American Marketer


Ritz-Carlton bolsters corporate social responsibility through America’s Promise Alliance partnership

December 7, 2011


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. is partnering with America’s Promise Alliance to help decrease high school drop-out rates through a number of sponsored events next year.

Ritz-Carlton locations across the United States will be donating space and resources to support America’s Promise and to help bring together influential leaders in the business, nonprofit and philanthropy industries. These meetings will be part of a larger goal to support the America’s Promise Grad Nation Program through increasing awareness and gaining local support.

“Engage, contribute, inspire -- these are the guiding principles of our social responsibility program,” said Sue Stephenson, vice president of Community Footprints at Ritz-Carlton, Chevy Chase, MD.

“From tackling poverty and supporting children to simply making the environment a better place, we strive to make a difference,” she said.

The America's Promise Alliance is a network of national and local businesses and organizations that work together to help improve the lives of children.

Grad Nation was started by America's Promise in 2010 and is dedicated to decreasing the rate of high school drop-outs across the U.S.

Community Footprints is Ritz-Carlton's localized corporate social responsibility program that works to ensure that all Ritz-Carlton properties are beneficial to their local communities.

Able hosts
Ritz-Carlton will be co-hosting key events with America’s Alliance in 2012 to further the reach of the Grad Nation Program and gain support from local and national influential leaders.

The hotelier will host the Powell Leadership Circle meetings, in which a premier group of foundation, corporate and individual philanthropists who have donated more than $1 million each year to America’s Promise will meet and discuss the Grad Nation program.

Additionally, Ritz-Carlton will host Grad Nation Business Collaborative meetings across the country.

These meetings are important in bringing together local, regional and national business leaders to support youth, schools and local communities.

Ritz-Carlton will also be hosting three annual meetings for the America’s Promise Alliance board of directors.

For these meetings, the hotelier will donate all of the meeting space in one of its locations and provide catering and logistical support.

"It’s important for a global company like Ritz-Carlton to engage and support the greater good on a national level, not only because they have the capacity to do so, but also because this particular CSR initiative affects their operational efforts by helping to educate the next generation of hospitality talent," said Melanie Brandman, founder/CEO of The Travel Curator, New York.

Ritz-Carlton has been committed to improving the lives of young people in the U.S. for quite some time now.

Through a different partnership with America’s Promise, the hotel company has been working to engage young people in the community surrounding its properties through the Succeed Through Service project.

As part of this program, hotel employees engage with local students through various career exploration modules where students can enter the hotel and see how the organization works from a management standpoint.

These programs are meant to prove as examples to the students of the importance of continuing education and teach them social skills and business etiquette.

The Ritz-Carlton's Succeed Through Service video

The students involved in the Ritz-Carlton Succeed Through Service program are also required to take part in the hotel’s Community Footprints project so that they learn the importance of community involvement and philanthropy.

"It is essential to the success of this business that hotels play an active role in the communities in which they serve," Ms. Brandman said.

"Ritz-Carlton has the space, the logistical resources and corporate and consumer alliances necessary to help offset the costs of this nonprofit’s efforts," she said.

Indeed, the company’s commitment to community involvement can be seen at any of Ritz-Carlton’s global properties.

For example, The Ritz-Carlton Singapore dedicated its annual tree lighting dinner and festivities to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Last week, the hotel invited 30 local children suffering from cancer and their families to join in the festivities. Also, Ritz-Carlton was able to grant a few of the children’s wishes in person that night.

“Our Community Footprints commitment engages our ladies and gentlemen and enables us to be positive community partners,” Ms. Stephenson said.

“At Ritz-Carlton, we are proud of the contribution Succeed Through Service is making to Grad Nation and look forward to hosting a series of events next year for America’s Promise Alliance to bring together local and national business, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to align support for the Grad Nation campaign,” she said.

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York