After stepping off the field for good, NFL superstar and Heisman Trophy winner, Herschel Walker, founded Renaissance Man Food Services in 1999. Fifteen years later, his company, now a Marriott business partner, was honored with the Marriott International Diversity & Inclusion Award in 2014 for outstanding customer service.
Commitment to service isn’t a value that Renaissance Man just shares with Marriott. It’s a direct reflection of Walker’s upbringing and personal beliefs.
“I was inspired by my parents,” says Walker. “They always told me, ‘you’ve got to give back.’ And I’ve been fortunate to have coaches in my life like Tom Landry, who told me if you take something out of a society, you have to put something back in.”
Walker and his Renaissance Man team make it a priority to serve causes that matter to them personally, including Toys 4 Tots and the Wounded Warrior Project. Their commitment to professional service is no less significant.
“Sometimes people just want to sit and ask for things, instead of work for things,” says Walker. “I want us out serving big companies. Once they give us a chance, we’ve got to be as competitive as anyone else.
“Working with Marriott gives us clout. With Marriott, I tell my team that we have to be better than other companies. We’ve grown every year, and that’s what’s important. If we’d stayed the same, we wouldn’t accomplish anything.”
Walker knows that Renaissance Man’s focus on customer service is a differentiator, with a sense of urgency that isn’t always present in their much larger competitors. And he considers it his mission to spread the word.
“It’s my responsibility to help other companies,” says Walker. “I try to teach them, be a mentor to them. I think that’s what it’s all about. My parents taught me that you have to help others. I don’t care what anyone else does. I care what we do. We are going to help others as much as we can.”