Mary Bell
Vice President
Caterpillar Inc.
Peoria, IL

“There’s something about making tangible things that’s very compelling. Manufacturing starts with the recognition of an opportunity, followed by the development of solutions, and the ‘bringing to life’ of those solutions when they are manufactured. It’s exciting and rewarding to be part of this process of taking concepts to reality.“

Mary has led one of the most challenging business transformations in the history of the company.  Under Mary’s leadership, the Building Construction Products (BCP) Division has become a market leader in the small, versatile construction machine industry through quality improvements, profitable business growth, employee safety and engagement improvements and dozens of new product introductions.   She embraced significant technological advancements which improved customer and shareholder value across all product lines. Mary has led BCP in its development of machines that not only meet, but exceed, emission requirements while adding new features for improved customer value.

Mary credits her passion for machines, applied technology and her appreciation for the talented people in this industry to her upbringing as the daughter of a highway contractor.  Throughout her career she has been an advocate for technical education. She served as a director on the national board of SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. She shares this advocacy at work too, supporting apprenticeship programs and STEM outreach initiatives in BCP’s U.K. and U.S. facilities, and increasing the diversity of gender and experience of her team in functional areas like design engineering and manufacturing.

Mary’s leadership has been recognized with a range of awards, including the SkillsUSA’s Torch Carrier Award and honorary lifetime membership. Under her leadership, BCP has received multiple recognitions, including Carolina Parent’s “Family Friendly 50”; Triangle Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in the Triangle”; honorable mention for North Carolina Chamber’s “Manufacturer of the Year” and SHRM’s  “Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility”; and the Alliance for WorkLife Progress’s “Seal of Distinction.”

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