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New Chief Human Resources Officer at CTF
17Mar 2016

New Chief Human Resources Officer at CTF


Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is pleased to announce that Mr. Joelle McCrae, former Human Resources Manager has been promoted to Chief Human Resource Officer. This change means he will report directly to the Managing Director, Mr. Timothy Adam, whereas previously he reported to the Chief Financial Officer, and denotes a more senior position in the Company.

Joelle joined CTF as Food & Beverage Manager in June 2005. In 2008 he was promoted to Manager of Human Resources. Immediately he set out to focus on the development and management of the human resource processes and procedures. His passion is assisting people to achieve their maximum potential while drawing out their ambition so that they become self-motivated in achieving excellence, and in turn show others the way forward.


Immediately Joelle was instrumental in providing CTF crew members with opportunities for training and development in areas such as customer service, through the Department of Tourism’s PRIDE initiative (Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence), aimed at delivering first-class customer service in the tourism industry. He has also made similar courses, facilitated by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, accessible to staff.


Since arriving at CTF Joelle has earned a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management as well as his Professional Human Resources (PHR, Hons) designation from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), and his SHRM-CP (Certified Professional) designation from the Society for Human Resource Management. Both designations require him to maintain his credentials by obtaining annual recertification. Joelle also possesses a Guest Service Management Certificate from Holiday Inn Worldwide. In addition, he received the Cayman Island Hotel and Condominium Association Award in 1995 in recognition for his dedication to the tourism growth of the country, and leadership to the Caymanian People.


Joelle has extensive senior management experience in the tourism sector spanning several decades. His career in the hospitality sector began in 1978 when he was employed as a busboy in the Galleon Beach Hotel as a teenager. Later, he continued working at the hotel in the evenings and at weekends whilst pursuing a day-time job as a trainee insurance underwriter and studying part-time at the ICCI. A lucky break came when Mr. McCrae made friends with a family from Oregon who he met at the hotel. They invited him to come and study in Oregon, and provided him with financial assistance in pursuing his studies. He has never forgotten the experience, he says, and it is one of the reasons he is always reaching out to encourage others to achieve their full potential.


Talking about those early days and describing himself as a “People Person,” Joelle said, “I have a passion for making people happy, so it was only natural that I was drawn towards a career in the hospitality industry, following in my mother and grandmother’s footsteps. My mother raised seven kids and I saw the hardships that she went through, so from an early age I nurtured a strong belief that I had to do well; I wanted to accomplish something and I was determined to make a difference.”


Joelle’s story is one of sharing his path to success with others, so that his real joy is finding success in seeing others succeed: “Nothing gives me more satisfaction than when I experience one of our young Caymanians taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to them. But you’ve got to let them make mistakes. You can’t always hold their hand. However, it is extremely important to provide much needed guidance and allow them to express their wishes and desires, while continuing to point them in the right direction.”


Joelle has been very successful in recruiting Caymanians into the tourism industry, so much so that 95 percent of the employees at CTF are Caymanian, and there are only three people on work permits.


A natural leader who delights in nurturing positive qualities in others, Joelle has been an elder at the Safe Harbour Lutheran Church for the last five years. He is also an active member of the CTF Football team, and is a certified CONCACAF License D football coach. When asked about his accomplishments as a football player, he just smiled and said, “It’s a long story; that requires a separate discussion.” CTF Managing Director, Mr. Timothy Adam said: “The promotion, change of structure and change of title of Joelle McCrae is exemplary of what an ambitious and determined young Caymanian can achieve in progressively rising through the ranks in the tourism and hospitality industry, to attain the highest levels of responsibility and accountability and achievement of mission.


“Joelle also exemplifies how building on actual experience from entry level and progressing up the chain of command combined with the attainment of the relevant academic qualifications to the highest standards has enabled him to also achieve recognition as a competent certified professional within his vocation. The fact that he continues to maintain those credentials also bears witness to his dedication to continuous learning not only for the particular institutions’ accreditation but also to ensure he continues to hone his skills and keep abreast of the most up-to-date approaches to managing, leading, and developing our people. “It was particularly heart-warming to have been able to personally witness a moment when the tourism industry within the Cayman Islands recognized him officially as the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Stingray Awards 2015 winner of Allied Manager of the Year.”

Joelle concluded: “I am very appreciative of the support I’ve been given by the Managing Director as well as the Board of Directors during my tenure at CTF. Truly loving what you do, and then being recognized for your contribution and achievements – one cannot ask for better praise.”