marriott director of engineering - veteran career story David
Courtesy of David M.

Name: David M.
Position: Director of Engineering
Hotel: Atlanta Marriott Marquis
Dream Destination: Scuba diving in Phuket, Thailand
Drink or treat of choice: Double tall mocha

As a former Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Army, David M. was drawn to something specific to Marriott as a place to work.

“Marriott has similar spirit (esprit de corps) as the Army,” says David. “It felt like a family.”

David is the Director of Engineering at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, where he manages the budget, capital expenditure projects, preventative maintenance and energy conservation for the 50-story, 1,663-room hotel. While David’s first job in hotels was guest room preventative maintenance, he has been leading Engineering departments at hotels for more than two decades.

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“The technical and leadership skills that I learned in the military I continue to use every day,” says David, whose time in the Army included serving as a Pershing Missile Specialist, Infantry soldier and Drill Sergeant, earning his “wings” (the esteemed Parachutist Badge), as well as a tour in Germany and transition to the Army reserves.

marriott director of engineering - veteran career story David

Courtesy of David M.

So, what advice would David give to other veterans looking to pivot into hospitality?

“Be patient,” says David. “The skills you learned are transferable, it just might take time to directly see in what way.”

In his day-to-day job, David strives to embody the Marriott value of “putting people first” — or, as he learned it in the military, “Leaders eat last.”

Learn more below about how David spends a typical day as a Marriott Director of Engineering.

How does your workday start?

I start my day half an hour before my team comes in, preparing for the day. I use email, calendars, and various other tools to prepare for the day.

What’s one thing you do to ensure you have a successful or productive day at work?

Have a plan and understand that things rarely go as planned. Be flexible.

Who do you see first when you start your day?

Morning standup is my time to connect with the team and set the agenda for the day as well as get feedback.

What’s communication like with your manager or leadership?

Our communication style is open. We have an open-door policy, and all the leaders spend time out of the office, immersed in the day-to-day operations.

marriott director of engineering - veteran career story David

Courtesy of David M.

What’s your favorite moment of the day?

My favorite moment of the day is when I arrive home after a long day and am greeted by the family and the family dog.

ow have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

We travel extensively as a family and whenever possible we use the Associate rate. We have traveled from Washington to California and New York to Florida on the associate rate.

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