Edwin D. Fuller
Edwin D. Fuller is an American educator and author, and president and chief executive officer of the Orange County (California) Visitors Association. He is also president and co-founder of Irvine-based Laguna Strategic Advisors, a global consortium providing services to independent providers of business consulting services.
He was Marriott International's President and Managing Director of International Lodging for nearly 22 years. His corporate career spanned four decades. His experience included chief sales and marketing officer, global leadership as President of Marriott International, Inc., as executive in charge of crisis management, future business assessment, top-level customer relationship management, sales and marketing leadership and long-term strategy development that applied corporate philosophies, delivered on brand promise and enabled ethical decisions. His results included the creation of 80,000 new jobs worldwide, the formation and operation of 555 hotels in 73 countries, $8 billion in annual sales, and the implementation of multiple environmental, philanthropic and educational initiatives.
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. Titles held have included Director of National and International Sales and Reservations, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, and Regional Vice President. 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. In addition, he chaired the International Development Committee.
Fuller has also focused his energies on supporting educational and corporate social responsibility activities. An active alumnus of Boston University (BU), he is former Vice Chairman of its Board of Overseers, former President of the University’s Alumni Association and a former Trustee. He served as Chairman of its hospitality and management school’s advisory board for 12 years, and is a member of the President’s International Advisory Board. In 1998, he received the Alumni Award, the university’s highest honor. At the University of California, Irvine, he is a Trustee of the university’s foundation and former Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Merage School of Business. He is also a member of the Chancellor’s CEO Roundtable. Since 2013, he has been an adjunct professor of globalization in the university’s business school’s master’s program. At California State University, he serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Hospitality Management Education Board and a director of the University’s San Marcos Foundation. Since 2012, he has been an adjunct professor of Leadership at the university’s College of Hospitality in Pomona and San Diego State University.
Fuller has written a top-20 best-selling business book, 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. Drawing on nearly 40 years of professional experience with Marriott, he shares insight on methods for dealing with employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. 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.
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.
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."
He is a regular contributor to Forbes Online where his semi-monthly blogs         focus on business trends in Asia, the global lodging industry and social commentary; and contributes quarterly to Global Hotel Network on hotel industry trends.
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 promoted to the position of national sales manager of the Northeast Region in 1973, located in New York City. To promote national (and later international) expansion, he accepted the position of director of national and international sales at Marriott International Headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland from 1976 to 1978.
This led to the global executive position of vice president/chief sales and marketing officer. 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, and the sales and marketing organization in Europe and the Middle East.
Fuller became general manager of the Long Island Marriott Hotel in 1982, where 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. 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. He operated from Marriott International, Inc., 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. He created and directed global brand creation of JW Marriott Hotels and Marriott Executive Apartments. 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.
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.
In July 2013, Fuller was named president and CEO of the Orange County Visitors Association. 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 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."
Laguna Strategic Advisors
He is now the president of Laguna Strategic Advisors, an Irvine, California-based consulting consortium. Fuller and Buck Laird 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.
Members of this consortium are sole practitioners and entrepreneurial firms. 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.
Orange County Visitors Association
In July 2013, 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. Fuller has been actively involved in the development and promotional process of the China Initiative since 2012.
With the success of the Orange County Visitor Association in 2013, Fuller was named Business Person of the Year: Hospitality by the Orange County Business Journal.  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.
Educational and academic affiliations
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. Fuller used to be the Director of the United Way International Board.
Awards and recognitions
At the University of California Irvine, Fuller is a trustee of the university’s foundation and former chairman of the Advisory Board of the Merage School of Business. Since 2012, he has been an adjunct professor of globalization in the university’s business school’s master’s program.
In the California State University system, he serves as a Member of the Chancellor’s Hospitality Management Education Board, a director of the University’s San Marcos Foundation and, in 2014, he was named to the Advisory Board at the University’s Collins College of Hospitality Management where he has been an adjunct professor teaching leadership courses at San Diego State University.
He is a former trustee of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum. He chaired the Governing Board of the International Tourism Partnership for 11 years. He serves on the Safe Kids Worldwide Board, the Althea Foundation Board, and was a Board member of the Pacific Area Travel Association Foundation and of United Way International.
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. In 2015 he was elected to the board of directors of the US Travel Association.
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.
In 2013, Fuller was named a Board Member of the Mind Institute in Irvine, California.
He is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Merage Investment Group, a member of the Advisory Board of Concord Hotels and a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigators National Academy Associates Foundation (FBINAA).
He received the Marriott International chairman’s Award in 2007, the University of Nevada Las Vegas 2013 Hospitality Industry Leader of the Year Award. In 2008, he was recognized with the China Hotel Investment Summit Lifetime Achievement Award; in 2010, he was bestowed the Hotel Investment Forum India Aatithya Award; and in 2012, he was presented the International Hotel Investment Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Berlin.
Commitment to the environment and global community
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."
Boards, groups and committees
- Marriott International, Inc. - Chairman, International Crisis Committee / Chairman, International Development / Co-Chair, Green, Asset Management, & Corporate Growth Committees, Marriott Foundation 
- Boston University - Board of Overseers / Chairman, Advisory Board, School of Hospitality / Advisory Board, School of Management, President’s International Advisory Board / Alumni Association, President 
- 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 
- The California State University - Hospitality Management Education Board 
- Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) - Board of Trustees 
- The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) - Chairman of Governing Board 
- Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association (HHLA) - Member 
- Global Hotel Network - Member, Advisory Editorial Board 
- Travel Age West - Member, Editorial Advisory Board 
- Visit California, China Initiative - Chairman 
- "Edwin D. Fuller". Marriott International. January 14, 2010. Archived from the original on October 24, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Fuller, Edwin D. (2011). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley.
- Fuller, Edwin D. (2012). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley.
- Fuller, Edwin D. (2014). You Can't Lead with Your Feet on the Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, and Delivering Profits. Wiley.
- Ed Fuller, www.forbes.com.
- Ed, Fuller. "Use Your Paid Time Off: It's Good For You, Your Company And Our Country". Forbes. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "Let's Keep Our Skies Open: Update". Forbes. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "Nationalism: Back Again Like a Bad Dream". Forbes. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "International Tourism: The Sliver of Silver in the US Trade Deficit". Forbes. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "Corruption -- Still a Global Blight After All These Years". Forbes. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "China Continues To Set The Pace Of Global Tourism". Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "Here We Go Again: The Global Nationalism Wave Gains Force With Brexit". Forbes. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "What China's U.S. Buying Spree Means For The Future Of Hospitality". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- Ed, Fuller. "Vietnam Poised To Be Asia's Next Economic Tiger". Forbes. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2016/10/10/technology-is-propelling-the-travel-industry-into-a-jetsons-like-future/#77e91b20753d. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2016/11/21/myanmar-asias-last-natural-frontier/#22f9272f2cf8. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes Online https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2016/12/09/chinese-investments-in-us-hotels-accelerates-with-hna-groups-25-stake-in-hilton-worldwide/#65793a2b23c0. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes Online https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2016/12/30/lifes-second-acts-can-be-among-the-best/#7a5947e618db. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2017/01/19/the-trump-administration-opportunity-to-improve-travel-experience-for-us-residents-visitors-alike/#5fc954b47714. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2017/03/27/china-is-now-the-worlds-largest-source-of-outbound-hotel-investment/#45f1beb6a5fd. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2017/04/05/heritage-tourism-it-all-probably-began-with-cleopatra/#1dcf208a5efb. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2017/04/21/preserving-our-open-skies-policy-is-now-more-important-than-ever/#3c9f2ad9d142. Missing or empty
- Fuller, Ed. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/edfuller/2017/05/16/international-visitors-good-for-our-trade-balance-and-great-for-american-jobs/#30df2c6f74b2. Missing or empty
- "Edwin D. Fuller". Forbes. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- "Marriott International Announces Leadership Positions for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa". Marriott International. August 12, 2010. Archived from the original on January 20, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "San Francisco Press Releases".
- "Press Releases".
- "BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR - Hospitality: Ed Fuller". Orange Country Business Journal. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "Game Changers: O.C. Led Way Out of Recession". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center" (PDF). Hotel Investment Forum India. December 15, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "2008 China Hotel Investment Summit". China Hotel Investment Conference. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- "Marriott's Ed Fuller Warns WTM Delegates". Hospitality Net. October 22, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2010.