Edwin D. Fuller

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Internationally recognized hospitality industry leader, educator and best-selling author, Edwin D. "Ed" Fuller is the former President & Managing Director of Marriott International and the current President of Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium providing consulting services to independent businesses and organizations.[1] He is also the current President and CEO of the Orange County Visitors Association, helping to expand tourism to Orange County, California into the global industry.[2] An author and authority in the global hospitality industry, Fuller worked with Marriott for 40 years, the last 20 in the International Division. During his tenure with Marriott International, the organization expanded with the formation and operation of 555 international hotels in 73 countries with $8 billion in annual sales and creating 80,000 new jobs globally.[3] Since joining Marriott in 1972, Fuller also implemented multiple environmental, youth and, educational initiatives.[4]

Fuller began his career at Marriott as a management trainee and was promoted throughout his career into executive leadership roles in marketing, sales, and operations.[5][6] Titles held have included Director of National and International Sales and Reservations, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, and Regional Vice President.[5][6] He was promoted to the global leadership role of International Lodging Operations as Senior Vice President and Managing Director and later to Executive Vice President and Managing Director.[5][6] In addition, he chaired the International Development Committee.[6]

An award-winning, active alumnus of Boston University (BU), Ed Fuller was recognized with the Alumni Award in 1998. He currently serves on the Board of Overseers and as chairman for the Advisory Board at BU. He is also chairman of the Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine's Merage School of Business and was appointed to the California State University Hospitality Industry Advisory Board.[6][7]


Fuller is the author of You Can't Lead With Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits, which was published by Wiley in March 2011.[8] Drawing on nearly 40 years of professional experience with Marriott, he shares insight on methods for dealing with employees, partners, suppliers, and customers in a manner that breaks down cultural and language barriers.[9] He offers guidance on management in any culture with respect and sensitivity for diverse customs and practices, the book also explores his own career journey, describing how he built Marriott International's global presence to become one of the largest and most successful hotel chains in the world.[9][10]

In his book, he credits learning "the art of leadership and relationship building" from J. W. Marriott, Jr., William Shaw, Al Le Faivre, Paul Reed, Bill Tiefel, Sergeant James, his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers at Boston University, and the many individuals he served beside in the U.S. Army. He continuously stresses the significance of trust, values, and responsibility throughout the publication.[9]

Ed Fuller uses the storytelling method of writing throughout his books. In a first-person account he states, "I was hired as a management trainee in 1972 and spent the next 39 years learning—everything from cleaning potatoes to cleaning rooms and lessons in marketing, sales, and operations."[9]

In August 2012, "You Can't Lead With Your Feet on the Desk" was published in Japanese.[11]

In 2014, "You Can't Lead With Your Feet on the Desk" was published in Mandarin Chinese.[12]

He is a regular contributor to www.forbes.com[13] where his semi-monthly blogs focus on business trends in Asia, the global lodging industry and social commentary; and contributes quarterly to www.globalhotelnetwork.com on hotel industry trends.

Professional history[edit]

In 1972, he launched his career as the Sales Director of Twin Bridges Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.. Fuller served in a sales leadership role, and was subsequently promoted to the position of national sales manager of the Northeast Region in 1973, located in New York City. With a vision for national (and ultimately international) expansion, he accepted the position of Director of National and International Sales at Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland from 1976 to 1978.[5]

This led to the global executive position of Vice President / Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.[5] He served in this role from 1978 to 1982, during which time he spearheaded aggressive sales and marketing initiatives across the United States, Asia, and the Middle East. He is credited with establishing Marriott's original international reservations network, as well as the entire sales and marketing organization in Europe and the Middle East.[14]

Fuller became general manager of the Long Island Marriott Hotel in 1982, where in one year he launched the newly constructed 300-room suburban hotel in Hempstead, New York. From 1983 to 1985, he served as General Manager of the Boston Marriott Hotel at Copley Place, leading the development of a 1,200-room convention hotel which opened in 1984. As Regional Vice President of Midwest and Canada, he relocated to Illinois from 1985 to 1989 to lead operations, marketing, human resources, and financial aspects of hotels in the Midwest and the first Marriott in Canada. From 1989 to 1990, Fuller grew revenues to $1.5 billion as Regional Vice President of the Western and Pacific Regions in Santa Ana, California.


In 1991, he was promoted to the role of President and Managing Director of the International Lodging Division.[5] During his tenure, he logged more than 10-million miles of air travel while expanding Marriott's global footprint to more than 150 countries. Fuller led operations and expansion in the Middle East and Africa and was charged with guiding Marriott's global growth strategy.[15] He operated from Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland and reported directly to the chief operating officer (COO).

Fuller is credited with growing international operations from 16 hotels valued at $325 million to a network of 400 and 175 in development with gross sales of $8 billion.[16] He created and directed global brand creation of JW Marriott Hotels and Marriott Executive Apartments.[16] Fuller is credited with reducing costs by $1 million per hotel by developing and implementing the "Infinity" property audit process, which was launched globally within Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands.[16]


The picture above is of, from left to right, Ed Fuller with the Prime Minister of Kurdistan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides; U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and Peshraw Agha, chairman of Empire World at a high-profile ceremony that will lead to the opening of two new deluxe Marriott International hotels in Erbil, Iraq by 2014.[17]

Upon his retirement from Marriott International, he became a founding member and president of Laguna Strategic Advisors. As a noted speaker, educator and best-selling author, his experience will be put to use at the Irvine, California-based global consortium as it provides opportunities and services to independent members of business consulting services.[7]

In July 2013, Edwin Fuller was named President and CEO of the Orange County Visitors Association.[18] His hospitality and tourism experience will help to propel The OC area to the next level and into the global arena. "The OC (Orange County) is a brand with worldwide tourism appeal," said Ed Fuller. "We are eager to start working with local tourism leaders, stakeholders and potential strategic partners to showcase the best Orange County has to offer to attract our fair share of the more than $100 billion in tourism spending generated in California each year."[18][19]

Laguna Strategic Advisors[edit]

After recently retiring with Marriott International, he is now the President of Laguna Strategic Advisors, an Irvine, California-based consulting consortium.[20] Edwin Fuller and Buck Laird team up as business colleagues for this newly formed business entity. Both are extremely well-known business professionals in their fields. They launched Laguna Strategic Advisors LLC in 2012, creating the business advisors consortium that provides brand support and service to independent businesses as well as individuals in the consulting sphere.[21]

Members of this consortium are sole practitioners as well as entrepreneurial firms with outstanding credentials in their client categories. Laguna Strategic Advisors LLC supports the consortium members with communications and business services that enhance their efficiency and resources, but does not create, control, or monitor the work product of consortium members, who deliver their services as independent entrepreneurs or entities.[22]

Orange County Visitors Association[edit]

In July 2013, Edwin Fuller was named the President and CEO of the Orange County Visitors Association. Laguna Strategic Advisors member Chip Stuckmeyer was named Vice President of Project Management and long-time Orange County tourism leader Anita Vanaman was named Vice President of Administration of the Association.[19][23] Originally named its Chairman, Edwin Fuller has been actively involved in the development and promotional process of the China Initiative since 2012. With more than 40 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, Edwin Fuller has the knowledge and experience to help the Orange County Visitors Association meet their goals and expand into the global marketplace.[23][24]

With the success of the Orange County Visitor Association in 2013, Edwin Fuller has been named Business Person of the Year: Hospitality by the Orange County Business Journal. [25] He was also named a "game changer" by the Orange County Register, an article honoring key Orange County leaders who focused on creating a new O.C. from the ashes of the recession in 2013.[26]

Educational and academic affiliations[edit]

Fuller obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University in 1968, and is also a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Advanced Management Program. Actively involved with several higher education initiatives, Fuller serves on the Board of Overseers at Boston University and as Chairman of the Schools Advisory Board at the University of California, Irvine.[6] Fuller was formerly the Director of the United Way International Board.[6]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Fuller was formally recognized with the Boston University Alumni Award in 1998 and School of Management Alumni Award for Service to Alma Mater in 1992.[7] Recognized with several awards throughout his career, Fuller won the Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) Aatithya Ratna Award, 2010 China Hotel Investment Summit, 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award; and Marriott Chairman's Award, 1999.[27][28]

Fuller was an integral leader of the executive team that led the company to rank in Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For" and "All Star" lists.[29][30][31]

Fuller was recognized with the Veterans Advantage TopVet award in December 2010.[32] As a former captain in the United States Army, he received the Bronze Star Medal and an Army Commendation Medal for his exemplary service to his country during missions in Vietnam and Germany.[33]

Commitment to the environment and global community[edit]

Fuller is recognized for his dedication to developing and implementing strategies that preserve the environment and for his support of "green" organizations around the world. He has represented Marriott International at high profile environmental events, including one hosted by Charles, Prince of Wales. He is a former Trustee of The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum; chaired the Governing Board of the International Tourism Partnership for 11 years, currently serves on the Safe Kids Worldwide Board, and formerly was a Board member of the Pacific Area Travel Association Foundation and of United Way International. Fuller has also impacted the protection of the Amazon Rainforest.[9]

In 2008, he was named Commissioner of Travel & Tourism for the State of California and served as vice chairman of the group between 2010 and 2013. In 2014, he was named Commissioner Emeritus of the State of California Commission of Travel and Tourism. Earlier in 2010, he was named Emeritus member of the Travel Industry Management School Advisory Board at the University of Hawaii. He also serves as Chairman and Trustee of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation.

He is quoted as saying, "I believe we are standing at a crossroads. While the science behind climate change may still be debated, few argue that temperatures are rising globally and that this change will potentially have a devastating effect on destinations and populations. As an industry, it is too risky to sit back and watch. We need to take an active part in understanding the change and doing our part to mitigate this trend."[34]

Boards, Groups and Committees[edit]

Marriott International, Inc. - Chairman, International Crisis Committee / Chairman, International Development / Co-Chair, Green, Asset Management, & Corporate Growth Committees, Marriott Foundation [35]

Boston University - Board of Overseers / Chairman, Advisory Board, School of Hospitality / Advisory Board, School of Management, President’s International Advisory Board / Alumni Association, President [35]

University of California Irvine, The Paul Merage School of Business - Chairman, Schools Advisory Board / Member, Executive Board / Chair, International Subcommittee of the MBA Program / Advisory Board [35]

The California State University - Hospitality Management Education Board [35]

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) - Board of Trustees [35]

The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) - Chairman of Governing Board [35]

Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association (HHLA) - Member [35]

Global Hotel Network - Member, Advisory Editorial Board [35]

Travel Age West - Member, Editorial Advisory Board [35]

Visit California, China Initiative - Chairman [35]


  1. ^ http://www.lagunastrategicadvisors.com
  2. ^ http://www.visittheoc.com/maps-and-information/about-ovca/
  3. ^ http://news.marriott.com/2011/09/ed-fuller-to-retire-from-marriott-led-international-growth.html
  4. ^ http://edwinfuller.com/speaker-and-lecturer/
  5. ^ a b c d e f http://www.linkedin.com/in/edwinfuller
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Edwin D. Fuller". Marriott International. January 14, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c http://lagunastrategicadvisors.com/listings/ed-fuller-lsa-founding-member/
  8. ^ http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA
  9. ^ a b c d e Fuller, Edwin D. (2011). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley. 
  10. ^ http://www.youcantleadwithyourfeetonthedesk.com/about-the-book/
  11. ^ Fuller, Edwin D. (2012). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley. 
  12. ^ Fuller, Edwin D. (2014). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley. 
  13. ^ Fuller, Edwin. Forbes. Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/ |url= missing title (help). 
  14. ^ "Edwin D. Fuller". Forbes. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Marriott International Announces Leadership Positions for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa". Marriott International. August 12, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c http://www.bus-ex.com/article/marriott-international
  17. ^ http://www.leadwithyourfeet.com/2011/08/leading-from-the-front/
  18. ^ a b http://edwinfuller.com/2013/07/fuller-announced-the-president-of-the-ocva/
  19. ^ a b "San Francisco Press Releases". 
  20. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/press-release/20120815/former-president-marriott-international-named-head-laguna-strategic-advisors
  21. ^ "Press Releases". 
  22. ^ http://www.lagunastrategicadivsors.com/
  23. ^ a b http://www.wsav.com/story/22839642/orange-county-visitors-association-names-travel-and-hospitality-industry-leader-ed-fuller-president-ceo
  24. ^ http://www.edwinfuller.com/2013/07/fuller-announced-the-president-of-the-ocva/
  25. ^ "BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR - Hospitality: Ed Fuller". Orange Country Business Journal. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "Game Changers: O.C. Led Way Out of Recession". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center" (PDF). Hotel Investment Forum India. December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  28. ^ "2008 China Hotel Investment Summit". China Hotel Investment Conference. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  29. ^ "100 Best Companies To Work For 2010". Fortune (Time Warner (CNNMoney.com)). 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  30. ^ "100 Best Companies to Work For 2010: All Stars". Fortune (Time Warner (CNNMoney.com)). 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Marriott is a Fortune All Star". Marriott International. January 22, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  32. ^ "We Honor Marriott's Edwin D. Fuller as a Veterans Advantage TopVet". Veterans Advantage. December 10, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Executive Profile: Edwin D. Fuller". Bloomberg Businessweek (Bloomberg L.P.). Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Marriott's Ed Fuller Warns WTM Delegates". Hospitality Net. October 22, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2010. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j http://edwinfuller.com/about-ed/board-memberships/