As the marketing support coordinator for Caterpillar Inc.’s Edwards Demonstration & Learning Center, Marianna LaHood is the first face of Caterpillar for customers, dealers and employees who visit this world-class facility. She plans all of the events that take place there and is responsible for scheduling, hosting and ensuring a positive experience for all visitors.
In 2009, LaHood started the Customer Connection Program, which ensures that all customers visiting various facilities had the opportunity to interact with Caterpillar employees, emphasizing the importance of a customer focus and giving customers a venue through which they can connect with Caterpillar on a personal level.
An active member of the Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria (YPGP), LaHood leveraged her experience with the group at work and was a founding member of the Young Professionals of Caterpillar Employee Affinity Group. She serves on the board of the global organization, representing its 800 members, and chairs the Member Engagement Subcommittee.
Within YPGP, LaHood leads the Social Committee, planning and executing monthly social events for more than 350 members by leveraging her love of the community and her advocacy of local businesses to find hosts for the events. She also sits on the Awards Task Force subcommittee, organizing local award opportunities for members.
LaHood is serving her second year as a Community Leadership School (CLS) Advisory Board member and has secured Caterpillar executives to speak to its classes. She also leads the planning for the class’ social events. LaHood understands how important it is that Peoria’s next generation of leaders feels connected to the community and takes great pride in her work with CLS.
Through her work on the Peoria Promise Young Leaders Board and the organization’s Silent Auction Committee, LaHood actively raises funds for Peoria Promise, helping local high school graduates earn a college education.
LaHood’s servant leadership extends to various other organizations, including Midwest Food Bank, the University of Illinois Peoria Area Alumni Club and her church’s nursery. Her passion for Peoria and commitment to seeing the community prosper are obvious through all she does professionally and personally. LaHood leads by example and demonstrates the importance of giving back for the greater good. She has already developed a legacy of leadership and volunteerism. iBi