BPC welcomes Shirley Ellis as new HR director
By Kelley M. Arnold
Interim Director of Marketing
MOUNT VERNON— Brewton-Parker College recently welcomed Shirley Ellis of Hazlehurst as the college’s new director of payroll and human resources. Ellis is beginning her seventh week of employment at BPC, and already she feels that “this is where I’m supposed to be,” said Ellis.
Ellis’ enthusiasm for her new position stems from several factors, first of them being her support for her alma mater. Ellis earned a bachelor of business administration in management from BPC in 1996 while she was working full-time and raised a family with her husband, Jeff. She has two girls, and now, three grandchildren.
“I attended classes at night, earning my core (classes) at the learning centers in Baxley and attending some classes in Hazlehurst when (BPC) offered classes there,” said Ellis. “I finished my last two years on campus.
Ellis was employed at Alco Controls until it closed in 2002, taking its company and jobs to Mexico.
Another reason she’s so awed about her new position is that it was top on her list of yearly resolutions – really.
“I never would have dreamed I would be here (at my alma mater),” said Ellis. “I believe the Lord has a hand in this.”
She explains she had been looking for a position in other areas of HR and had been on a number of interviews but none of them stuck.
“I was looking for jobs for a client, and I came across this job on the website. It was one of those things that you knew immediately it was just meant for you,” she said.
At the time she applied to the college, Ellis was employed as a Department of Labor Services Specialist. She helped job-seeking clients with their unemployment claims, provided training in resume writing and interview etiquette and offered career workshops, something she would like to assist with on campus for BPC’s seniors nearing graduation and preparing for the workforce.
“I would love to do training,” said Ellis. “There are many aspects and specializations in HR, and I’m a generalist. I wear all the hats, including the training and development hat. Helping with career development is very much like being a school counselor.”
“I’m a visionary,” she added. “I like to look at ways to make things better. I try not to have tunnel vision. When you are a professional in a small town, you tend to be on a lot of committees and work in the community. I like to be part of the community.”
Ellis served on the Jeff Davis School Board for one four-year term in the late nineties and was a member of the Altamaha Technical College Board for 10 years. She is married to Jeffrey Ellis, owner and operator of Precision Paint and Body Center in Hazlehurst. Her parents are Alma Cain and the late Eugene Cain of Hazlehurst.
“My mom is 87 and she now lives with us,” said Ellis. “She has always been a big supporter of mine. When career opportunities in the past didn’t work out, she would always say ‘God has bigger and better things for you’ and normally she’s always right – and has been.”
Ellis’ daughters Kim and Kelly have remained in the area as well. Kim is married to Heath Sellers of Baxley, and they have twin 15-year-olds, Guner and Ryane. Kelly is married to Chris Williams of Hazlehurst, and they have a daughter, Emma.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four year Christian college in south Georgia. Affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, BPC offers bachelor and associate degree programs at its main campus in Mount Vernon and an external location in Newnan.