A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

Lacey Jaye Dilbeck | 37

Material planning analyst, Caterpillar; Illinois Air National Guard former active-duty U.S. Air Force

Lacey Dilbeck

In her work for Caterpillar, Lacey Jaye Dilbeck is responsible for the procuring and planning of all undercarriage components at the company’s facility in East Peoria and elsewhere, accounting for 20 million monthly sales. In her short time at Caterpillar, she has moved quickly into front-line leadership roles including the training of other team members and the development of best practices benchmarks that have improved efficiency and team safety, maintaining a zero recordable injury record. 

Prior to joining Caterpillar, Lacey was a decorated active-duty member of the United States Air Force and the Illinois Air National Guard for more than 18 years, working as an instructor and supervisor in the development of combat-ready aviators – C-130 aircraft — and obtaining the rank of master sergeant. Her service includes a flying career with over 3,000 flight hours and 400 instructional hours. For many years, she was the only female loadmaster. While on active duty, she acted as the Operations Group Unit Deployment Manager, maintaining combat readiness for some 160 personnel within the 182nd Operations Group. Lacey also exhibited her leadership skills. to plan, execute and deploy Operation Swift Response 2017. 

Lacey still serves her country as a senior non-commissioned officer in the Illinois Air National Guard. 

Meanwhile, she’s been active in the community, coordinating the United Way campaign within Caterpillar, serving as the only female mentor for Peoria’s Real Steel youth mentorship program, and participating in mentorships within Caterpillar’s Employee Resource Groups. Lacey also volunteers in military support organizations such as Team Red, White and Blue, Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve, and Hire Heroes USA. Through these organizations, Lacey provides mentorship to veterans in search of employment. Lacey also is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and coaches her daughter’s youth league softball team.

Lacey is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration degree at Western Illinois University. She is the mother of 9-year-old twins. 

Guidance to 20-year-old self: “Enjoy and participate in the present. Give yourself grace and take every failure as a learning experience. Every action does not need a reaction. Control what you can control and let the rest go.”

An unknown fact about you: “I’ve stepped on all seven continents.”

Bucket list: “To own a home on the beach where I can walk every day and wake up to the ocean crashing.” 

Best advice: “You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that order … Look at the other side of the story before making a decision.”