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Husband and wife duo share importance of putting family first, working hard with integrity

Steve and Marla Lundgren speak at the Heber J. Grant Building on May 30.

Success comes in different forms, but the love for families, dedication and hard work are vital components to achieving one’s goals, shared Hospitality and Tourism Management Faculty Steve and Marla Lundgren.

The couple spoke at the Heber J. Grant Building on May 30 for an event hosted by BYU Management Society at BYU–Hawaii. The event was called “My Leadership Story.”

Marla, an internship coordinator, shared she felt society deemed her successful due to her titles and degrees of education. However, she said this was not the standard by which she judged her life and success.

According to Marla, being able to raise children who dedicate their time to living good lives and giving back to those around them is the greatest work one can do in this life.

Looking past the perfect Instagram family pictures, Marla said her family is not exempt from trials and challenges. She shared some of her family members struggle with mental illness and addiction.

“Despite the challenges we have, we know when we involve the Lord in our lives and in our homes that we can overcome [those challenges]… and find happiness.”

As a form of advice to attendees on how to raise a family, she gave four of her secrets to success.

1.    Make family first.

2.    Dare to be different.

3.    Establish boundaries.

4.    Play together.

“It is important to grow and develop as a family,” said Marla, although other families have different traditions and ways they accomplish things in their homes.

“It's important that with your spouse, you establish what your goal will be as a family and what your standards will be as well.”

Janlavtsogzol Battulga, a senior from Mongolia studying accounting, said as a mother, it is hard for her and her husband to manage time, so she was thankful to hear that “being a father and mother is the most important duty in the world we have accomplished.”

She explained, “I learned that everyone has struggles and challenges, but if we trust and have faith in the Lord, then he will allow us to accomplish our goals.”

Following Marla’s talk, her husband, Steve, an adjunct instructor in HTM, discussed his journey of how he became an instructor at BYUH.

He explained he joined the United States Army to fund his schooling and after more than four years of service, he found himself working for Marriott Hotels.

Steve was part of the founding team who organized and developed Marriott’s Courtyard brand, and he said it was “one of the most exciting things [he] did while [he] was there.”

“No matter where we go or who we talk to, we are always being interviewed,” remarked Steve. He added it is important to treat people kindly and be genuine towards others because you do not know who will open doors for you.

He also emphasized it is essential to “work hard and then harder, know when enough is enough and be ethical and work with integrity.

“The Lord does not need more presidents and CEOs, as much as he needs honorable priesthood holders, fathers and husbands.”

Ephraim Laceste, a junior from the Philippines studying accounting, said the lecture helped him realize how he could improve his life and the lives of the people around him.

He added we needed to “know what is really important to us and to consistently work hard” to achieve our goals.

President of the BYUH Management Society, Jia Jun Liew, a senior from Malaysia studying accounting and finance, said, “When [the students] have their own families, or when they're entering careers, they can take these experiences the mentors who have applied it in their lives so that they can be successful, just like them.”   

Writer: Esther Insigne