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Meeting in a Box: Supplier Diversity

What is supplier diversity? What are best practices on how to start a supplier diversity program? What metrics are best to assess supplier diversity success?

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This Meeting in a Box tool is designed for distribution to all employees. You may use portions of it or all of it. Each section is available as a separate PDF; you can forward the entire document or link to it on DiversityInc Best Practices; or you can print it out for employees who do not have Internet access.

This month, we give you information for all your employees on what supplier diversity is, best practices on how to start a supplier diversity program and what metrics are best to assess success. It's important that everyone in the company understand the value of supplier diversity and how it builds company growth and loyalty.

[CLICK HERE to download a PDF of the full Meeting in a Box, our diversity-management training and educational tool available only to Benchmarking customers and DiversityInc Best Practices subscribers.]

1. Supplier Diversity Primer

Supplier diversity was started by former President Richard Nixon in 1969 through an executive order. Its goal, an outgrowth of the civil rights movement, was to encourage the use of vendors owned by underrepresented populations. Initially, those groups were minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), which consisted of companies owned by Blacks, Latinos, Asians and American Indians. Women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), which consisted of companies owned by women, were included later.

Today, supplier diversity includes businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people; people with disabilities; and veterans with disabilities. Some organizations consider veteran-owned companies diverse suppliers, and the U.S. Small Business Administration includes small businesses as diverse suppliers.

The biggest issues involving supplier diversity have been certification and making the business case for supplier diversity. To confirm that MBEs were actually at least 51 percent owned by Blacks, Latinos, Asians or American Indians, both government agencies and organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), formed in 1972, took an active role. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) was created in 1997. In recent years, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) have certified vendors owned by LGBT people and people with disabilities, respectively.

Early industries that were supplier diversity leaders were those with significant government contracts, such as telecoms or auto companies. But increasingly, companies have seen the business benefits of supplier diversity whether government mandated or not.

Companies cite the main benefits as increased innovation and different solutions (also commonly cited as a benefit of more diversity in the workforce), as well as building a reputation in diverse communities. For many companies, their suppliers are also their customers, and building community wealth enhances customer relationships.

Supplier diversity is assessed in two ways. Tier I suppliers are direct contractors, those whose services are purchased by the company. Tier II suppliers are subcontractors. Companies that are supplier diversity leaders usually require their contractors to have diversity in their own vendor relationships.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Why did the federal government see a need to mandate supplier diversity? How is this related to the civil rights struggle?

Address whether minority-owned businesses have historically had the same opportunities in the U.S. marketplace and how this is changing.

What types of companies are usually diverse suppliers?

Are you seeing a change at your own company in the types of vendors hired who are from underrepresented groups, such as attorneys or those offering professional services? Why is this important?

How do you think supplier diversity benefits your company?

What is your company's reputation in underrepresented communities? Does your company publicize its supplier-diversity efforts? How can you help get the word out?

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2. How to Start a Supplier Diversity Program

Based on data and successful best practices, we've compiled a list for your company to follow. Here are best practices that all your employees should know:

• Supplier diversity should be operated out of the procurement department, with one person responsible for it. The diversity

department should be in frequent communication with this person.

• Supplier diversity should exist within the context of your company's business goals, supply chain and competitive-market climate.

• It's important to measure your success against other organizations and industry norms.

• It's critical to assess Tier II (subcontractor) supplier diversity as well as Tier I and to train your prime suppliers to find and mentor diverse suppliers.

Discussion Questions for Employees

Does your company have a supplier-diversity program? If it does, how well are its goals and successes communicated to employees?

What do you know about supplier diversity at your company? How can you get the word out about its importance?

How does supplier diversity help your company reach its business goals?

Use this teachable moment to honestly discuss different styles, including confrontation/criticism, self-promotion/branding, and decision-making.

Is your company helping your diverse suppliers grow?

Does your company offer educational opportunities and mentoring for suppliers, many of whom are small-business owners? This can include financial and technical education. Does your company make a significant effort to help its prime contractors find and nurture diverse suppliers — and does it track Tier II supplier diversity?

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3. Metrics to Assess Supplier-Diversity Success

The metric most often used to assess supplier diversity success is the percent of procurement budget allocated to Tier I and Tier II diverse suppliers. Some organizations also measure dollar amount spent with these suppliers, but it's important to understand that larger companies have more money to spend and so not all companies have huge procurement budgets.

Companies also look for accountability — is supplier diversity success tied to the compensation of procurement and other executives?

Other metrics include number of diverse suppliers, third-party recognitions received and savings as a result of contracting with diverse suppliers.

The 2017 DiversityInc Top Companies for Supplier Diversity are companies that have achieved success in their supplier diversity programs. Best practices include:

• Integrating supplier diversity into corporate goals

• Having the CEO sign off on supplier-diversity results

• Auditing supplier-diversity numbers

• Ensuring suppliers are certified

• Linking procurement-management compensation to supplier-diversity goals

The Top Companies for Supplier Diversity are:

1. Dell

2. AT&T

3. Accenture

4. Abbott

5. Comcast NBCUniversal

6. Hilton Inc.

7. EY

8. Kaiser Permanente

9. Marriott International

10. KPMG

11. Eli Lilly and Co.

Discussion Questions for Employees

If your company has a supplier diversity program, why is it important to assess success?

Is your organization metrics driven? If so, why is showing supplier-diversity progress important? How relevant are supplier diversity metrics to other business goals, such as increasing market share?

How can your organization increase the number of diverse suppliers it has?

How can you help your company recognize the value of supplier diversity and get the word out to potential suppliers?

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4. Maintaining Supplier Diversity Success

Once you've established your supplier diversity program, it must be maintained. Support from the top can be key not only in building your company's program but continued commitment from the C-suite is also vital to ensuring the program runs smoothly.

“Making A's is great in school, but a successful supplier diversity program involves aligning C's to move a program to a higher level," shared Keith Hines of PwC (No. 4 on the DiversityInc 2017 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list). “Diversity programs need support from the CEO, CFO, CPO, CDO and CIO. The success of a program can be directly attributed to your ability to align the C-suite to the supplier diversity vision and strategy."

Here are a few additional pointers from Hines on how to make sure your supplier diversity company flourishes:

• Make a company-wide commitment to supplier diversity. “Procurement departments should work to ensure the program has visibility across the entire organization," Hines said.

• The procurement team must drive knowledgeable “transparency, communication and strategy."

• Train and educate your teams. “Do not assume everyone in your company understands how to drive supplier diversity," Hines said.

• Work with people and companies you already know. “People do business with firms and individuals they like to work with," Hines pointed out. “Encourage your staff to invite diverse suppliers into the conversation around your supply chain."

• Don't look at supplier diversity as an extra task — “it should be viewed as an opportunity to include new ideas and points of view," Hines said.

Discussion Questions for Employees

How long has your company's supplier diversity program been around?

Whether it's still in its early stages or has been around a while but hasn't received much traction, how can you spread the word around the company?

Is supplier diversity a companywide initiative?

If so, discuss ways to keep the momentum going. If not, how can you appeal to fellow employees?

Do you provide educational opportunities centered around supplier diversity?

For employees who want to get involved but don't know too much about the program, one good way to get them on board could be by simply providing them with more information.

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5. Supplier Diversity Timeline

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Dell Bolsters Global Supplier Diversity

Top 25 Cities for Women Entrepreneurs list, released by Dell, is a great resource for organizations looking for diverse suppliers around the globe.

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Top 25 Cities for Women Entrepreneurs list, released by Dell, is a great resource for organizations looking for diverse suppliers around the globe.

 

By Eve Tahmincioglu

As companies look to expand globally and also increase the number of diverse suppliers they work with abroad, a good place to start is Dell’s 2016 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index, also known as WE Cities. (Dell is No. 28 on the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and No. 2 on the Top 13 Companies for Supplier Diversity list.)

How is Dell Bolstering Its Supplier Diversity Globally?

Q&A with Jennifer “JJ” Davis, executive director, Dell Global Consumer, Small and Medium Business

Q. How has Dell increased its use of female/minority suppliers outside of the United States?

A. We continue to target suppliers around the world in order to establish the most beneficial relationships for our supply chain and, ultimately, do the best we can for our customers. Programs like Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) and the Dell Supplier Diversity Program help to continue this goal to find and leverage the best of what the supply chain has to offer, no matter where in the world those suppliers may be.

In June 2008, Dell was added to the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR), a top-level forum for advancing the practice of supplier diversity. The BDR recognizes our commitment of more than $1 billion in annual supply-chain spending with minority and woman-owned suppliers.

We continue to qualify for BDR membership annually. Our diverse spend is tracked by those businesses that are certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, WeConnect International, Women's Business Enterprise National Council or the Small Business Administration.

Q. How does this help the bottom line?

A. We’re getting ready to release a case study with one of our suppliers, Eved, whom we met at a DWEN event. Check out a sneak peek of that case study here: The most important thing a big business like Dell can do for smaller suppliers is to be their first customers. And, in turn, they help us solve some of our biggest problems in creative, innovative ways. That is what is brilliant about our relationship with Eved. (Eved is an event procurement solutions firm based in Chicago.)

The WE Cities study was used as a springboard for conversation at the DWEN annual conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 27-28. The conversations we were having there were absolutely global. As you can see through the video, including Eved in our supply chain is absolutely beneficial to our bottom line. All in all, getting the best suppliers out there by making sure that we value diversity in the supply chain is just good for business.

Case studies from Dell’s women-owned suppliers:

OrangeDoor, marketing firm in Bromley, London

In 2000, Dell hired OrangeDoor, a woman-owned small business, to support the Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region’s communications team during a major event in New York. At that time, the newly formed London-based integrated marketing agency only had three fulltime employees. This successful project led to another, and today OrangeDoor has more than 35 employees and says Dell has been instrumental in its growth.

“As an independent small business, we often rely on our own initiative and support system. But working with Dell, I have a supplier diversity mentor with whom I meet with monthly. Her expertise has boosted my knowledge of procurement best practices,” said OrangeDoor founder Elizabeth Heron. “We’ve also been able to network with company directors and discover so many new opportunities within Dell and with other clients. I’m thrilled at how Dell has helped a company of our size open up amazing opportunities!”

SIC, warranty company in Tlalnepantla de Baz, Mexico

Dell hired SIC in 2005 to provide warranty services in Mexico. SIC has grown with Dell, expanding its services to Dell Carry-in Service Centers in 14 countries and opening offices in Colombia, Argentina and Chile. Through Dell, SIC has also become involved in international networking groups like WEConnect.

“Working in a male-oriented business society has historically presented some challenges for companies like ours,” said SIC Chief Executive Officer Leticia Martinez. “But Dell has been very supportive and over 11 years we’ve quickly evolved from service provider to true business partner.”

~ ET

New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Stockholm and Singapore all top the WE Cities list as doing the best job attracting and fostering growth among women-owned businesses.

“The rankings can absolutely be used as a tool for companies looking to expand their use of women-owned businesses in their supply chain,” said Jennifer “JJ” Davis, executive director, Dell Global Consumer, Small and Medium Business. “By identifying the hotbeds for women entrepreneurs, companies can target those geographic locations when looking to expand.”

But, she added, “The bigger reason for the index was to identify areas where women entrepreneurs need extra support because conditions aren’t as conducive. We can take best practices from some of the highest ranking cities for female entrepreneurs and work on implementing them in areas where female entrepreneurship is not as nurtured and developed.”

Dell focused on cities instead of countries for its index to illustrate the impact of local policies and programs in addition to what’s happening on a national level as far as laws and customs.

Outside of the United States, the concept of supplier diversity remains largely unknown and almost completely underutilized, according to a DiversityInc global study from 2014.

The findings concluded that fewer than 5 percent of companies reported any type of supplier-diversity initiative, in line with the previous year’s findings.

Dell is one company that has increasingly pursued and promoted supplier diversity globally.

“Dell develops strategic, sustainable relationships with a very diverse group of qualified suppliers. Our customers come from every nation, culture and walk of life, and it’s important that all aspects of our business reflect that same diversity,” said Michael Dell, the computer company’s CEO and chairman.

Stepping center stage when it comes to supplier diversity around the globe, Dell announced the WE Cities index in conjunction with the White House's Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Building on the past four years of Dell’s research on high-potential women entrepreneurs, five important categories of city characteristics were identified:

  • capital,
  • technology,
  • talent,
  • culture
  • and markets.

These attributes are included in two groups — operating environment and enabling environment.

The overall rating has 70 indicators, and, of these, 44 have a gender-based component. Individual indicators were weighted based on four criteria: relevance, quality of underlying data, uniqueness in the index and gender component.

You can view the full list here.

Here’s a breakdown of the top ten from a World Economic Forum article on the findings, starting with No. 10:

  1. Seattle

Seattle is top for access to female mentors and role models. And there's a good portion of funding that goes to women in the city.

  1. Paris

Paris is one of the best cities for talent, culture and market size, but it lacks capital and technology compared to other cities.

  1. Sydney

Sydney is one of the top cities for women entrepreneurs, thanks to great access to mentors and increased connectivity.

  1. Washington, D.C.

America's capital city provides ready access to funding and talent, making it one of the top operating environments for women entrepreneurs.

  1. Toronto

Toronto tops the list for its culture score: it has mentors, networks and role models for women, as well as the right policy and attitude to support them.

  1. Singapore

The island city-state in Southeast Asia is an ideal environment for women to launch a business venture thanks to its ample supply of talent, culture and technology.

  1. Stockholm

Stockholm tops the list for technology, which gives it an edge as a great "enabling environment" for women entrepreneurs.

  1. London

London has better access to markets and capital for women entrepreneurs than most cities.

  1. San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area doles out the most money to businesses founded and led by women. It also has plenty of talent available for companies.

  1. New York

New York ranks first for both being able to attract women entrepreneurs and support them as they build their companies.

VIDEO: 2014 Top Company for Supplier Diversity: Wyndham Worldwide

Stephen Holmes, CEO, Wyndham Worldwide, told DiversityInc’s audience of his company’s team effort to find and support diverse suppliers, both in the United States and globally.

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Top Company for Supplier Diversity: Wyndham Worldwide

Accepting Award: Stephen Holmes, Chairman and CEO

Reasons for Honor:

Wyndham Worldwide is truly an exceptional company when it comes to supplier diversity. The company spends close to 15 percent and slightly more than 10 percent of its total procurement with Tier I and Tier II diverse suppliers, respectively.

Wyndham Worldwide includes diverse suppliers when possible in each request for proposal and bid notice. The company mentors existing and potential suppliers, and seeks to build partnerships with each supplier.

Wyndham Worldwide doesn’t only focus on supplier diversity domestically, but globally as well. The company partners with organizations such as Minority Supplier Development UK and Minority Supplier Development China to help it connect with diverse suppliers. Wyndham also works with WEConnect International, which seeks to empower women business owners to succeed in local and global markets.

VIDEO: Hospital Supplier Diversity—Strategic Plans Build Value and Engage Communities With University Hospitals

For hospitals, finding diverse suppliers can be a challenge. Mary Beth Levine, Vice President, System Resource Management, University Hospitals, shared best practices on reaching MBEs and WBEs at DiversityInc’s event.

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Mary Beth Levine

Vice President, System Resource Management

University Hospitals

Mary Beth Levine is University Hospital’s Vice President of System Resource Management overseeing the facilities, real estate, construction, supply chain, and sustainability departments for the health care system. In her role she is responsible for developing and implementing the health system’s supplier diversity strategies. She began her career at UH in 2006 as Associate General Counsel devoting her time to the health system’s construction services and real estate departments. In that role she was primarily responsible for managing the legal work in connection with the hospital’s $1.2 billion Vision 2010 strategic plan that included the construction of two new hospitals and six other major construction projects. UH entered into a ground-breaking Project Labor Agreement for this construction program which included setting workforce targets related to diversity and place of residency and named the City of Cleveland as a third party beneficiary to the Agreement for the purpose of enforcing these goals for inclusion.

Most recently Mary Beth participated as an advisory member of a group working with the City of Cleveland and community groups on a model Community Benefits Agreement for major development projects. This Agreement reflects the parties’ commitment to the community by incorporating goals for Cleveland resident, Minority, Female and Small Business Enterprise participation, in addition to investments in the development of apprenticeship programs for area youth and adults.

She is an advisory Board member of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation, a Greater University Circle initiative to build community wealth designed to keep the largest possible percentage of the area’s anchor institutions’ spending local. The Evergreen initiative catalyzes new businesses that will meet the purchasing needs of local anchor institutions, are worker-owned, pay living wages and offer benefits.

Prior to joining University Hospitals, Mary Beth acted as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary to NCS Healthcare, Inc., a publicly-held, national institutional pharmacy provider.   As general counsel she provided legal and strategic planning advice to the board of directors, senior management, and associates of the companies in addition to coordinating all in-house corporate legal matters.

Mary Beth began her career as an attorney at a Cleveland law firm where her practice was concentrated in the corporate, restructuring, loan transactions, and healthcare departments. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (1982) and a Master’s degree in Germanic Languages and Literature from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (1982).  Following graduation from Northwestern University she was awarded the Humanities First Year Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she taught classes while completing post-graduate work in Germanic Languages and Literature before attending law school in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mary Beth received a JD (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1987.

 

VIDEO: Finding Suppliers in LGBT and Disability Communities With NGLCC, USBLN

How do you find certified suppliers owned by LGBT people and people with disabilities? Leaders of the two certifying organizations—the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and US Business Leadership Network offer advice at DiversityInc's October event.

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Click here to download the PDF of this presentation.

Justin Nelson

President

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

Justin Nelson is the co-founder and president of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. He has used his background in small business and issues advocacy to help build a national organization that has given a much-needed economic identity to the LGBT community. Since its inception in 2002, the organization has grown to be the largest LGBT economic advocacy and business development organization in the world.

Prior to launching the NGLCC, Justin was the Director of Federal Affairs and External Relations for the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Washington, DC. While helping craft and implement the legislative agenda of one of the top medical specialty associations, Justin spent five years fighting for patient and physician rights before Congress, the White House and regulatory agencies. Justin was on the forefront of some of the most contentious healthcare debates in recent congressional memory. Justin worked to ensure equality and fairness in the healthcare system, making strides in areas such as helping to protect patients from managed care abuses under a Patient's Bill of Rights, leading the charge on passing landmark Medicare preventative healthcare legislation for seniors and lessening the administrative burdens for physician small businesses. During his tenure, the organization was named one of the top 100 lobbying organizations in Washington, DC by Forbes Magazine.

Prior to lobbying Congress and the White House, Justin spent five years as an aide in the United States Senate. During his time on Capitol Hill, Justin worked on issues ranging from small business, labor and trade, to healthcare, travel and tourism.

Justin holds a BA in political science from the University of Wyoming.

Liz Taub

Director of Business Relations and Strategic Partnerships

US Business Leadership Network

Liz Taub serves as the USBLN Director of Business Relations and Strategic Partnerships. Liz received her BS and MSW from New York University while directing and guiding the design, development, and implementation of a pilot program that runs today at the Center for Special Needs in NYC. While working with dedicated, intelligent, and productive young adults with disabilities, her interest in the business case for hiring people with disabilities sparked.

Upon graduation, Liz started working for Walgreens Co. on their initiative to employ more people with disabilities in the retail stores. She co-created Walgreens REDI (Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative) and expanded nationwide. Liz went on to serve as the Executive Director of Incline, where she focused on educating, supporting, and equipping military veterans with the skills to pursue careers in technology.

 

VIDEO: How to Create a Successful Supplier Diversity Initiative—5 Steps to Get Started With Wyndham Worldwide

How do you start a supplier-diversity initiative? Get best practices from Wyndham Worldwide, which received our award as Top Company for Supplier Diversity. José Nido, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity, discussed how to find and nurture diverse suppliers, including Tier 1 and Tier 2, at DiversityInc's October event.

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Click here to download the PDF of this presentation.

José Nido

Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity

Wyndham Worldwide

José Nido is the vice president of global supplier diversity at Wyndham Worldwide. He is responsible for managing the development and implementation of a world-class supplier diversity program across Wyndham Worldwide, growing the number of diverse suppliers within the company’s portfolio and increasing diverse business partnerships across all business units and cultivating positive relationships and building goodwill within the diverse business community. Prior to his current position, Nido served as director of supplier diversity, managing and developing the company’s supplier diversity program and strategy.

Prior to joining Wyndham in 2008, Nido was vice president of diversity business development at Insync Marketing Solutions, a marketing and communications agency based in Commerce, CA, where he collaborated with corporations across the nation in implementing diversity business development and supplier diversity programs.

From 2001 to 2004, Nido was executive vice president of national diversity marketing for Printing Methods, Inc., the largest minority-owned premier commercial printer and marketing solutions company in the U.S., responsible for developing diversity-focused marketing strategy and building professional relationships with advertising agencies.

From 1996 to 2001 Nido was senior manager of supplier diversity and minority business relations for The Walt Disney World Company, responsible for developing and implementing a premier, world-class program for using and supporting diverse suppliers.

Prior to working for Disney, Nido served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, in a variety of management assignments in the U.S. and overseas including purchasing, contract administration, quality assurance, manufacturing, and administration, prior to retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Nido has been nationally and locally recognized for excellence in supplier diversity management by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the United States Minority Business Development Agency/Florida Minority Business Opportunity Center, the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, the Morris County (New Jersey) Chamber of Commerce, the University of Central Florida and various other organizations.

Nido holds a degree in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico, a master of science in logistics management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a master of public administration from the University of Central Florida. He also holds a professional designation in contract management and an advanced professional designation in logistics management.

How to Find and Foster Growth of Diverse Suppliers

Wells Fargo and Marriott International share best practices on finding and fostering growth of diverse suppliers.

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Wells Fargo and Marriott International share best practices on finding and fostering growth of diverse suppliers.

• 01:34 – Wells Fargo Introduction

• 08:00 – How Wells Fargo’s Approaches Supplier Diversity

• 13:56 – Wells Fargo’s Strategic Sourcing Process

• 18:31 – Doing Business With Wells Fargo, Competitive Sourcing and Procurement

• 23:17 – Basic Documentation Needed During Sourcing, Capabilities

• 25:15 – Supplier Development

• 30:54 – Outreach Performance Metrics

• 33:14 – Marriott International Introduction

• 34:16 – Exchanges: Marriott’s Rebranded Supplier-Diversity Program

• 39:15 – Value Proposition

• 41:27 – Key Milestones

• 44:40 – Program Specifics and Execution

• 51:01 – Keys to Success

• 54:00 – Diverse Supplier Access

• 57:42 – Q&A

DiversityInc Certified as Disability- and Vet-Owned Business Enterprise

DiversityInc Media LLC recently received certifications by two third-party disability and veteran business certifying organizations.

By Eve Tahmincioglu

DiversityInc Media LLC recently received certifications by two third-party disability and veteran business certifying organizations.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Verification and Evaluation verified DiversityInc as a Veteran-Owned Small Business, or VOSB.

As part of the certification, DiversityInc is now included on the agency’s Vendor Information Pages, giving the company eligibility to participate in the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program.

DiversityInc has also been certified as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise through the U.S. Business Leadership Network’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP). This designation provides the company a link to resources and contract opportunities in business and government.

The U.S. Business Leadership Network is a nonprofit focused on driving disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. And its DSDP initiative is focused on advancing economic opportunities for entrepreneurs with disabilities.

“The certification process for both organizations is very vigorous,” said Luke Visconti, CEO and founder of DiversityInc. “Companies can report their spend with confidence.”

“The good news for our customers,” he pointed out about the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, “is that they can report their spend with DiversityInc on the supplier diversity area of our Top 50 survey.”

From Supplier Diversity to Supplier Inclusion – Embracing Supply Chain Diversity at The Hershey Company

Hershey Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer Susanna Zhu writes about the company's progress in supplier diversity and its work to help women participate in the cocoa agriculture economy.

At The Hershey Company, being committed to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) isn't just a project or a set of numeric goals embedded in the HR department — it's a way of operating our business every day. This "inclusion imperative" is closely connected to our mission of bringing goodness to the world and to our employees, communities and business partners. In fact, being a global leader in D&I is one of our company's primary goals.

As a professional woman who was born and raised in China, and who today holds a leadership position in a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company, this authentic company commitment to diversity and inclusion is particularly meaningful and deeply personal to me.

Leading a large and complex global procurement operation gives me the opportunity to ensure we put our D&I commitment into action here in the United States and around the world as we work with thousands of suppliers globally. And today, our supplier base has become an integral part of our diversity and inclusion journey.

Like many companies, we had the requisite supplier diversity program. But a few years ago, we took a hard look at our Supplier Diversity program and decided to overhaul and relaunch it in 2016. With our new program, we are investing substantially more dollars and resources to ensure we are operating a truly robust and effective Supplier Diversity Program. Some of the steps we are taking include:

  • Broader outreach to diverse suppliers that are minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned and LGBT-owned as part of our new supplier recruitment process.
  • Substantially increased inclusion of diverse suppliers in our new RFP (request for proposal) process so that diverse suppliers have access to opportunities at Hershey.
  • Implementing a reporting requirement from our key suppliers to understand the percentage of diverse vendors involved in supplying Hershey. This gives us visibility upstream into the true diversity of our supply chain.

Since launching our program, our diverse supplier spend has grown by double digits. For me, this investment is a real demonstration of commitment to diverse suppliers by the company.

Hershey's heartfelt dedication to diversity doesn't end with our tier-one and tier-two suppliers. It extends broadly across our vast sourcing supply chain. Cocoa is one of the most important commodities that my team sources from around the world. And it's important to us that we work to support the communities where that cocoa is grown. But prospering communities isn't just about the farmers and their families — it's about including everyone in a growing economy. Research from the World Bank and the United Nations has shown that when women thrive, economies grow. However, in many of our cocoa growing communities, women face unique challenges.

We are proud of our work progress to help women participate in the cocoa agriculture economy. We create and fund cocoa sustainability training programs in West Africa and are pleased to report that more than 33 percent of the farmers participating in our cocoa programs in Ghana are women. That's a very high percentage for an industry traditionally dominated by men. We specifically focus on creating an environment where more women farmers can join and become successful business owners, providing income for their families and households while earning the same respect as their male counterparts.

We know that women need to be empowered throughout the cocoa supply chain. They need to be connected, engaged and inspired to take leadership for themselves and generations to come. That's why we're also committed to helping women in cocoa communities expand their economic participation by improving their access to financing, job-focused resources and life-skills training that improve their chances of finding formal employment. In October 2017, I was extremely honored to host the annual Women in Cocoa and Chocolate (WINCC) meeting in Hershey, Pa. A global group of women leaders from cocoa farmers to processors, NGOs and government agencies developed plans to continue driving women's empowerment in the cocoa and chocolate industry.

Another agricultural industry in West Africa where women have the opportunity to participate and earn much-needed income for their families is the production of Shea nuts. Once again, the challenges women face in a male-dominated culture can limit their success in the Shea business. A few years ago, we stepped in to provide financial support and resources to Ghanaian women in the Shea-producing region. We built a warehouse in the northern part of Ghana to empower them to store and manage their harvest, bypass middlemen and sell directly to international buyers. As a result, they are now able to increase their incomes to support their families. This initiative has already:

  • Trained 700 women on warehouse management including leadership training for 47 women, record keeping, contract negotiation with buyers, accounting procedures;
  • Trained these women to develop a cooperative including benefits, registration procedures and governance; and
  • Trained 80 women leaders on aggregation/sales including access to finance, warehouse receipts, stocking, weighing procedures, price search, sales and profit sharing.

We believe our business is stronger and better when we embrace and encourage the diversity that reflects the world in which we live. We are able to better understand and respond to the changing needs of consumers, customers and all stakeholders. We also know that these diverse perspectives fuel innovation and great ideas. By bringing employees, suppliers and partners from different backgrounds, we spark ideas and insights that aren't possible through a homogenous organization.

Our investments in Supplier Diversity and women's empowerment in our supply communities are just two examples of how we are bringing our belief in D&I to life in our business. They also reflect our core value of "Shared Goodness." It reflects why, at Hershey, we say: "We bring goodness to the world."

Marriott Plans to Nearly Double Diverse-Owned Hotels to 1,000 by 2020

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

True

Marriott Plans to Nearly Double Diverse-Owned Hotels to 1,000 by 2020

Lodging Leader Focused on Increasing Women Owners

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq: MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment. "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards(R) and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards(R) program, which together surpass 45 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: Felicia McLemore

(301) 380-2702

Felicia.mclemore@marriott.com

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From its inaugural Women's Ownership Works or WOW Summit at the Courtyard/Residence Inn Manhattan Central Park, Marriott International (Nasdaq:MAR) will announce plans to have 1,000 or 25 percent of its existing global hotel portfolio owned by diverse owners, including women, by 2020. The WOW Summit brings together a small group of current women hotel owners with women exploring hotel development as part of their investment approach.

A photo accompanying this press release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28096

"We have always had a culture of inclusiveness and want everyone to be aware of the opportunity to own hotels as an investment strategy that also has community benefit," said Julius W. Robinson, Marriott International's Vice President for Autograph Collection & Diversity Ownership Champion.

Today, Marriott's portfolio includes 660 diverse- and women-owned hotels. There are another 433 in the development pipeline, with 130 of those scheduled to open by year-end 2015.

"It is important that we do business with other companies that share similar values," said Alejandra Martinez, owner of the Courtyard Toluca Airport in Toluca, Mexico. "Marriott walked with us every step of the way to ensure that we understood the ownership process and continues to help us to be prosperous."

Marriott launched its Diverse Ownership Initiative in 2005 to increase the number of diverse- and women-owned hotels. The initiative provides access, education and guidance throughout the hotel development process, beginning with selecting the right brand to opening a hotel. Marriott invites potential owners to participate in an intense two-day summit for networking and education.

The company is also actively hosting Diversity Ownership 101 Workshops with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association and Odyssey Network for Women. Marriott is also an active partner with the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers.

"We have a solid portfolio of diverse owners who are extraordinary business partners. We want more women around the ownership table," said Roz Winegrad, Marriott International's Vice President of Owner Franchise Services. "We have a strong commitment to the economic empowerment of women around the world."

The company's select service and extended stay brands - Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites and TownePlace Suites - are fueling its diverse owner segment.  "These brands are perfect for new owners because there is a lower threshold for entry as financing and hotel operations tend to be easier," said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International's Chief Development Officer for Select Service and Extended Stay. "We intend for our owner relationships to be successful and profitable so that they continue to partner with us to build hotels throughout our portfolio of brands."

"When I decided to develop hotels, I knew I wanted Marriott hotels in my investment portfolio," said Norman Jenkins, Founder and President of Capstone Development, one of the owners and developers of the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C.   

About Marriott's Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Marriott has a longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. In 2014, the company celebrates 25 years of its formal diversity and inclusion program and 15 years of its Women's Leadership Initiative. Marriott is consistently recognized for championing diversity and inclusion, including: Human Rights Campaign 100 percent equality score, DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity and for Supplier Diversity, LatinaStyle Top 50, Working Mother Best Places to Work and Top Company as Named by the Executive Leadership Council. For more information on Marriott's diversity and inclusion programs, visit www.marriott.com/diversity.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013.  The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands, including: Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels,  Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club timeshare brand.  Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics.  The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members.  For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.                                 

Note on forward-looking statements: The statements in this press release about the anticipated number of diverse hotel owners in 2020 are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

- See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/10/02/670347/10101027/en/Photo-Release-Marriott-Plans-to-Nearly-Double-Diverse-Owned-Hotels-to-1-000-by-2020.html#sthash.mAlTMCP8.dpuf

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