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improve it! Podcast – Professional Development Through Play, Improv & Experiential Learning

Jun 17, 2020

“The rule of thumb is you don’t have to not approach, and you don’t have to not say anything. I think you just have to think about being empathetic and how would you want to be approached in such a situation. We need to be our best selves in trying times like these.”  - Kelly Fair

On today’s failed it! episode, host Erin Diehl has an impactful conversation with a dear friend, Kelly Fair, founder of Polished Pebbles - a mentoring program that has helped 3,000+ girls find their voices, improve their communication skills, and build their skills for future careers. Listen in to educate yourself on how to be a better ally to the Black Community and how to take action.

Welcome to failed it!

Links from show discussions:


Kelly Fair is the Founder of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program. Founded ten years ago, Polished Pebbles has helped more than 3,000 girls in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas find their voice, improve their communication skills, and build their skills for future careers.

Kelly is a sought-after speaker for mentoring, communication skills, girls’ development and job readiness, professional leadership development, and social entrepreneurship. She’s a dynamic storyteller, communications expert, and relatable voice with the keen ability to penetrate the hearts of women with her honesty and expertise. Through her authentic conversational speaking style, she connects across socioeconomic statuses, intergenerationally, and cross-culturally—making her a phenomenal speaker or training facilitator in a conference setting.

Her ability to “polish pebbles”, helping young women and girls shine, has brought her recognition from Bank of America, ComEd, Verizon, Google, Duke University, Du Sable Museum of African American History, Social Enterprise Alliance, and more.

Since launching Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, Kelly’s signature communications and job readiness programming has expanded from elementary age girls to include high school, college programs, families, prominent women leaders, and to sites in Northwest Indiana, Dallas, Texas, and North Carolina.

Kelly has been featured in Ebony magazine, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Woman magazine.

You can learn more about Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program here.

Erin Diehl is the founder and Chief “Yes, And” officer of improve it! and host of the failed it! Podcast. She’s a performer, facilitator and professional risk-taker who lives by the mantra, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Through a series of unrelated dares, Erin has created improve it!, a unique professional development company that pushes others to laugh, learn and grow. Her work with clients such as United Airlines, PepsiCo, Groupon, Deloitte, Motorola, Walgreens, and The Obama Foundation earned her the 2014 Chicago RedEye Big Idea Award and has nominated her for the 2015-2019 Chicago Innovations Award.

This graduate from Clemson University is a former experiential marketing and recruiting professional as well as a veteran improviser from the top improvisational training programs in Chicago, including The Second City, i.O. Theater, and The Annoyance Theatre.

When she is not playing pretend or facilitating, she enjoys running by the lake and patio dinners with her husband and son, and their eight pound toy poodle, BIGG Diehl.

You can follow the failed it! Podcast on Instagram and facebook, and you can follow Erin here on Instagram. We can’t wait to connect with you online!