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When Lisa Krabbe was hired by thyssenkrupp at the age of 22, little did she know that years later she would become part of a very elite group, “Women Plant Managers at thyssenkrupp”! Lisa has been managing the Forge plant in Veedersburg, Indiana for a few years now and says that although it was a long journey, she would not trade it for anything.
Lisa, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Management, combined with over 19 years in the forging industry, began her career at thyssenkrupp in 1998 as a Die Shop hourly employee. She worked her way from the Die Shop in Veedersburg to Maintenance Planner at Danville Forge, then on to Process Design Engineering as well as Six Sigma. From there, she took a position managing a satellite plant in Michigan and then decided to pursue Continuous Improvement, before eventually settling into her current role, managing the Veedersburg, Indiana plant.
She says that while growing up, she remembered thinking very early on that if she was going to “make it” in life, she needed a good job like her dad (who was a patternmaker at GM). Her original field of study in college was Graphic Design. However, she said she decided to change directions after becoming a single mother; and chose a field of study, Engineering, that could offer her the reliability and stability she needed for herself and for her son.
Like many of us, Lisa worked while attending college and quickly realized during her studies that all of the things she was learning about in her Engineering classes were things she was already doing – just not as an “Engineer.” She credits her experience on the shop floor for making her a better Engineer, and subsequent Manager.
Lisa says that what she likes most about her job is working with her team on all levels as well as helping to make a difference in the workplace. She considers her co-workers her “work family” and relishes in their strong camaraderie. She says that she would definitely recommend thyssenkrupp as an employer, in that the company has been supportive of her education as well as career growth.
She has very fond memories in her workplace. But one she will especially cherish is when her son was hired at thyssenkrupp – and they actually worked together on a few things on the shop floor. She states proudly, “Not many mothers can say that they were able to teach their son about forging!”
Lisa says no two days are the same in the forging world. However, when a day is not going so well, she remembers what her dad told her as a child. He said the one thing that would fix everything is to get a Diet Pepsi and a bag of M&Ms. He told her that she would see that by the time she finished her Diet Pepsi and M&Ms, everything would be better! She said that in addition to this, another thing that she does on a regular basis is to go out and make people smile. Lisa says that if you can’t smile at work, then why would you want to be there?