Distinguished Commerce staffer retires, receives Order of the Palmetto

Robert Marriott awarded highest civilian honor for more than five decades of service

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Commerce today announced that Robert E. “Bob” Marriott, a longtime public servant, is retiring after 53 years of employment with the state. To recognize his contributions to the state of South Carolina, former Governor Nikki Haley has awarded Mr. Marriott the Order of the Palmetto.

The Order of the Palmetto is South Carolina’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. Given solely at the discretion of the Governor, the award was established by former Governor John C. West in 1971.

“For more than 50 years, Bob Marriott has dedicated himself to improving South Carolinians’ quality of life by promoting economic growth and recruiting businesses,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.  “I can find no one more deserving of this prestigious award, and I thank Bob for all he has done to make South Carolina a competitor on a global scale.”

A state employee since 1964, Marriott has worked through the administrations of 10 different governors, first at the S.C. Department of Transportation before moving on to the S.C. Department of Commerce – then known as the State Development Board – in 1968.

During his years as a project manager at S.C. Commerce, Marriott was responsible for recruiting countless significant investments from globally-recognized firms, such as Cummins, Daimler, Michelin, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Otis Elevator and TaylorMade. In total, his projects brought $8 billion in capital investment and approximately 30,000 jobs to South Carolina.