The ONE chapter in the New York Metro Area successfully relaunched with a member event on March 23, 2017, hosted at Marriott's Starlab Brand & Innovation Studio location on 5th Avenue in the Garment District. Current members and interested individuals, including those from legacy Starwood properties, were treated to an after-work event to rally support of re-energizing and re-launching the chapter.
Attendees were greeted with an opening welcome of inspiration by Anthony Ingham, global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide, “While W has always naturally and authentically resonated with the LGBT audience, most of Starwood’s other efforts in this space have been grassroots initiatives, driven by a handful of passionate associates that simply saw an opportunity to do more in this area. We are now very happy to leverage the strength and resources of ONE’s associate network as well as Marriott’s #LoveTravels campaign to integrate our efforts,” said Ingham. He was followed by remarks about ONE from current chapter chairperson, Larry Cassenti. "ONE has quickly grown to almost 2,000 members around the world in a short amount of time, and the New York chapter was a part of that rapid growth. I am encouraged to see the excitement for re-energizing this chapter to make it one of the premiere chapters within ONE," Cassenti concluded as he raised a glass to toast the committee who organized the event.
Members George Jerez, Isaac Soria and Jhesenia Guaman worked closely with two newer members from legacy Starwood, Glenn Stress and Alex Stein, based in Starlab who hosted the relaunch event and provided outreach to former Starwood associates. The event was attended by approximately 45 people from Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, former Starwood properties and corporate associates.
The New York Metro chapter currently has over 30 members and is rapidly growing with the addition of new brothers and sisters from legacy Starwood branded hotels. "With so many big and amazing hotels in one concentrated market, we should have a very large and very active membership now that we have included a lot more hotels due to the merger," said Jerez, "We just kept thinking we need to be more active, we need to be the chapter that other chapters look to."
Jerez, Soria, and Guaman originally approached the ONE Council about trying to help them relaunch the chapter. The Council assisted in creating and launching a member survey to current NY members asking their opinion on items ranging from activity priority to events/meeting logistics. The chapter is using the insight from this survey to ensure the relaunch of the chapter is meeting the needs and interests of its members in order to revive and maintain engagement.
The chapter looks to include new members interested in a role within the leadership team in order to strengthen activity with Marriott associates, franchise employees, and the local community.
ONE is the official lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, and straight ally associate network of Marriott International, Inc. comprised of Marriott associates and franchise employees. Since its inception in November 2010 by 15 founding members, the group has cultivated a focus to serve as a voice for LGBTQ associates and their allies, as well as to create a supportive network for a community that had no formal representation before within the company.
With over 1,900 volunteer members in 20+ chapters around the world, ONE continues to move forward in seeking new ways to:
- Develop community among members
- Increase the diversity mindset to include LGBTQ issues, and
- Assist in unleashing revenue opportunities with concentrated marketing and sales efforts within the LGBTQ community
ONE embodies Marriott’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion within its own membership. Over fifty-five percent of ONE’s membership is made up of straight allies. Sixty percent are women and close to ten percent of members live outside of the United States.
Associate Networks within Marriott are ongoing, associate-initiated teams that form around a broad range of common interests. These networks provide the opportunity to informally connect with other associates in order to grow both personally and professionally. These teams are self-directed and funded by their members.
For more information on ONE, please go to our website at www.onemarriott.com and engage with us on Twitter and Instagram @onemarriott
T: +1 301-380-9588