A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty


Lisa Repper, Age 39

Senior Engineering Project Team Leader, Enterprise Electrification Coordination, Caterpillar

Lisa Repper

“Lisa … works fulltime at Caterpillar in an emerging technology area where she often is the only woman in a meeting,” said her nominator. “Her job requires her to push governance and oversight on an enterprise level and achieve collaboration and cohesiveness across verticals.

“Lisa was a black belt/project facilitator and staff engineer for several years at Caterpillar, which regularly required planning and flexibility for various activities on a global level. She transitioned over 14 projects that resulted in $80 million in savings while coordinating her division’s $11 million budget. She received a Mountain Mover award for executing a quickly requested project that required strategic planning within a seven-day window. Additionally, as she continually tries to improve her capabilities as an employee, she recently completed the GIES iMBA program through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”

Outside work, Repper volunteers at her children’s school and supports the PTO there. She also has coached soccer, baseball and softball for her son and daughter. In 2019, she led the mentor program between the Women in Networking Central Illinois (WIN) chapter at Caterpillar and the Dream Center in Peoria, and then their new collaboration with Girls Light Our Way (GLOW).


Childhood ambition: “I have always loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up.”

Advice to 20-year-old self: “Take some time. You do not need to start working the day after you graduate. It also is possible to have a family and a career.

Unknown to colleagues: “I played golf for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and I was prom queen my senior year of high school.”

Biggest challenge: “Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4 has been my biggest challenge in life. It is constant management and the only disease that, as the patient, I am making 180 extra health-related decisions a day, including dosing decisions 24/7/365 that could potentially kill me.”

Motivating social issues: “Health care, civil rights and human rights. Allow everyone access to affordable, quality health care and do not impose restrictions on general rights due to differing religious beliefs.”

Book recommendation: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.”

Peoria needs: “Trader Joe’s!”