Name: Marcus Mayberry
Position: Sr. Assistant Director of Finance & Accounting
Hotel: Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
Dream destination: Japan – I’ve been there already using the Explore Rate, but I would like to go back and stay longer. Hoping to do that next year.
Drink or treat of choice: Strawberry Tres Leche – there is nothing like it!
Much like the revitalization of Detroit, a city that is now stronger, brighter and more resilient than it was in years past, Marcus revitalized his own career in finance — and even returned to his hometown of Detroit.
Marcus’s journey with Marriott started more than 10 years ago at a Courtyard only about 100 yards from where he works today. He started as a front desk agent, but quickly realized he needed an extra challenge, so he took on other roles like Night Auditor and Event Coordinator, and eventually went on to other roles in other cities, like Senior Rooms Controller at The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection in Washington, DC.
It was there, in the historic hotel in our nation’s capital, that Marcus began working with the accounting team, and decided to pivot into that department as the hotel’s Financial Services Customer Services Coordinator.
“In hospitality finance, no two days are alike, every day is different,” says Marcus, who earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Michigan State University. “There is always something to learn even if you think you’ve mastered it.”
After moving into finance positions at the BWI Airport Marriott and the Marriott Marquis Washington DC, Marcus returned to his hometown of Detroit as the Senior Assistant Director of Finance for Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in February 2020. With 11 positions in 12 years, Marcus is a true example of how you are only limited by your own drive.
As Marcus returned to both the world of finance and the city of Detroit, the Motor City itself was in a state of rebuilding. Detroit fell on hard times long before the pandemic — having suffered the rise and fall of the automotive industry in the late 20th century — and many thought Covid would surely send the city back even further. But General Motors, Marriott, and a few other companies in the city had a different idea.
The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the center point of downtown and the rich auto history in Detroit, remained open throughout the pandemic and, according to Marcus, served as what felt like a central point to help the spirit of Detroit survive. Through the pandemic, this Marriott hotel housed the Department of Justice and other political figures who were tasked with rolling out vaccines throughout Michigan.
Visiting this hotel today, you will not only see how this effort helped the spirit survive but you will also witness how the culture of the hotel and how Marriott associates are helping the downtown area to thrive.
Hear a little bit more from Marcus, in his own words, on his journey and what motivates him each day.
What motivates you at work? Why do you do what you do?
Learning and growing. I never want to feel stagnate in a role. I want to be fascinated or surprised every day. When I worked at one of the major four [in reference to the largest four accounting firms worldwide] right out of school in finance I was pretty bored. It was a lot of the same thing every day. In hospitality finance, no two days are alike. Every day is different. There is always something to learn even if you think you’ve mastered it. We have so many factors that create this type of environment: different ownerships, brands, locations. I will never have it all learned and I love that!
How does working at Marriott allow you to show up as your authentic self?
From the top down our leaders showcase a true, honest culture. Here you can really be who you are. We value everyone as unique, and as a person you bring a specific and unique set of skills to the table, which lends itself to doing that job and doing it even better than the next person. Your experience makes you the right person to solve that specific problem.
What is your favorite part of working at your hotel or for Marriott in general?
The hotel itself and the people have pride in this city.
The hotel is the HQ for General Motors, it has this amazing showcase of cars and the history of cars and Detroit. We are the tallest building in Michigan.
And as for the people, this team is incredible, and I work for incredible people. We jump in to support each other through anything and everything. Staying open through the pandemic really puts things in perspective. Our passion is to create amazing life experiences, not just have people stay in a hotel.
What are your job responsibilities?
My job is to make sure all jobs are successful in the P&L. I coordinate with department leaders to ensure they have the financial tools to be successful in running their own business. If I help them take ownership of their area as their own business, then we all win.
What’s next for you?
I want to someday be the Director of Finance at a hotel. This position usually means starting over to some degree. It would be taking this on at a smaller hotel but learning and then building along the way.
What is your favorite part of your day?
3 p.m. My hosts are leaving, my cashier is leaving and includes their notes — the good, bad, the ebbs and flows. It just reminds me that even though the day felt like it had all these crazy things going on, we made it and really everything is going great.
What surprised you most about working here?
Most finance jobs are away from production or manufacturing, but here we are in the middle of it! I actually get to talk with all these teams every day. I love it!
How have you used the Explore Rate?
I use it all the time. I’m leaving tomorrow to go to DC! I’ll be staying in a different part of the city this time to do additional sightseeing than what I’ve done before.