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Join the Portland Business Journal on Thursday May 30, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00
p.m., for Kevin Carroll's new traveling art exhibit, The Art of Sport + Play.
Updated 8 months ago
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Kevin Carroll

Best-selling Author, Expert on Creativity and Innovation, Agent for Social Change

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The Open Road: Kevin Carroll
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Bio


Kevin Carroll is the founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC and the author of three highly successful books, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, What's Your Red Rubber Ball?! and The Red Rubber Ball at Work, published by ESPN, Disney Press and McGraw-Hill. As an author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Carroll's "job" to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals—from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren—to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

With his consulting endeavors, Carroll has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as the National Hockey League, ESPN, Nike, Starbucks (his words appeared on 17 million Grande cups), The National Basketball Association, Walt Disney Company, Mattel, Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, Discovery Channel, Capital One and many others.

Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Carroll spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his calling: a red rubber ball. His subsequent pursuit of play and his "red rubber ball" took him overseas with the Air Force, where he served as a language interpreter and translator, gaining fluency in Croatian, Czech, Serbian and German.

After serving in the Air Force for ten years and earning his college degree, Carroll became an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels in Philadelphia. His expertise in sport performance recognized by the 76ers organization and led to his job as the head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1995. While at the 76ers, Nike tapped Carroll to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant in 1997. Although no job "officially" existed at the time, Carroll was directed to create a position at the company that would add value to the overall mission of the brand. Carroll accepted the challenge and stayed for seven years as "Katalyst" (the 'K' is for Kevin)—a creative change agent. At Nike he was instrumental in helping the company develop a deeper understanding of athletic product performance, team dynamics and interpersonal communication. Carroll left Nike in 2004 to create his own company, Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC, committed to elevating the power of sport and play around the world.

Carroll has dedicated his life to advancing sports and play as a vehicle for social change and success. He partners with non-governmental organizations and businesses around the world that share his vision and goals. He was honored to address the United Nations as part of the UN Year of Sports for Development and Peace in 2005. He has been an advisor for Beyond Sport, a global gathering of social innovation leaders and sports organizations, from 2009-2012(Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the Patron of Beyond Sport). In 2013, Kevin was named by SUCCESS magazine as one of 19 “SEERS – changing the world!”

Carroll holds a MS in Health Education from St. Joseph's University, a BA in Speech Communication with a minor in Physical Education from Angelo State University and an Associates Degree in Interpreting and Translating from the Community College of the Air Force. Carroll is a frequent visiting lecturer across the United States.

Speech Topics


Play@Work: Unleashing Growth through Creativity and Innovation

As children our days were filled with productive play. What was entertaining was also instructive. Games of tag were exercises in planning, teamwork, strategy, design, decision-making, creativity, interpersonal communication and risk-taking. Play was serious business in our youth—and it should be even more serious business in our professional lives if we hope to unleash the creative genius that spurs organizational growth. By cleverly drawing from childhood lessons, Kevin Carroll reveals the relevance of play and how we must continue to tap into those lessons for our future success. An innovator who passionately inspires leaders to create sustainable change in their own organizations, Carroll raises a variety of questions during the session including:

  • Are you continuing to strengthen the creative genius of your organization?

  • Do you have the necessary passion and creative endurance to deliver consistent and amazing insight and business ingenuity?

  • Why should an organization’s business culture embrace the power of play even more so in the 21st century?

  • How can a business culture that incorporates “purposeful play” impact leadership, employee quality of life, retention and attract new talent?

Books


41yqxt3ye6l._sl75_ What's Your Red Rubber Ball?!
ISBN: 9781933060569

Photos


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