Marriott International’s David Rodriguez on Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Originally published on LinkedIn by David Rodriguez, Marriott International’s EVP and Global Chief Human Resources Officer. Marriott International is a Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.


I recently had the pleasure of viewing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, the 2021 film adaptation of his Tony Award-winning musical that opened on Broadway in 2008. It brought back so many great memories of the people, places and events from my childhood growing up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. While the Heights was not immune from the typical day-to-day struggles often associated with urban life and even less from New York City’s periodic crises, it’s the warmth, optimism and achievements of the many members of this cultural tapestry that is foremost in my memories as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year from September 15 to October 15.

The celebration was established in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson to recognize the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose heritage stems from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Being of Puerto Rican descent, I think proudly of people like Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Roberto Clemente, Hall of Fame Major Leaguer and humanitarian who lost his life at the age of 38 in a plane crash delivering aid to earthquake victims.

The list of famed contributors spans all the geographies I mentioned above, but I would be remiss not to also mention the even greater number of everyday Hispanic Americans who contribute their ideas and talents to ensure that America’s best days remain ahead.

In that spirit, I am so proud and thankful for the thousands of Hispanic Americans who are a vital part of our global community of Marriott. Like America, Marriott’s best days are still ahead because of the inspired contributions of our associates and their commitment to our TakeCare Culture of inclusive opportunity, courageous innovation and caring service to our customers and one another.

I am excited about what our current Hispanic American Associates and the next generation will contribute to our future success at Marriott. To them and every associate, I say thank you for pursuing excellence and making a positive difference. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage and the countless contributions of so many, it’s heartening to know that even better days are still ahead.