Driving change

LORI HEINO-ROYER says much of what she’s accomplished comes from her not being afraid to act. And with that fearlessness, she’s accomplished a lot.

Lori serves as the Director of Business Development for Daimler Trucks North America, a role she built on her track record of intrapreneurial successes. Along her unconventional career path, Lori has reinvented her professional identity multiple times.

After high school, she started out as an intake clerk at a small company. After being told by her boss that she’d never earn a higher salary as a woman, Lori decided to pursue an academic program in accounting. She had a new baby at the time, but was committed to advancing her career. She knew getting an education was the solution.

“It was my first act of bravery, and it was hard,“ she recalls. “After that, every challenge seemed manageable in comparison.”

A few years later, education was again the catalyst Lori used to move her career in a new direction. She went for her MBA at Portland State and found a new job at Daimler.

With the credentials to back up her insights, Lori moved into sales and then project management before being promoted to her current role, where she leads a team of 25 and reports directly to the CEO.

Lori’s success in developing three distinct careers in her 15 years at Daimler exemplifies the company’s enthusiasm for internal innovation – a facet many might not expect from an organization the size of North America’s leading commercial truck manufacturer.

As an innovator, Daimler benefits from a diversity of perspectives among its leadership. Rather than trying to blend in, Lori uses her unique vantage point to envision what’s next for the company.

“I really don’t get excited about trucks,” Lori says, “but I find it absolutely fascinating that they represent the backbone of our entire economy.”

Now she also champions others who have to forge non-traditional paths toward their educational goals.

“I am a huge advocate for education, in my own department and beyond. It’s the one thing nobody can take away from you. And it gives you confidence to move forward.”

At Portland State, Lori contributes her expertise on the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Advisory Board and the PSU Alumni Board. She serves as a compelling example of what’s possible when students discover that what makes them different can become their career superpower.