marriott director of hr operations NY Marriott marquis
Courtesy of Geri R.

Name: Geri R.
Position: Senior Transient Sales Executive
Location: New York Marriott Marquis
Dream destinations: I’ve been dream-planning a trip to Madrid, Granada (to see the Alhambra), and Morocco for years.
Drink or treat of choice: A local whiskey (Van Brunt’s Empire Rye is a current favorite) will always be first in my heart, but lately I’ve been exploring the world of NA spirits and cocktails and loving the innovation in flavor and depth.

Geri likes to joke to her friends that her work is 50% spreadsheets and 50% parties — and she loves it! From her early days as a Marriott Sales Manager in Norman, Oklahoma, to her current role as a Senior Transient Sales Executive in Times Square’s iconic New York Marriott Marquis, Geri is grateful for the many opportunities that she’s had to grow and change at Marriott.

“Starting with Marriott shortly after leaving a very conservative work environment with very few opportunities to advance, I was immediately impressed with the tone of care and equality and Putting People First that was evident even in the training materials,” she says. “My life was honestly changed when I got the chance to move to Brooklyn fully supported by the company.”

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One of those big changes was joining the local New York City chapter of Marriott’s LGBTQ+|ONE Associate Resource Group, where she helped organize the event “Pride on the Perch at the New York Marriott Marquis” in 2023 and 2024 in celebration of Pride month.

As a natural organizer, Geri also helps organize community happy hours and volunteering initiatives to help members of the LGBTQ+ community outside of Marriott as well.

marriott director of hr operations NY Marriott marquis

Courtesy of Geri R.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to connect with likeminded associates across all disciplines, and all of the city’s hotels,” she says.

Learn more about Geri’s experience as a proud member of Marriott’s LGBTQ+|ONE ARG in her own words below.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

I’m not sure which was better, learning that Marriott valued me enough to move me from Oklahoma to Brooklyn, or learning that I have what it takes to excel in a market like New York City. The moments I am most proud of in my career, though, are those in which I feel like I’ve done something better for the people around me. Last year, I helped organize a day of Cultural Awareness workshops for managers and clients, and Pride on the Perch, an opportunity for LGBTQ+ members of the Marriott community to get together and celebrate Pride month. Every opportunity like that makes me glad to be a part of Marriott.

What motivated you to join the LGBTQ+|ONE resource group?

I first got involved with LGBTQ+|ONE in NYC during 2019 when the city was gearing up for World Pride. At the time I was drawn to the opportunity to meet other queer colleagues, learn more about how Marriott was approaching the community, and get involved with the volunteer opportunities the group had organized. I was close with one of our committee chairs at the time and eager to get more involved in 2020 — which of course didn’t look the way any of us imagined.

When I found out several of my teammates at the Marquis were working on a Pride event with the ARG, I was eager to chip in. As like all things in my life, I found myself with a lot of opinions about what else we could be doing and wanted to help move that forward. I believe that the louder we are with these things, the more of an impact we can have in creating a visibly inclusive environment so that everyone knows that at Marriott they can not only be safe, but celebrated, as their true selves.

marriott director of hr operations NY Marriott marquis

Courtesy of Geri R.

How do you think this group has contributed to your personal and professional growth?

I’ve never been quiet about what I think is important and what I believe is right, but I’ve tried over the last several years to be more vocal about diversity, equity, and inclusion across all facets of my professional life. Being outspoken at industry events, joining my hotel’s DEI committee, and becoming more active with LGBTQ+|ONE group has all helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin. And I’ve treasured the connections I’ve made with people who approached me to say they’ve agreed with what I said, or to challenge me to do more and go further. I appreciate the chance to meet wonderful people at all levels of the company who are working towards these same goals every day and it’s given me a new sense of (dare I say it) pride in coming to work at Marriott every day.

How do you think LGBTQ+|ONE has contributed to fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace?

Visibility and education are key for this community. Having a group that is loudly advertised and heartily endorsed by the company dedicated to Marriott’s commitment to celebrating our LGBTQ+ associates is fundamental to encouraging people like me to bring more of themselves to work. Whether you are already a Marriott associate, or considering becoming one, knowing that there is a place for you in the company is necessary. I only wish I’d known more about it when I first started in Oklahoma. Beyond representation, which is an important step, but not a final step, the educational opportunities are so powerful. I remember attending a ONE sponsored training in 2019 and it was a great forum for everyone to ask questions and understand more about people they work with every day in what felt like a safe space.

marriott director of hr operations NY Marriott marquis

Courtesy of Geri R.

What are your future goals within the Associate Resource Group?

I want us to continue to be a venue for building community, sharing our experiences, and getting to know other members of the LGBTQ+ community. I want us to be a resource for people who are curious about the community to learn how to better support their colleagues and employees. I want us to give back to the community and help push things forward for everyone. I look forward to helping to rebuild this foundation in New York and never being quiet in a room where I should be loud.

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

How haven’t I? It really is one of the most exciting perks and I never get tired of trying a new place, or a new brand. From the Moxy in Paris to the JW Guanacaste in Costa Rica, or even a Courtyard in Tulsa, having the Explore Rate in my back pocket has made me the hero of more than one girls trip or family vacation.

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