Carrie Kimbell has been shattering boundaries since she was a teenager.
As a freshman in high school, Kimbell became the only female allowed to play on the boy’s golf team. She followed that up by walking on to the women’s golf team as a freshman at Purdue University. Her career has taken twists and turns since her college days, but at the center of it all is the drive and discipline learned on the green.
Teeing Up for Success
Kimbell has been golfing since her fifth birthday, when she received a wooden golf club as a gift and joined her parents at the local driving range.
After earning her degree in management from Purdue, she spent the next 15 years working in sales, marketing, and shop management positions at prestigious golf clubs in both Chicago and Arizona.
When the mom of two relocated to San Antonio, she took a different path, working for tech companies, including Rackspace, but her heart was still in the game.
So, when she learned that the CEO position was open at First Tee – Greater San Antonio, she knew she had to take a swing at it.
“I immediately knew this is where I was meant to be,” she says. “It combines my experience in both golf and marketing and allows me to connect with the community and share my love of a game that has given me so much.”
Focus on The Long Game
First Tee-Greater San Antonio, is a nonprofit designed to give children ages 5 through 18 the best shot at life by using the game of golf to instill valuable lessons. Now in its 22nd year, it serves more than 1,600 children annually and continues to grow.
“We are building character in these kids,” says Kimbell. “Golf is just the vehicle we use to do it.”
Kimbell, who oversees all of the site and operations management, is currently focused on the organization’s marketing and fundraising efforts as it tries to rebuild after COVID. Part of that, says Kimbell, is simply sharing with the community about the values that First Tee works to impart through the game.
“The core values are so important because they translate both on and off the course,” says Kimbell. “You must have honesty and integrity to call your own shots, and you must have the mental fortitude to bounce back when things don’t go the way you planned.”
Determined to spread these values to as many children as possible, Kimbell is committed to making the program accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic status. No child is ever turned away due to an inability to pay.
It’s a lot of work, but for Kimbell, it’s her dream job.
“It’s a blessing to be able to do what I love, but more importantly to do something that has a positive impact on the youth in our community,” she says. “This foundation was set to be sustainable over the past 20 years, and I am excited to build upon that and watch it grow.”
First Tee is hosting camps throughout the summer. Limited space remains in sessions beginning July 25, Aug. 1 and Aug. 8. Find out more here.