Carroll Challenges GAC Attendees to be a “Katalyst”

A red rubber ball changed his own life forever

February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022
Washington, DC

Author, Speaker, and “Instigator for Inspiration” Kevin Carroll began his keynote speech at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2022 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) with a story about a red rubber ball that he credits with “saving his life.”  

Carroll was six years old when his mother left him and his two brothers alone in a trailer in Bowling Green, Virginia, for nearly a week. Once reunited with his grandparents in Philadelphia, this life-saving incident occurred on a nearby playground. Carroll started playing with a rubber ball which helped him release his pent-up frustrations. Another boy heard him playing and invited Carroll to join him and his friends. At that point, Carroll said he finally felt a sense of belonging. 

“I recognized how important that is and the power of that,” said Carroll. 

Carroll reassured attendees, as a credit union member himself, that credit unions have the “power” to turn ideas into reality. First Tech Credit Union helped him build his business, and then forgave both of his PPP loans. He emphasized their actions were “transformational, not transactional.” 

With his credit union loans and continuous support, he was able to self-publish a book and build a business. This helped him ultimately land a job with Nike as a “Katalyst,” a role that was specially created for Carroll.  

“Be a lifelong learner, update yourself and stay motivated,” said Carroll. “No dream is microwaveable.”   




About CUNA:           
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 120 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit To find your nearest credit union, visit

Lauren Williams        
CUNA Communications