Rosalie Ellis Payne, DBA
Retired Senior Director, Human Resources
Carnival Cruise Lines LLC
As the senior director of Shipboard Human Resources at Carnival Cruise Lines prior to her recent retirement, Rosalie Ellis Payne earned the respect of her colleagues for her leadership skills. The first Black senior director at the company, Ellis Payne led a team charged with expanding human resources to the shipboard side of the business, a side of the business she describes as a totally different environment from others. “Shipboard Human Resources deals with crew members from all over the world who have very different personalities and ideas about how to manage. In particular, the Italian officers like to manage without input from others,” explains Ellis Payne. “Now, they have to collaborate with HR. There are roles and reporting. It’s a challenge, but it’s a good one.”
Ellis Payne was more than up to the challenge, having met and successfully overcome what she considered her biggest challenge to date and a key reference point in her life: completing an advanced degree while raising two small children. “I worked full time and completed my doctorate in business administration while raising my three-month-old and my three-year-old. If you asked me today how I did it, I couldn’t tell you!” she admits. In addition to her DBA from Nova Southeastern University, she holds a master’s degree in the same discipline from St. Thomas University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology from Florida International University.
An adjunct faculty member of Florida Memorial University and a certified Big Brother Big Sister of America member, Ellis Payne stresses that leadership is not only crucial in the workplace, but also at home. With adequate time, money and resources, she would reach every minority household to impress upon parents the absolute importance of training and teaching children in their first eight years of life. “We cannot rely on schools and churches to do our job,” she asserts.