The Marriott Spirit Of Aloha

By Ed Hubennette
Wednesday - June 24, 2009
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By Ed Hubennette
Vice President of North Asia, Hawaii and South Pacific, Marriott International

I’ve been fortunate to see many parts of the world in my life, and there is no better place to live and work than in Hawaii. Our company founder said, “If you take great care of your associates than they will take great care of the customer.” Well, here in Hawaii our “Spirit of Aloha” accomplishes this 10 times over.

We have more than 4,500 associates who call Hawaii home, and since our beginning here in 1981, one thing has remained constant: our belief that being a good community citizen is critical to the balance between a prosperous tourism industry and the quality of life it creates for the people of our state.

Tourism is the key driver for every part of our economy, and right now we are doing everything we can to ensure it stays that way. Our Sprit of Aloha Bus Tour in the early part of the year really exceeded our expectations. We are now planning to join with our friends at The Polynesian Cultural Center and Japan Airlines to take the tour to Japan in early October. We really need everyone in the community to support the marketing effort.


We have an unshakable conviction that the people we employ are our most important asset, and we foster a work environment that supports their growth and personal development. Their attitude and work ethic translate into the way we look after our guests, and we are proud in the knowledge that Marriott’s well-renowned reputation for service is even more so in Hawaii.

We are equally proud that our managers and associates contributed more than 8,000 hours of their own time in 2008 to help the community by building homes, assisting in hospitals, teaching at schools, cleaning up parks and many other endeavors. Under the banner of our “Spirit to Serve Hawaii” program, Marriott donated more than $1.5 million in cash and in-kind sponsorship to Hawaii charities last year.

(from left) Ed Hubennette, Kaela Teho, 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Martha Smith, COO of Kapiolani Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children

Marriott also is committed to perpetuating the native Hawaiian host culture and its unique spirit of aloha. By the end of 2009, we will have educated all of our associates and managers in the Sense of Place and Hawaiian Host Culture teachings of Ramsay Taum, Community Outreach Coordinator with the University of Hawaii TIM School.

In addition, several native Hawaiian students are current beneficiaries of the $100,000 J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott endowment to the Travel Industry Management School (TIM) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. These scholarships serve as a stepping-stone for young Hawaiians to become future leaders of the visitor industry in Hawaii.

Our “Spirit to Serve” philosophy also applies to the environment. From recycling to conserving energy and water, Marriott Hawaii is constantly adopting methods to preserve our natural surroundings and resources.

We love being part of Hawaii and will continue to look for ways to reach beyond the property line to make a positive difference to the people of this state.


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