A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

LaKeisha Faggett | 38

Service network capability and performance manager, Caterpillar

LaKeisha Faggett
LaKeisha Faggett

In her new position, LaKeisha Faggett is responsible for global service training, technician development and service capability for Perkins Distributors. She also serves as the Caterpillar African American Network (CAAN) regional vice president of Global CAAN, from which she organized Peoria’s first blood drive focused on improving donations for Sickle Cell Awareness. She has been a marketing recruiter for the company with partner schools, and led the first Employee Resource Group at Caterpillar. She launched the company’s first eCommerce campaign with an impressive boost in sales.

LaKeisha is fully engaged in her community professionally and personally. She joined the Junior League of Peoria and has taken on significant leadership roles there including as chair of the Member Training & Development Committee, with a previous stint running the “Kids in the Kitchen” education and food insecurity program. She also is a board member at Peoria’s Neighborhood House Association and works with Impact Central Illinois. 

‘The advice i would give others is to take the risk and get outside of your normal environment.’

Childhood ambition: “A teacher, interior designer, or journalist, all very different paths … In the end, I studied business because of the various career options.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Not to put so much pressure on myself to excel in everything. There are moments when I think back to college and early 20s where I focused a lot on checking a box … I’ve learned the importance of balancing (and) enjoying life and work/school.”

Bucket list number one: “Traveling to Thailand. Since high school, I’ve had a love of Thai food … A close second is visiting anywhere in Africa to connect to African heritage and cultural beauty.”

Best advice ever: “My mom would say to me as a child to ‘remember who you are, where you are…” 

Biggest challenge: I had the opportunity to work and live in Toronto, Canada for a field rep assignment with Caterpillar. It was a huge adjustment relocating to a new city, in a different country … The advice that I would give others is to take the risk and get outside of your normal environment. … I lived in Toronto for four years and it was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Social issues: “Anything around women’s rights and health. This has become so politicized recently, but (I) believe that women are the core to our families, work and communities. By being intentional in finding solutions to help women be well and whole in life, we can lift entire communities.”

 Recommended book: “The Color of Water by James McBride … It’s a great memoir on the triumphs of a mother, woman, wife in protecting and raising her family.”