Bethesda (PRESS RELEASE - March 14, 2010) - Small businesses like McPadnet, a printing and publishing house owned by Karen Edwards, continue to grow with Marriott International. Marriott partners with nearly 5,000 minority-, veteran-, LGBT-, and woman-owned businesses because it's just good business. In the past five years, Marriott spent $2.3 billion with diverse suppliers in the U.S. and 14.8 percent ($372 million) last year alone. Just last week, Marriott was named among the Top 20 Corporations for Supplier Diversity by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). "Marriott started as a small business, an eight-seat A&W root beer stand 83 years ago," said Bill Hartwig, vice president, supplier relations and global procurement, Marriott International. "We understand what small businesses need to grow and we're committed to providing the resources and guidance to create lasting partnerships." Take Tronex for example. The Parsippany, New Jersey-based company began supplying latex gloves to Marriott hotels in the U.S. in 2004 and today, they have grown their business to include our hotels in China. Another great example is Gary's Seafood, our first Supplier of the Year award recipient. Our Orlando hotel employees nominated the seafood supplier for their exceptional customer service. Today, their portfolio includes the majority of Marriott hotels in Northern Florida. Through partnerships with organizations like the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), we have expanded our supplier diversity program efforts into the U.K., China and Australia. To learn more about Marriott's supplier diversity program, visit http://www.marriott.com/corporateinfo/supplier/default.mi.