marriott director of engineering ARG story Melanie
Courtesy of Melanie G.

Name: Melanie G.
Position: Director of Engineering
Hotel: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
Dream destination: Dubai, so I can work on some of the incredible engineering projects that are taking place there.
Drink or treat of choice: Pepsi and buttered popcorn

“Where can I find the ONE Marriott group for this location?”

That was one of the first questions Melanie asked whenever she moved to a new state for a new job at Marriott. And she moved a lot. For this Director of Engineering at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, Marriott’s LGBTQ+|ONE associate resource group has played a massive role in her journey at the company.

“LGBTQ+|ONE has given a face to my name and it has afforded me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams,” she says. “It has provided me with a supportive and inclusive community where I can be my authentic self and feel valued for who I am.”

Through this group, Melanie has also connected with mentors and peers who have helped guide her in her career and personal development. “It has truly been a catalyst for my personal and professional growth, and I am grateful for the sense of belonging and empowerment it has provided me. This network has opened doors for me, allowing me to advance in my profession and gain the confidence to pursue leadership roles within my organization.”

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Melanie started at Marriott in 2006 when she landed a position as a housekeeper in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I took [it] just to get into the company,” she confesses. Soon after that, Melanie got herself into the Engineering Department and, promotion after promotion, worked all around Georgia, California, Florida, and back to her hometown of New York City.

At the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, Melanie’s main role is to ensure the hotel operates efficiently, reducing our carbon footprint and meeting our sustainability goals on a daily basis. One would think that running this 667-room hotel, with 51,000 square feet of public meeting space — including an 18,000-square-foot ballroom (the fourth largest in New York City!) — would be enough of a task. But, because of her passion and involvement in ONE’s associate resource group, Melanie’s added ‘very active LGBTQ+ activist’ to her daily duties.

marriott director of engineering ARG story Melanie

Courtesy of Melanie G.

“I am committed to creating a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees, including those who identify as LGBTQ+. I strive to promote diversity and equality within the workplace and actively support initiatives that celebrate and uplift the LGBTQ+ community,” says Melanie, whose story has even been featured in American Builders Quarterly. “At every turn I offer guidance and support to all department managers and hourly associates. My door is always open.”

For Melanie everything started in Tampa, Florida, when she was working as an Engineering Supervisor at the Tampa Marriott Water Street Hotel and Marina and attended her first LGBTQ+|ONE meeting back in 2016. “For a little while I had heard about this group but didn’t see anything until I got to Florida. I went to the first meeting and knew this was the place for me. It’s not just any group, this group helps people to cope with real life situations,” she says.

Learn more about Melanie’s journey as a key member of the LGBTQ+|ONE ARG in her own words below.

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

The proudest moment was the day back in 2014 when I was asked to be the chairperson for the women’s engineering business council. It was at that moment that I knew that I was in the right company. I played an intricate part in building and launching this council and to have my corporate engineering team look to me to lead it was and still is one of my proudest moments. Being a part of Marriott and being able to represent and support women in engineering has been incredibly rewarding. I have been able to create a network of support and mentorship for women in the field, and I am proud to have been a part of making Marriott a more inclusive and supportive place for all employees.

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

Marriott’s culture is fun, loving and family oriented. The culture never wavers, it just gets stronger every day, every area region and every hotel built or gained. Marriott International has survived some of the toughest times and continues to grow and thrive because of the culture and the people who make up the Marriott family. It’s a culture that is inclusive and welcoming to all, regardless of background, gender, or sexual orientation. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have always felt supported and valued at Marriott, and that speaks volumes about the culture of the company.

marriott director of engineering ARG story Melanie

Courtesy of Melanie G.

Why did you decide to join this Associate Resource Group in the first place?

I was motivated to join One Marriott LGBTQ+ ONE ARG to help and assist others whether it be co-workers, friends, family or allies so they are aware and informed properly on how Marriott is in the communities for everyone.

How has it enriched your experience within the organization?

It has allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals who share similar experiences and challenges. The support and sense of community within the group has been invaluable, and it has helped me feel more comfortable and accepted in my workplace. Also, being a part of this resource group has provided me with opportunities for professional development and networking, as well as a platform to advocate for diversity and inclusion within the company.

marriott engineering director career story

Courtesy of Melanie G.

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

We are in every state and working to be in every country. Every inch of this organization is based on making individuals feel welcomed no matter where they are. Our LGBTQ+|ONE group has played a crucial role in creating a safe and supportive environment for all employees, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Through various initiatives, events, and resources, LGBTQ+|ONE has helped to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within the workplace.

What are your future goals within the associate resource group, and how do you plan to continue contributing?

I want to take on more responsibilities to nurture and facilitate our resource group into the future. And I feel that being an African American Lesbian woman with a leadership role, I can bring a unique perspective and provide support and mentorship to others within the LGBTQ+ community. I plan to continue contributing by organizing events, providing resources and support for LGBTQ+ associates, and advocating for inclusion and diversity within the company. I am committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all employees, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that our resource group continues to thrive and make a positive impact on the company.

marriott director of engineering ARG story Melanie

Courtesy of Melanie G.

What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in working at Marriott?

I would tell them to go for it! This will be the best decision of your life. Learn all that you can and more. The company prides itself on putting people first and on promoting from within. The sky’s the limit and there are endless opportunities for growth and development. Embrace the diversity and inclusivity that Marriott values and be open to learning from people of different backgrounds and experiences. Most importantly, be passionate about hospitality and providing exceptional service to guests. If you are driven, dedicated, and have a positive attitude, then Marriott is the perfect place for you to thrive and build a successful career.

Have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I use the Marriott Explore Rate discount every chance I can because it allows me to travel to different cities and experience new cultures without breaking the bank. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have found it important to explore different cities and connect with other members of the community. The Explore Rate has allowed me to do so without the financial burden and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue exploring and connecting with my community through travel.

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