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“If I’m going to spend time doing something, I want to get the best out of it,“ says Frank Carroll. It’s an attitude that’s brought big success in a relatively small amount of time.

The word “passion” appears often in Frank Carroll’s vocabulary. “I have a real strong passion for anything I get into,” he confirms. “When I get into something, I get into it deep.”

Frank Carroll

Passion for his career fueled Carroll’s quick rise from a salesman with Skil Power Tools to, at only 39 years old, the current president of Dremel, part of the Robert Bosch Tool Corp. Passion for his family (complete with four kids and, as of this writing, one on the way) has kept his demanding career responsibilities from overshadowing his role as father and husband. And his more recent passion for SkillsUSA has helped shape him into an invaluable partner and industry champion for career and technical education.

In 1999, Carroll was invited to join SkillsUSA by Paul Pentz, retired president and co-CEO of True Value Hardware Stores. As Carroll’s knowledge of SkillsUSA grew, so did his excitement.

“As a company,” he remembers, “we said, ‘Wow, this is a great vehicle for us to market to and to understand the users from an early stage and talk to educators as to how they’re training their students.’ ”

True to his nature, once Carroll’s interest was piqued, he dove into the deep end, becoming a member and then the chairman of the Youth Development Foundation (the fund-raising arm of SkillsUSA) and eventually president of the national board of directors.

During that time, Carroll’s energy and selfless creativity helped cultivate many new partnerships and networks for the organization. He’s also directed the continuing commitment that Bosch makes to SkillsUSA’s annual conference, which includes sponsorship of the Opening Ceremony for four straight years.

Why has Carroll added a large helping of SkillsUSA to his already full plate? It all comes back to that word again: passion.

“The leadership skills, the soft skills that these kids acquire are really something,” he says. “As adults, sometimes when you see a group of five or 10 kids in your neighborhood, your first thought is that they’re up to trouble. But when you see a bunch of students in those red coats, you’re inspired — inspired that America is in good hands coming forward.”

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Carroll often says SkillsUSA is “all about the students,” but he admits to having what he calls an “a-ha” moment during his time as board president. “I really realized that the core of SkillsUSA is the state directors and the administrators,” he says. “If you can keep them dedicated and driven, you get this ongoing life of SkillsUSA with an incredible passion that goes so deep you can see it in their eyes. And that’s the magic.” End of story

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SkillsUSA Champions | Fall 2004 | Volume 39, No. 1
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