Tom Carroll, a 35-plus-year industry veteran, passed away in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on September 17. He was 61.

One of Carroll’s first jobs in the promotional products industry was packing pencils in Shelbyville, Tennessee. He later held a variety of sales, marketing and executive positions with several supplier companies. His interest in new technologies led him to guide suppliers in web and social media marketing, along with more traditional methodologies. He also founded the first industry-exclusive job board,, and grew into a premier consultant to many industry firms. In his later years, Carroll’s commitment to the industry led him into the advertising agency sector.

Carroll was known for sharing his knowledge and skills, and mentoring many promotional products professionals, young and old. Scott Lange, of Lange Marketing, says, “Tom was quick to extend a warm handshake and hug just before asking ‘how you doing?’—Tom remembered your kids’ names, hometowns and small details about everyone he ever met, and he genuinely cared about his friends in the industry, all of whom will greatly miss his forward thinking, authentic enthusiasm and laughter.”

Mary Kilburn of DinoMar adds, “Tom always brought new perspectives and detailed analysis to projects or opportunities. And he always kept us on track with best practices and the latest technologies. That twinkle in his eye was a signal that he had something exciting to share, and he used his wry humor to cajole rather than correct any missteps we may have been taking. Even through his struggles in these past few months, his drive kept the rest of us on our game. We will truly miss our long-distance cocktails, think tanks and, most importantly, the love and care of a true friend.”

Carroll is survived by his daughter Delaney, parents Bennie J. and Monika Margarethe Carroll, and brother Chris Carroll, along with countless friends and admirers.

In Carroll’s memory, memorials may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Northeast Indiana. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. To sign the online guestbook, click here.