Mr. A.W.D. calling the shots from deck three
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
It’s a good thing when you can hold up an example of an upright, respectable and successful Black business man for impressionable young Black men to emulate and Arnold Wayne Donald is a prime example.
Afforded the opportunity along with Lynette Jones of the Jacksonville Free Press to have a personal interview of Mr. Donald, we got a firsthand look at “the man” who calls the shots for the largest cruise line in the world.
An astute and profound businessman of great acumen, I wanted to highlight attributes that any young Black person would be proud to imitate.
In July 2013, 60-year-old Donald became president and CEO of Carnival Corp. after longtime chief executive Micky Arison stepped down after 34 years.
Mr. Donald, for many years
while a Monsanto executive earned great compliments and rave reviews as well as served on Carnival Corporation’s board for almost a decade.
This brother, Mr. Donald is in charge of a corporation that in the fiscal year 2015, Carnival Corp. is expected to have renues well over $16 billion.
I’m not one to gossip, but according to Equilar Atlas Arnold W. Donald’s annual salary and bonus are $5,332,843, stock and options $3,759,558. Now that’s a pretty healthy dosage of , “I wanna be like A.W.D.” for the individuals who are impressed by salaries.
I thought, hmmm how important it is for young people, especially young Black men to see a brother who came up in a house hold where his father built the original house from wiring to furniture and his mother drugged him back to Catholic school and made the administration take him back after booting him out.
“My father was my role model. He was a man of few words and very hardworking that taught me to respect my mother and my mother was the one who I do believe that I got my ambitious side from” said Arnold.
Arnold understands the importance of family to include others. Arnold and his blood siblings at one time or another had 27 foster sisters and brothers. Arnold’s dad, Warren Donald, was a carpenter. He and his wife, Hilda raised their extended family with sparse money and a whole lot of love.
Arnold was born in New Orleans. His parents never finished high school, yet they were extremely pro-education.
“My oldest sister help me to become a reader. She wanted to be a teacher and I was her first student and I read everything I could get my hands on.”
Arnold, his two sisters and one brother were raised in New Orleans Ninth Ward (recently known for the devastation done by Hurricane Katrina). Their family home still stands today.
Not shielded from tension growing up in the South, Arnold recalls an event that could have turned deadly.
“As a young boy growing up in Louisiana, I remember an incident with my best friend Mitchel. It was a hot summer’s day and we were walking down the street and Mitchel was dragging a stick across the picket fences. When all of a sudden, the windshield in a park car exploded. This guy ran out the house with a gun in his hand shouting and screaming at us, using all kinds of language that I won’t use in this interview.”
Arnold continued, “he pointed the gun at us and made us get into his car. He drove us to my house. He made such a fuss, that my mother came outside. He explained to her what he thought had happen and that was that Mitchel and I broke his car windshield. My mother asked me if I broke the windshield and I told her no, several times. She then ask Mitchel and he said no. She asked one more time, Arnold did you break the window again I said no mama I didn’t. My mother after she was certain that we had not broken this car windshield, she told that gentleman what she would do with that gun and where she would stick it if didn’t leave . Of course the man looked at my mom as if she was crazy, but he left and from that point I have never lied to my mother.”
Because of his parents and teachers at St. Augustine High School, Arnold has achieved a great amount of success which called for some excellent negotiating abilities and a good amount of talents.
“I guess I’ve always been a negotiator. I was able to convince the administrators to allow Mitchel to be enrolled at St. Augustine and I was able to convince Mitchel to come even though they did not have a band, they got one and Mitchel came.
“I guess I’ve always been a negotiator. I was able to convince the administrators to al-low Mitchel to be enrolled at St. Augustine and I was able to convince Mitchel to come even though they did not have a band, they got one and Mitchel came.
It was at St. Augustine that Arnold built upon an already solid foundation. “Every day the teachers would say to the boys, “Gentlemen prepare yourself you’re going to run the world,” said Arnold.
Well I guess this must have registered.
Mr. Donald has never strayed from his upbringing.
He and his wife Hazel of 41 years have raised three children and like his parents, they have adopted a son with special needs.
Arnold adds, “My wife is the one with wings and when the time comes I tell her that I just want to grab ahold and fly on with you.”
He and Hazel have given back to New Orleans in many ways. Through the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, awarded scholarships and have donated funding to build a new wing at St. Augustine, named after his mother and father Warren and Hilda Donald.
There’s no question that Mr.
Donald is a thought-provoking and extraordinary man. He was without question no born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-the-mouth rich kid. Growing up in up in New Orleans and overcoming the trials that many Black people faced in the racist South. He overcame as a student who was kicked out of school at one point, was a successful executive of chemical-giant Monsanto Corporation and owns a SMART home in St. Louis.
Arnold Wayne Donald is a recipient of numerous awards including those that recognize the remarkable accomplishments of Black people who have succeeded against the odds. He is also a proponent of diversity.
With his broad smile and compelling character, Arnold’s comment about diversity was: “I believe that Diversity will out solution a homogenous staff all the time. It’s the right thing to do to maintain success.”
In the words of Mr. Donald, when preparing yourself for the future ask yourself this question, “What does success look like for you and your family five years from now?”
(Parts of the video interview will be posted on our web site www.thewestsidegazette.com on 11-19-15)