Carolyn received an ATD Excellence in Practice Award for Organizational Learning & Development in 2015 for improving individual learning throughout the organization.

Carolyn has been married for 29 years to her high school sweetheart Jo’el.  They have three beautiful young adults; Gabi, Dani and Jo’el Junior.  Carolyn has a unique background as she auditioned for Survivor for four years before she was selected as a contestant.  She appeared on Survivor Season 30 Worlds Apart.  She was tireless in her ambition and motivation which was ultimately recognized when she finished as runner up.  Carolyn thrived as a contestant on Survivor- she loved the entire experience and all the challenges that came with it.  She is accustomed to pushing beyond her personal limits.  She is a life long learner who is always looking to use her everyday experiences to continue to grow as an individual.  She has completed 2 Tough Mudder races, 1 half marathon and for thrills has gone skydiving. 

Carolyn’s friends will also confirm her love for Karaoke with her go to song being “I Will Survive”.  She loves to play softball & volleyball and listen to pop music.  Her motto in life is “You are who you think you are” and “Visualize Tomorrow, Focus Today!”

About Carolyn

Carolyn's Career

Professional Awards

Carolyn J Rivera is a motivational, speaker, author, leadership expert/coach, and reality television star.  Carolyn auditioned for Survivor for four years before she was selected as a candidate. She was tireless in her ambition and motivation, which was ultimately recognized when she finished as runner up. Carolyn thrived as a contestant on Survivor.  She speaks about her journey and what it takes to make a difference every day.  Her personal areas of expertise include leadership development, learning and development, talent management, performance management, operations and linking performance to business results.  Her responsibilities have included creating and executing strategic business plans, implementing a performance based culture, and achieving business results through change management practices.  Throughout her corporate career, Carolyn's focus has been developing leaders.  Leadership is a passion for Carolyn and she has used her talent to help organizations achieve results far beyond their initial expectations.   Carolyn's results tell her story:

  • Responsible for the second largest university in the US, implemented a successful culture shift and change initiative that propelled business results
  • ​ Implemented a Measurement Strategy that linked training to employee performance
  • Achieved highest level of employee satisfaction among organizational leaders


​Carolyn has had both front-line experience as well as partnership experience which has given her a well-rounded background to succeed in any environment.  More than 25 years of her career was spent in Learning & Development.  Linking learning plans to business needs and building leadership bench strength in each and every company. 

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