Roy Rogers Restaurant, to his last position as Executive Vice President for Culture at Marriott International,” his father’s blog says. “Stephen led our Marriott Worldwide Business Councils and was responsible for perpetuating the company’s core values and culture.”
Bill Marriott said it was this devotion to Marriott values that made Stephen Marriot such an inspiration.
“He came to work to champion the values that my parents established when they opened their root beer stand in Washington in 1927. He was completely convinced that the company culture was our greatest competitive advantage with customers and associates,” the blog says. “He was passionate about the core values of putting people first and providing opportunities for everyone in the company.”
This passion led Stephen Marriot to earn the company’s highest honors. His father’s blog says that in 2004 Stephen “received the company’s highest honor, the J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence. And last month, he received the top award for the Marriott Worldwide Business Councils, renamed the Stephen G. Marriott Leadership Award.”
Stephen Marriot was also supportive and generous to BYU. He served for several years on the BYU Marriott School of Management Alumni Board, according to Joseph Ogden, Assistant Dean of the Marriott School. Ogden said Marriot also contributed much of his time to the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the BYU Management Society.
Stephen Marriott was also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served an LDS mission to British Columbia when he was 19, and he also served in a number of other Church capacities throughout his life, including being a Sunday School teacher.
“He was a master teacher,” his father said in his blog. “He taught sales school for the company for many years and Sunday school for at least 15 years. I recall his writing the names on the blackboard of the 12 Tribes of Israel in a Sunday school lesson. He wrote them down from memory.”
Stephen Marriott even shared his powerful teaching abilities and keen memory with students at BYU. Ogden remembers a time when Marriott came to BYU to give an hour-long presentation on the Marriott values, doing it all from memory. Despite his physical limitations, including only having around 20 percent of his hearing, he even took the time to respond to students’ questions during the presentation. “It was a very powerful presentation,” Ogden said.
As a tribute to his inspiration and influence, hundreds of friends and family across the country, including the Marriot School, have already expressed their condolences. “Our sympathies go out to his family,” Ogden said.