Remembrance of a KM Leader, Carl Frappaolo

Our KM community was richer for the wisdom, generosity, and kindness of Carl Frappaolo. I only wish we could enjoy the humor and enthusiasm of his presentations just more time.  This commentary from one of our members says it all:

We of the Greater Boston KM Republic have lost a great presence and champion of consensus-based leadership, honest doubt, open questioning, and gentle humor. I can think of no one who was more invested in those aspects of our community than Carl. His inquisitive nature was not only playfully inspired but also articulate in the way he unpacked an issue. His courage resided in an ability to chart a course, change direction, and continue forward without losing focus or nerve once new thinking was required. He would contribute with the critical back-fill others needed to fully participate without digressing into the weeds. He was at peace as chief proponent or devil’s advocate in the vision of a keynote or in the details of a deployment.

I reached out to him two weeks ago today for counsel on a proof of concept that we’ll soon be hosting at Avid. Carl mentioned how a certain search media giant with a market-beating search appliance did a presentation on the virtues of enterprise search and Carl said it felt like an out-of-body experience. Basically they were pitching Carl the project leader with material that Carl the analyst had put together years ago in his past consulting life. The story illustrates the way Carl’s analysis was of a form that followed function, a conceptual thinker whose insights and recommendations stood up to the knocks and bumps of their implementation. The soundness of his visions informed the practicality of working day-to-day in this profession of our choosing.

I thank Carl for that and so much more along our daily path. – Marc Solomon, Avid Technology, Inc.

Please add your voices in the comment section if you have special memories of Carl.

… and from Dan Keldsen, a professional colleague, business partner at Information Architected, and friend:

Marc - wonderfully well put…

Carl was a hell of a friend, mentor, partner, collaborator and just incredible human being. He’ll be sorely missed.

Carl passed away on Sunday March 17. His life will be celebrated on Thursday March 21 at 2:00pm at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church 28 Commonwealth Av. Chestnut Hill, Ma. 02467 All welcome.

Thank you Marc and Dan. — Kindly, Lynda Moulton

5 Responses to “Remembrance of a KM Leader, Carl Frappaolo”


  1. 1 Mike Gilronan

    I have always been impressed by Carl’s unique combination of vast knowledge and genuine warmth. His “cheerful skepticism” about KM solutions made him a phenomenal resource, and he was unrelentingly generous with his time and ideas.

    The news is shocking and sad, and we’ll miss our colleague and friend in the KM community. We’ve lost a titan.

  2. 2 Mary Adams

    I first met Carl at Delphi when I was just starting my consulting business back in 2001.

    Every time I saw him over the following years, he taught me something (without seeming to) through his thoughtful questions. And he invariably made me smile because he was smiling too.

  3. 3 David Sullivan

    When I moved to Boston to start my new KM job, Carl was one of the first people I met in the industry. Despite having just met me, he patiently and promptly replied to all my emails and answered all of my questions. He even hosted me at his workplace to show me what he had been doing. You really couldn’t ask for a warmer reception to the KM community.

    As this example illustrates, he was one of the good guys. He will be sorely missed.

  4. 4 lynda
  5. 5 Glynys Thomas

    I met Carl 6-7 years ago at a Boston KM Forum meeting and at many subsequent KM events ans conferences. When he was at Information Architected I tried to hire him but the budget disappeared. When he went to FSG he lost no time arranging lunch with me to pick my brains and to suggest we conspire to host a regular KM lunch for solo KMers like us for networking and support. Carl had a way of gathering people around him and mentoring everybody. I will treasure my pocket copy of his book on KM and the “Good luck” he wrote inside. I’ve needed it and will need it more without him. KM has a way of splitting into two camps - the people camp and the technology camp. Carl sat comfortably between the two and drew them closer together. One of life’s great joys is to be loved for who you are, and another is to reach the top of your field and command the respect earned at that spot. Carl achieved both and never let on. Thanks for everything Carl. Thanks very much.

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