Bridget A. Bilinski
Class of ’79 Hotel and Restaurant Management
Regional Vice President, Operations
Marriott International, Western Region
Once receiving her degree, Bridget Bilinski immediately began a long association with Marriott International. Starting as a front desk manager at the LAX Marriott, she climbed the hotel industry ladder until she achieved her present position as regional vice president of Marriott Operations, western region.
“I believe my greatest contribution has been as a role model for women within Marriott,” says Bilinski. “I was the first and only female regional director for a long time, one of the first female fullserve general managers, the first female vice-president in franchising, and I am currently the only female vice-president of operations.” As a student, Bilinski worked as a resident advisor in the residence halls, an experience she credits with enhancing her relationship and leadership skills. Her ability to lead is evidenced by her duties as regional vice-president of operations—she is responsible for the operational success of 65 Marriott full-service hotels. Bilinski’s work ethic is definitely appreciated: she has been presented with the Motorola Award of Excellence for the Scottsdale Marriott Suites and has been named Regional Director of the Year for Courtyard and Fairfield Inn (1996).
“Much of my success I attribute to Cal Poly Pomona’s learning journey, which requires the translation of classroom learning into a ‘real world’ work experience,” says Bilinski. “Infusing new learning into my ‘real job’ has stayed with me all these years and is a distinctive element of my leadership style.”
Bilinski keeps connected to Cal Poly Pomona peers and educators by attending The Collins School fund-raising efforts such as Harvest Auction, which she has attended for the past seven years. As a corporate leader for Marriott, she continues her achievement away from the job, actively participating in the Spirit to Serve campaign, which supports a volunteer program where participants work in soup kitchens and assist with inner city programs. Bilinski is designing a regional version of the corporate program.