If I have yet to introduce you to a friend of mine, I’d like to do so now. To know the “work” (play) of the Katalyst is to know creativity, compassion, energy, and brilliance. To know Kevin – the man – is to know someone extremely extraordinary in all that he is. I have had the pleasure of knowing Kevin for well over 30 years. We were basketball and soccer teammates at Haverford High School in Havertown Pennsylvania where we both had the opportunity to play under legendary coaches Ted Keyser and Steve Juenger; two men who have certainly influenced my life and have undoubtedly influenced Kevin’s. (See my prior post Three Wise Men)
I lived in Ardmore and Kevin in Bryn Mawr so we often car pooled back and forth to practice at the high school. I have some great memories of Kevin the man and Kevin the athlete.
Kevin is one year older than me and when he was a junior, he was cut from the varsity basketball team and sent down to JV (where I was). This could have been a tough blow for some to handle as many of his friends played varsity that year. But I watched Kev closely and I saw how he handled himself with grace and dignity. Kevin became a role model and standout on that JV basketball team. He was a great teammate for me and we related very well on a number of levels.
The next year, as a senior, of course Kevin played varsity ball. I on the other hand found myself in Kevin’s situation from the year before. I too was cut from varsity as a junior and sent down to play JV. But I didn’t even hesitate because Kevin had already paved the road for me. I knew what kind of a leader and athlete I needed to be. Kev set the bar high but I ended up having a fantastic year.
We lost touch for a number of years but I am happy to say that we reconnected full force a couple of years ago and have both been spinning in similar circles. We share a certain NEED to make things a little better. Kev is just one of those good people that you genuinely feel honored to call a good and old friend. Below is Kev’s full bio from his website.
Kevin Carroll is the founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC and the author of three highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press and McGraw-Hill. As an author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Kevin’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, Kevin 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, The Walt Disney Company, Mattel, Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, The Discovery Channel, Capital One, and many others.
Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Kevin 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, Kevin 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 Kevin to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant in 1997. Although no job “officially” existed at the time, Kevin was directed to create a position at the company that would add value to the overall mission of the brand. Kevin 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. Kevin 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.
In May of 2005, a notable moment occurred when Kevin addressed dignitaries from 31 nations at the United Nations about the importance of play in their developing countries. Kevin is also heavily involved with many social entrepreneur organizations that use sports as a catalyst to change lives.
Kevin 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. Kevin is also a frequent visiting adjunct lecturer across the United States.
For more on Kevin, visit www.kevincarrollkatalyst.com